Pastor Frederick Haynes of the Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas gave a powerful sermon in support of President Obama’s recent endorsement of marriage equality. Haynes notes that during his oath of office, Obama vowed to uphold the constitution, not the Bible. During his sermon, which criticized both fellow pastors and the congregation for their condemnation of marriage equality, “the congregation stood up and shouted their disapproval at him.” Haynes argued that the congregation should change its views:
HAYNES: He [President Obama] swore upon oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution, not the Bible, but the Constitution of the United States. He is not the pastor of the United States, but the president of the United States. And for the first time in the history of this nation, we have a president who has dared to use his position to make the democratic promise available, not just for a select few who are up and in, but for everybody, regardless of their race, their creed, their color, or their sexual orientation! And my brothers and sisters, I salute the President.
Have you ever read the Gospel and heard Jesus say anything about homosexuality?…Black folk can’t even deal with homosexuality because we got issues with sexuality. And because we got issues with sexuality we can’t have a healthy discussion about homosexuality. Why, why do you get so upset?
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Haynes’ poignant endorsement reflects the growing number of African-American voters that have shifted their views and now support same-sex marriage. Polls in Missouri and Pennsylvania, Maryland indicate that, following Obama’s endorsement, the majority of African Americans now support marriage equality. Overall, African American support for marriage equality is currently higher than the general population.