US black congregations split over gay issues

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Conflicting views on homosexuality are now sparking disputes in black churches in the United States, just as they have done in predominately white Protestant denominations for years.

“It’s going to be a real challenge,” said the Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, founder of the National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality, reports United Press International.

“We’re just beginning to really deal with it.”

The developing dispute divides the few black churches willing to welcome gays and black denominations that consider homosexuality a sin, The Washington Post reports.

“I don’t care who does it in their bedroom with whom,” Yvonne Moore, a longtime member of Covenant Baptist Church in Anacostia, told The Post.

“But don’t bring that foolishness into my church.”

Moore left Covenant Baptist after it began conducting same-sex union ceremonies.

Victory Church, a black church near Atlanta, lost 2,500 members – half of its congregation – after its pastor, the Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel, started preaching acceptance of gays several years ago.

The National Baptist Convention USA Inc., the country’s largest predominately black denomination, bans clergy from officiating at ceremonies for same-sex couples, the Post reported.

Pentecostal denominations such as the Church of God in Christ consider homosexuality a sin, while the Progressive National Baptist Convention has not taken a stand on homosexuality or same-sex unions.

Anthony Cuesta © 2007; All Rights Reserved.