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Should President Obama Be Concerned About Black Voters Staying Home on Election Day?

I guess it depends on who the reporter is and the interviewees. When the President came out in support of marriage equality there was the predicted flurry of articles about the impact of his statement (which still indicated his support of leaving the decision to discriminate up to the states). It was expected that some elements of the “black church” (it’s not a monolith, people) would bust a gut opposing this evolution on the right of same-sex couples to marry, but there was not an overwhelming outcry. Many clergy either took no position or were supportive.

However, the media loves focusing on dissent, and there were a number of black pastors all too eager to get face time and coverage. Right here on the Blend, Alvin McEwen covered one pimp of discrimination in detail, Rev. William Owens, the president and founder of the Coalition of African-Americans Pastors.

This group takes its cues from the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage, which affiliates with pastors like Owens as part of its bold wedge strategy that was exposed earlier this year by the Human Rights Campaign to divide blacks and gays. In his zeal to “protect the family,” Owens said this to CNN:

“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the powers that be that want to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women,” said Owens, in an interview Tuesday after the launch event at the National Press Club. “I am ashamed that the first black president chose this road, a disgraceful road.”

Please. And the Associated Press just ran this piece “African-American Christians waver over vote” speculating there is some mass movement afoot to encourage religious blacks to sit out the election because the marriage equality issue represents some tipping point more important than, say voter ID and other Republican voter-suppression efforts, education, health care and the like.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding