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Area churches take stands on gay marriage issue

Area churches take stands on gay marriage issue, and pastor says black voters won't forsake Obama over his statements from last week. Associated Press

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Sunday, May 13, 2012, 8:42 p.m.
 

Most black voters will continue to support President Obama, even if they disagree with his endorsement of gay marriage, the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in the Hill District said on Sunday.

"Most of the black community recognizes that the statement was political rather than — shall I say — spiritual," said the Rev. Melvin T. Jackson. "He has a political position that he has to consider about everything he says and does, and he's the president of all the people."

Jackson did not bring up the subject during his sermon, focusing instead on a Mother's Day theme.

"I have no opinion other than what the Bible says, and that's because (God's) book is holy," Jackson said. "From his opinion, the word of God, marriage is between a man and a woman."

Obama's announcement last week made him the first president to speak out in favor of gay marriage. Mitt Romney, his presumed Republican opponent in November, took the opposite stance in a speech on Saturday at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

"Culture — what you believe, what you value, how you live — matters," Romney told 6,000 graduates and 30,000 others at the school founded by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell. "As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate from time to time. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman."

Many members of First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh in Shadyside wore bright yellow "Standing on the Side of Love" T-shirts yesterday, part of a Unitarian campaign to promote diversity, including gay marriage. Sabbatical pastor Robin Landerman Zucker said in her sermon that the story of Adam and Eve has been used as "justification for a hate-filled, homophobic view of same-sex marriage."

After the service, Zucker said, "We believe absolutely in Obama's statement on same-sex marriage. We are jubilantly happy that he has made it official."

Gay marriage was not addressed during Mass at Greensburg's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral or First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Jerry Zufelt, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese in Greensburg, said the church's position against gay marriage has not changed.

"The Catholic Church sees marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman," Zufelt said. "Same-sex marriage is going against the teachings of the Catholic Church."

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