October 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Anti-Question 6 group defends pastor’s controversial comments
Maryland Marriage Alliance, same sex marriage, gay marriage, gay news Washington Blade

The chair of the Maryland Marriage Alliance on Wednesday defended a pastor’s controversial comments against Question 6. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The head of the group opposed to Maryland’s same-sex marriage law on Wednesday defended a pastor’s controversial comments against Question 6 during a Baltimore panel on the issue last week.

“Any attempt to imply that Dr. Anderson’s reading of scripture was a call to harm gays and lesbians is false and serves as a distraction from the real issues of this campaign,” said Derek McCoy, chair of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, in a statement. “The Maryland Marriage Alliance No on Question 6 campaign has been and remains focused on explaining to voters the good that marriage does for society, and the consequences that have occurred when marriage has been redefined elsewhere. From the beginning, we have been deeply committed to civility and honor the value of everyone’s human rights. Scripture tells us that all God’s children are made in his image and likeness, and we are called to speak truth through love. We continue to deplore violence or bullying against any person and or group of people on either side of this issue.”

Reverend Robert Anderson of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md., cited the last verse of Romans 1 during an Oct. 19 town hall meeting on Question 6 at Manna Bible Baptist Church in Baltimore that suggests those who practice homosexuality and those who approve it are “deserving of death.” McCoy, who was also on the four person panel, did not challenge Anderson as he continued to speak against the state’s same-sex marriage law.

“If we don’t vote against it, than we are approving these things that are worthy of death,” said Anderson.

The town hall took place two days before McCoy, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., and others attended a rally against marriage rights for same-sex couples at New Harvest Ministries in Baltimore. Phillip Goudeaux of the Calvary Christian Center in Sacramento, Calif., described gay men as “predators” who seek to indoctrinate “our children” during the two hour gathering that drew roughly 100 people.

“Supporters [of] Question 6 are working towards a Maryland where all citizens are treated equally under the law,” said Sultan Shakir of Marylanders for Marriage Equality in response to Anderson’s comments. “The kind of intolerance displayed by opponents paints a clear contrast of what’s at stake in this campaign. Such rancid comments have absolutely no place in this debate. We demand the host of the event, Derek McCoy, disavow and apologize for his panel’s viciously anti-gay words.”

McCoy further defended Anderson.

“Throughout this campaign, we have been clear that all people are worthy of dignity and respect and that tolerance and acceptance of gay and lesbian friends and family does not mean that marriage should be redefined,” he said. “There are people of good will on both sides of this issue. We believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and is the foundation of a stable society. Supporting traditional marriage does not make anyone anti-gay.”

Manna Bible Baptist Church has posted a video of the town hall that includes Anderson’s comments on its website.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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  • Willie Braxton

    Equality Maryland needs to runs ads featuring Reverend Robert Anderson. Time to take off the gloves and play to win.

  • Laura

    The man is joke. He was clearly threatening the Gay population and he’s too much of a coward to admit it. That’s the kind of people that are against Question 6. Sick homophobic self-pro claimed christians. If I meet the small minded M.F. he’s history.

  • Lanorexic

    I’ve noticed that African Americans are especially hateful towards the L.G.B.T. community. How do they come to be so hateful of anyone when they need every ally they can find? What’s really humorous is how they call themselves ‘Pastors’ even when they’ve never seen the inside of a High School, much less a Seminary. I guess the truth is the first thing to go in the war on equality.

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