by Ben Johnson
ANN ARBOR, MI, May 16, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Oft-made comparisons between the plight of homosexuals seeking the right to "marry" and the horrors faced by blacks during the Civil Rights struggle are baseless and offensive, according to a new legal brief filed on behalf of more than 100 black pastors and prominent pro-life and pro-family leaders from across Michigan and Ohio.
The Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor filed the amicus brief to support the Michigan Marriage Amendment (MMA), passed in 2004 with the support of 59 percent of state voters.
Reagan-appointed U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the amendment in March, comparing it to laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
But this week Christian Minister Stacy Swimp of Flint called that allusion “intellectually empty, dishonest, and manufactured.” "When has anyone from the LGBT demographic ever been publicly lynched, specifically excluded from moving into neighborhoods, prohibited from sitting on a jury and denied the right to sue others because of their sexual preferences?" he said.
Pastor James Crowder, president of the Westside Minister Alliance in Detroit, said that Judge Friedman has allowed homosexual activists to “pretend that redefining traditional marriage is as valid as blacks fighting against the carnage of chattel slavery and the humiliation of Jim Crow. Never have I been so insulted. The curtain must be pulled down on this play of disinformation.”
“The disgraces and unspeakable privations in our nation’s history pertaining to the civil rights of Black Americans are unmatched. No other class of individuals, including individuals who are same-sex attracted, have ever been enslaved, or lawfully viewed not as human, but as property,” the brief states. “Yet, courts have mistakenly drawn upon this incongruence as the basis for what it is now deeming 'marriage equality.'”
Sexuality and sexual preferences are not an "immutable aspect" of a person, unlike race, argues the brief. “The state has no responsibility to promote any person’s sexual proclivities, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise.”
The document objects to redefining marriage on multiple fronts. The core argument of the homosexual “marriage” movement – that one of the child's biological parents may be replaced by a member of the same sex – “raises the obvious question of which parent is it that children can supposedly do without, the mother or the father? Curiously, the court and its experts failed to elucidate this particular point.”
Although Judge Friedman said his decision stopped the law "from imposing the moral position of the majority upon a minority," Mersino disagreed.
What it “actually did was to supplant the tried and true morality of the Judeo-Christian tradition upon which our country was founded with the trendy, relativist morality of political correctness,” she said.
“The coalition was upset with the notion that the voice of 2.7 million Michigan voters could be silenced by the opinion of one federal court judge," Mesino added.
In addition to black ministers from a variety of denominations, numerous pro-life organizations and individuals in the area signed onto the brief, including Dr. Monica Miller, Linda Harvey of Mission America, Cleveland Right to Life, Jacqui Fetsko of Lake County (Ohio) Right to Life, and Ken Jordan of Flint Right to Life.
This isn't the first time that black leaders have vocally protested attempts to tie the gay rights movement to the fight for civil rights. In July 2012, former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis said, “When you say to African-Americans that the gay struggle is the black struggle, they don't buy it.”
At the height of the civil rights movement, “African-Americans couldn't vote, by and large,” he said. “They were excluded from public accommodations in many parts of the country. They were excluded from many union shops. They were excluded from employment. They were excluded from many colleges around the country.”
“They come from a totally different point of disadvantage. … African-Americans often don't like is when they're told, 'If you don't agree with gay marriage, you're a bigot.' Or, 'How dare you take this position when at one point, blacks and whites weren't allowed to marry in some states.'”
Making this argument has paid political dividends in the past. A coalition of black pastors helped stall the Illinois legislature from passing a marriage redefinition bill for months.
However, support for gay “marriage” among black evangelicals has risen sharply, up 11 points in 2013 from 2012, following President Barack Obama's declaration that he had “evolved" on the issue.