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October 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM

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Black churches on same-sex marriage debate

Defining traditional marriage

I see that Pastor Andre Sims is described in Lornet Turnbull’s story as "supporting traditional marriage” [“In black churches, a gay-marriage divide,” page one, Oct. 24]

I don't know how many Seattle Times reporters are old enough to remember the civil-rights struggle of the 1960s, but imagine how embarrassed you would be if you looked into files from that time and found that your paper described those who attacked the marchers for equality in Alabama as “supporters of traditional race relations.” Or maybe the mobs who screamed at the little black girl walking into to an all-white school were “supporters of traditional education.”

Black preachers who hate gays and lesbians euphemistically claim to be “supporting traditional marriage” — but if there were any truth at all to that assertion, why did they not fight against the easy access to divorce that began in the 1970s? If they really supported “traditional marriage,” why were they silent these past 50 years as more women left home to go to work? So now, when they get to openly vent their hatred of those who are different, they use terminology that puts the onus on the oppressed, just as bigots have always done. Why does The Times go along with it?

— James Freudiger, Seattle

Need for another voice

Lornet Turnbull’s piece that was supposed to explore the disconnect in the African-American community regarding gay marriage is laughable in the extreme.

Laughable because Turnbull presents only one side of the issue: those institutions and people in the African-American community who are a distinct minority voice in the community. Nowhere in the article do we find commentary/opinion from the major churches and ministers of the African-American community.

Where are comments from Minister Carey Anderson of First African Methodist Church, the oldest African-American church in the city? And where is the voice of the Rev. Aaron Williams of Mt. Zion Baptist, the largest African-American church in the city? And why weren’t our black Catholic brothers and sisters of First Immaculate Conception heard from in the article? These omissions render the article moot.

Obviously, there are two sides to every issue.

— Douglas Q. Barnett, Seattle

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