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VIDEO: Two African American Church Leaders Explain Why They Support Marriage Equality

HOUSTON, Texas — When President Obama announced his support for marriage equality in May, many critics argued that the move was out of step with the African American community.

Even after the NAACP took the same step 10 days later, some still perpetuated the myth that most African Americans, particularly more religious people, opposed marriage equality.

ThinkProgress spoke with two African American church leaders at the annual NAACP conference in Houston about same-sex marriage. Sabu Williams, president of the Okaloosa County (Florida) NAACP and a Baptist deacon, explained that “we don’t condone discrimination, period.” Williams continued: “How can we as an organization, and even we as a people, condone discrimination against anybody on any reason, and we say that that’s justified based on our spiritual beliefs?”

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Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and a protestant pastor, noted the difference between some churches’ beliefs and laws in society as a whole. “What I found is we have clergy who theologically and culturally and spiritually are heterocentric when it comes to marriage, but constitutionally and legally they refuse to be homophobic,” he explained.

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