By Tom Quiner
The NAACP says there is a correlation between gay rights activism and civil rights.
The Reverend Keith Ratliff says they are wrong.
Reverend Ratliff, pastor of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, resigned his position as a national Board member of this venerable civil rights organization over the issue.
A spokesperson for the NAACP said that the group has always stood against laws which “demean, dehumanize, or discriminate against any person in this great country.”
Reverend Ratliff vigorously disagrees:
“There is no parallel … that is an insult to the civil rights movement. Deviant behavior is not the same thing as being denied your right to vote.”
I had the pleasure of meeting Reverend Ratliff a couple of years ago when I interviewed him for a piece I was writing for the Des Moines Register about the black genocide crisis in America caused by high abortion rates. Ratliff is a long-standing Democrat who has publicly supported Republicans in recent years because of their support for Life issues.
Will the NAACP’s shift on the issue of gay marriage weaken their support within the black community? A local black activist, Jonathan Narcisse, who publishes the Iowa Bystander, is concerned:
“Whether one agrees or disagrees with gay marriage, the Bible is very clear, and most African-American ministers are part of denominations that are not going to be supportive of gay marriage.”
Reverend Ratliff is highly respected with many honors on his resume’, including membership in the Iowa African-American Hall of fame. The Des Moines Human Rights Commission has honored him as has the Central District Baptist Association.
Pastors in the black community have clout. If many believe as Reverend Ratliff believe, the NAACP may have shot themselves in the foot in their haste to support Barack Obama’s radical agenda.