Civil Rights Activist: ‘No Comparison’ Between Civil Rights, Gay Rights Movement

March 26, 2013 - 1:14 PM
Williams Owen

President and founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors, Rev. William Owens (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Civil rights activist Rev. William Owens, who is founder and president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, said Tuesday there is no comparison between the civil rights movement and the gay community’s fight for same-sex marriage.

“I marched and many other thousands of people marched in this same location years ago on the claim that we were being discriminated against, and today the other community is trying to say that they are suffering the same thing that we suffered, but I tell you they are not,” said Owens, who gathered on the National Mall with other traditional marriage supporters in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Supreme Court met Tuesday to consider Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. However, the Associated Press reported that the high court could dismiss the case with no ruling at all.

Owens said that as a black man, he cannot change the color of his skin.

“Every morning I wake up, I look in the mirror, and I see a black man, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change the color of my skin,” he said.

Owens said there is no comparing the gay community’s fight for marriage equality and the black community’s civil rights movement.

“They are not suffering what we suffered, and I sympathize with people who face discrimination. Every person should be treated with dignity and respect, but what they’re going through does not compare to what we went through,” Owens said.

“There is no comparison, and for many years, the African-American family and community have been under assault from all sides – abortion, single family households, poverty and a failing education system,” he added.

Owens said for the gay community to try to change the definition of marriage will be “devastating to all of our families.”

“Perhaps, you were not old enough to be with me in the civil rights movement in the late 50s or the early 60s, but I’m marching again, and this time I’m marching to defend marriage between a man and a woman,” he concluded.