A Baptist pastor that appeared on ABC’s This Week on Sunday told host George Stephanopolous that while he personally disagrees with homosexual marriage, he believes it should be legalized by the Supreme Court because it is one of the freedoms of personal choice given by God.
Pastor Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York had been posed with a comment from Stephanopolous in which he noted that the pastor’s “political allies have been strongly supportive of gay marriage, yet it’s something that your faith does not believe in.”
“It’s something that we don’t believe in, in terms of what we have learned from the Bible,” Butts replied. “But in terms of men and women having their rights as citizens and human beings, we certainly affirm that.”
“You should have every right as a citizen of this nation and every right as a human being to enjoy the freedom that God has given you,” he continued. “The choice is yours. And I should not stand in the way of you making that choice.”
Butts then repeated his sentiments.
“I have to extol what I believe my religion teaches, and it does not teach that a marriage between a man and a man and a woman and a woman is God’s divine imperative,” he stated. “But, I can’t stand in the way of that, and I don’t think the Supreme Court should stand in the way of that.”
Stephanopolous then remarked, “[So], you have a strict separation between what you practice inside your church and what you believe should happen in the public square.”
“I believe I have to support [homosexual ‘marriage’] in the civil society,” Butts replied. “Because otherwise, I would not be a good citizen over this great nation and a participant in this experimentation of democracy.”
“However, I choose to believe the Book upon which I build my life,” he concluded.
While Butts personally opposes same-sex ‘marriage,” but believes it should be legalized for those who choose to live as a homosexual, other African American pastors have been vocal against the Obama administration because of its support of the homosexual lifestyle. Last year, the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), which is comprised of over 3,000 members, launched a national campaign in support of Biblical marriage.
“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the power that be that wants to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women,” CAAP President William Owens proclaimed at the kickoff rally. “Mr. President, I’m not going to stand with you, and there are thousands of others across this country that are not going to stand with you with this foolishness.”
Owens’ petition, called The Marriage Mandate, states that homosexual behaviors “are sinful and in direct violation of the law of God in that they are a deviation from the natural use and purpose of the body.”
“We therefore declare our opposition to any deviation from traditional marriages of male and female, notwithstanding the rulings of the court systems of the land or acts of legislative bodies in support of same-sex ‘marriage’ and/or civil unions, and call on President Obama to repudiate his assertion that gay marriage is a civil right,” it concludes.