Marylanders will be voting on Question 6, a state referendum filed to challenge the law that would legalize marriage equality. Voters will be asked to if they are “For” or “Against” the Civil Marriage Protection law approved this year that allows gay men and lesbian couples to obtain a marriage license.
Religious opponents of marriage equality have been active in their quest to deny gay men and lesbians access to marriage. Rev. Jamal Bryant, the Pastor and founder of the Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the leading voices against marriage equality and is making the media rounds in an effort to stem the possible passage of amendment 6. He is well connected and well known in Black religious circles. He states he is worried about the structure and stability of the black family.
If you did not know him and his past, you would think he was the paragon of virtue in his natty ties and eloquent language. His position is that marriage equality “threatens the institution of marriage”. He cites Adam and Eve. He spews the same anti-LGBT equality drivel taken directly from the playbook of the religious right. His bully pulpit is amplified on CNN and other major outlets.
Who is pastor Bryant? In 2007, Baltimore mega-church pastor Jamal Bryant was set to write a book that would “inspire men and women to be empowered through faith in God,” but then allegedly had a sexual relationship with an underage church member and Penguin canceled the book.
When his wife, Gizelle, brought divorce proceedings against him, court records show that she charged him with “vicious cruelty”. From Wikipedia we learn this about Pastor Bryant: “Scandalous rumors of alleged affairs with several women have been rampant since the couple’s engagement. His supposed womanizing went overboard when he impregnated a church member said to be 17 at the time of the time of copulation. When accusations of this affair surfaced in the Summer of 2007, church leaders asked him to step down while they initiated an investigation and awaited paternity test results. Months after the investigation, Jamal Bryant remains the pastor of Empowerment Temple.”
Pastor Bryant, if you are so concerned about the structure and sanctity of the Black family, give up the crusade, go home and look at the man in the mirror.