“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 said at the press conference, held to announce the Marriage Mandate campaign, which includes a petition seeking 100,000 signatures pledging support for traditional marriage.
“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 said.
In a press release announcing the campaign, Owens encouraged black pastors and the black community to “withdraw their support for [Obama].”
“Today we will be launching a nationwide campaign rallying black pastors and African Americans to voice their opposition to the president’s position on same-sex marriage, and withdraw their support from him,” said Owens, who told reporters he voted for Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
“We will see that the black community is informed that the president is taking them for granted while pandering to the gay community,” Owens said.
Bishop Janice Hollis, presiding Prelate of the Covenant of International Fellowship of Churches, called Obama’s support of gay marriage a “travesty” and said it reflects the “disorder in the highest office in the land.”
Owens said CAAP sent a letter to Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder in May asking for a meeting to discuss the gay marriage issue.
“We wrote the president and Mr. Holder May the second, requesting an audience with him to discuss this very issue,” Owens said. “He has not given us the courtesy of any reply.
“The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) consists of 3,742 African American pastors, and he has totally ignored us,” Owens said.
He said Obama is ignoring the black community “because he feels that he has us in his pocket.”
“Well, we are not in his pocket,” Owens said.
The marriage pledge states that “homosexual practices of same-sex couples are in violation of religious and social norms and are aberrant” and that same-sex unions “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.”
It concludes: “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 to call on Pres. Obama to repudiate his assertion that gay marriage is a civil right.”
The petition website describes CAAP as “a grassroots movement of African-American Christians who believe in traditional family values such as supporting the role of religion in American public life, protecting the lives of the unborn, and defending the sacred institution of marriage.”
It states that CAAP is not affiliated with any political party or religious denomination.