There has been a split in the liberal monolith in Massachusetts. The Boston Globe reports that a prominent black minister is campaigning for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. And that has the liberals in a tizzy. The Rev. Ray Hammond is pastor of the Bethel AME Church and leads the Ten Point Coalition, a group for minority youth, and is on the board of Catholic Charities of Boston. But liberals can’t understand how he can “abandon” them on this issue.
“A lot of people locally were shocked,” said Mary Bonauto, a lawyer for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. “He’s obviously a very impressive individual and he does incredibly important work, but it’s puzzling at a minimum to understand why this is going to be part of his activism.”
In other words, “how can such a nice liberal take such a conservative turn?”
I think the potential social conservatism of black Christians on the issues of life and family has been overlooked my most conservative groups. It’s nice to see Rev. Hammond become vocal on this issue and because he’s liberal he might open up some eyes among people who look to him for leadership. Of course, he still holds views that conservatives disagree with—he wants to extend a lot of rights to gays, just not marriage—we should seek allies where we can find them on the issues we can work together on.
By the way, I think it’s hilarious the liberal assumptions that come up in the article. All of the liberals who comment on Hammond basically say that most people against gay marriage are fundamentalist cavemen and nutcases.
“People are definitely talking about it,” said Daffin, who also works on HIV prevention, sometimes with Hammond’s Ten Point Coalition. “This is someone who testified from Boston, who is not a nut, and someone that a lot of us respect.”