Friday, January 25, 2008

Obama and the Church: Which Church and Whose Church Do You Reference in Your Campaign, When Some Churches Aren't Friendly to LGBT Folk?

In an article in (click here), Barack Obama has a difficult task of running for national office, and trying to appeal to the widest swath of voters. One of the issues and groups of voters he has to appeal to are those of us in the LGBT community--if he wants our votes--and those who are largely African American Christian communities who sometimes do not look favorably upon the LGBT community. While Sen. Obama's rhetoric at Ebenezer Baptist was stirring (blogged earlier on this site), Sen. Obama is also endorsed by the United Methodist Church pastor Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who has (had?) an anti-gay ministry Metanoia Ministry, at his large, 14,000 member church in Houston, TX, which Rev. Caldwell says he didn't know about:

"The twin developments appeared to encapsulate the tension inherent in Obama’s embrace of what he calls a new style of politics, his belief in forging alliances even with those who hold fundamentally different views.

In this case, he has spoken out against homophobia in front of black audiences while embracing some black religious leaders who are resistant to gay rights.

“People are confused,” said Wayne Besen, a gay activist and founder of Truth Wins Out, a New York organization aimed at countering the “ex-gay” movement.

“We see one report of him saying powerful words. Then he is hanging out with some shady characters. People don’t know what to make of that.”

By Monday, Caldwell’s church, Windsor Village United Methodist in Houston, scrubbed its Web site of any reference to the gay conversion program, Metanoia Ministry."

It will be interesting to see how Sen. Barack Obama appeals to both audiences: both the LGBT community and those churches who see those of us who are LGBT as "an abomination" and "deviant."

Likewise, Dean and I went to a fundraiser/campaign rally for senatorial candidate Jim Neal (D) of NC. While he too is a gay dad of two sons, and lives with a partner, we were never sure where he stood on the issue of gay marriage, the elimination of DOMA, the elimination of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act).

This is the time to ask candidates for national and state offices where they stand on issues that confront us as parents, gay and straight alike.

Peace, Brett

1 comment:

Marti said...

IMO, we should decide on what each candidate says they will do. Barack says he supports our legislation, and he's NOT told the church anything otherwise.