Harlem Pastor Divided Over Uptown Pride Picnic, But One Openly-Gay Pastor Will Host Service

Not all Harlem pastors have a problem with an upcoming gay pride picnic.

A openly gay Harlem pastor said he plans to host a service in Marcus Garvey Park during the second annual Harlem Pride event later this month.

PBS “Out in America”

OUT in America is an uplifting collection of unique, transformative stories and inspiring personal narratives told through the lens of the country’s most prominent LGBT figures and pioneers, as well as many average, yet extraordinary, citizens from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. The program weaves together diverse stories – from urban and rural America, from the heartland to New England, from San Francisco to Harlem.

Gay Rights Are Human Rights

When it comes to gay rights, South Africa is something of a paradox. Legally progressive, the country allows gay marriage and, in its Constitution, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Gay groups flourish — soccer clubs and church organizations included — and middle-class gay men and women live relatively openly.

But in some parts of the country, particularly in rural areas and townships, the progressive laws collide with deeply traditional views of homosexuality as un-African and as an import from the decadent West.

How Marriage Equality Can Save the Black Family

In fact, the fight for marriage equality works in tandem with the movement to strengthen the black family. Achieving marriage equality will actually help save the black family.

The fight for marriage equality is about fighting for equal recognition of all families. It’s about combating the assumption that someone else can tell us what our families should look like. And in the black community, that assumption is dangerous, because black families are becoming increasingly nontraditional. Black families are more likely to be headed by single mothers. However, many of those mothers live with another person who helps raise the children, regardless of whether they are biologically or legally recognized as a parent. Black families are also more likely to consist of multi-generational households.

Love Will Make A Way: The Intersections of Interracial and Same Sex Marriage

As a woman in an interracial marriage and as a senior pastor of a church, I think it is essential that we stand up for the rights of all people to marry. It is important to make our voices heard by our legislators in New York before June 20, as lawmakers will most likely vote this June about whether we will have marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in New York State. Straight allies and Christians need to write, march, and call for justice alongside our gay brothers and sisters.

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