Last spring when President Barack Obama announced his “evolving” support for marriage equality, many conservative groups were confident it would woo black voters to their side and ultimately deliver a death-blow to the president’s reelection bid. They, as is often the case, were certain that President Obama’s words would create a divide in “the black church” and the overall black community. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Instead, when President Obama took to the White House pulpit to deliver his second inaugural address on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he did so on the heels of an election that garnered the largest African-American voter turnout in history, including 95 percent of black Protestant voters’ support .
The work to paint African-Americans and “the black church” as a monolith has a long and sordid history. Even before the shameful passing of Prop. 8, media outlets and community groups painted the African American community as inherently homophobic and intolerant to LGBT social justice. As a result, welcoming and affirming faith leaders stepped to the front.