Reverends Christine and Dennis Wiley are many things: pastors, African-Americans, DC residents, and fierce straight allies. They have an important piece in tomorrow’s WaPo called “Why two black D.C. pastors support gay marriage.” It begins like this:
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago, we entered the sanctuary at Covenant Baptist Church and took our places in front of the altar, just as we had countless times before in our more than 20 years as partners in ministry. We had been united in holy matrimony ourselves in the same spot where we now stood to unite others.
As the couple walked down the aisle, we recalled the previous evening’s rehearsal, when we commended all the participants for their courage and prayed that God would be in our midst at the ceremony. When we pronounced the couple “partners for life,” we felt our prayers had been answered. It was the same feeling we had experienced so many times before when asking for God’s blessing of the union of a man and a woman. Only this time, the union was of a man and a man.
Our church is the first and only traditional black church in the District of Columbia to perform same-sex unions. We conducted our first two union ceremonies, one gay and one lesbian, in the summer of 2007. The rapid political developments that followed in our nation and our city have made us optimistic that by the summer of 2010, same-sex nuptials will be not only blessed by churches such as ours, but also sanctioned by law in the District.
One of the things that’s encouraged me lately, even in the New York loss, is that so many of those speaking out for civil rights for the LGBT community have been strong, vocal African-Americans. This is wonderful, not only for the greater population, but also for the white GLBT community, in driving home the point that while the fights for civil rights for racial and GLBT equality aren’t the same, they have many parallels, and that opposition AND support come from people of all colors. In light of many of the racial tensions that were exposed after Prop. 8, we all need to remember that framing the opposition to equality in terms of race, i.e. blaming it on black people, is neither helpful nor accurate.
Read the whole thing.
(h/t Joe Sudbay)