Prominent Detroit pastor comes out as an ally

Highly respected African American Detroit-based pastor and scholar, Dr. Michael C. R. Nabors, has "come out" as an ally. Dr. Nabors was so appalled by some black pastors' recent demonstration against same-sex marriage that he had to speak out, Pride Source reports.

"I am coming out of the closet as a heterosexual, male pastor, with all the privileges this has afforded me in more than 30 years of ministry, to say that I do believe in gay rights. I also believe that if gays love each other in the way I love my wife, in the way that any man-husband loves his woman-wife, it is perfectly fine for them to be married," Nabors writes on March 4th.

He met with Rev. Darlene Franklin and Rev. Roland Stringfellow on March 28th to discuss the theology and politics of his decision to come out as an ally to the LGBT community.

"It was seeing about 50 African American preachers in Detroit that got national attention for stating that they were unalterably opposed to same-sex marriage," said Nabors, referring to a Feb. 24 press conference at the First Baptist World Changers Church in Detroit. "It was the aftermath. It garnered tremendous local press, and then I'm seeing it on television and reading about it in USA Today, The New York Times, and I said, 'Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I'm a pastor in Detroit and I don't feel that way about it.' And that compelled me to sit down and try to write something." 

Dr. Nabors has been working at New Calvary Baptist Church for 16 years, and said he sent in his letter to The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, but neither paper got back to him on whether they would print it or not. Which is when he reached out to Franklin, his former seminary student, to figure out how to get his message out. Franklin, who has been out as a lesbian throughout her studies said, "I am so honored to bring you two together" (referring to Rev. Stringfellow and Nabors). "I am interested in being that person to help bridge the (black and the gay) communities of faith together."

He understands and knows the difficulty of being an out ally of the LGBT community. He knows that invitations will be limited and that his presence will not be as welcome.

But Dr. Nabors has a strong feeling to follow both his conscience and his faith. As well as relying on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words: "The problems is not so much the evil people who are killing and destroying this world, it's the appalling silence of the good people."

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