May 15, 2012 – Major Civil Rights Leaders Speak Out Against ‘Hijacking” of Movement Leaders to Press Obama on Gay Marriage Shift


Memphis, TN – A group of leading black clergy and major civil rights leaders will gather in Memphis to turn the tide against the “hijacking” of civil rights movement, asking President Obama to reconsider his support for gay marriage. At a Thursday press conference, The Coalition of African-American Pastors will release a statement signed by black clergy and civil rights leaders and announce a new petition.
“We will be spending the next weeks and months visiting black churches, asking for support from pastors and their flocks to speak up against the media-generated view that gay marriage is a civil right. We ask President Obama to stand with the black church, on the word of God and evolve again back to the common sense Biblical view that marriage is the union of husband and wife,” said Rev. William Owens, who marched with Martin
Luther King, Jr. and helped organize the civil rights movement in Nashville.
Leaders include bishops and some members of the board of The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest Black Pentecostal denomination and fifth largest Christian denomination in the United States.

WHAT: Coalition of African-American Pastors press conference asking President Obama to reconsider gay marriage support

WHEN: Thursday, May 17, 2012; 11:00 am CT

WHERE: 1750 Madison Avenue, Suite 260, Memphis, TN

WHO: Bishop Brandon B. Porter, Prelate, Tennessee Central Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the COGIC and Senior Pastor, Greater Community Temple
Bishop Ed Stephens, Jr., Senior Pastor, Golden Gate Cathedral in Memphis
Dr. Dwight Montgomery, Pastor, Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church and
President, SCLC (Memphis Chapter)
Rev. William Owens, Sr., Founder and President, Coalition of African American Pastors
Bishop David Allen Hall, D.M., Jurisdictional Prelate, First Ecclesiastical Headquarters
Jurisdiction of Tennessee and Senior Pastor, Temple Church of God in Christ
Ivory Jackson, Associate Pastor, Faith Temple Church of God in Christ
Bishop Felton Smith, Prelate, Tennessee Eastern First Jurisdiction; Senior Pastor, New
Covenant Fellowship COGIC in Nashville
Elder Robert Morris, Acting Minister, New Jerusalem COGIC
Rev. Leonard Dawson, Senior Pastor, Cane Creek Baptist Church and former President, Baptist Ministerial Alliance

The Coalition of African-American Pastors is a grass-roots 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.
For further information, please contact Jameson Cunningham with Shirley & Banister Public Affairs at (703) 739-5920 or (800) 536-5920.