BALTIMORE — A California pastor referred to gays as “predators” during an event against same-sex marriage at a local black church on Sunday.
“You know if we’re willing to stand up and do what we need to do in order to be able to understand that they’re after our children, they’re predators,” said Phillip Goudeaux of the Calvary Christian Center in Sacramento, Calif., during what organizers described as a Marriage Protection Rally at New Harvest Ministries, Inc., in Baltimore. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville and Maryland Marriage Alliance President Derek McCoy were among the roughly 100 people who attended the event. “They’re preying on them, trying to redefine the thing they rarely notice. I mean you ain’t going to change, but they can go after our children. They can’t reproduce so they’ve got to indoctrinate. And they’re indoctrinating our children and they’re not indoctrinating our society.”
Goudeaux, who was among the most vocal proponents of California’s voter-approved Proposition 8 that overturned the state’s same-sex marriage law in 2008, repeated previous claims that gays are trying to indoctrinate children.
“I guess you guys might make a decision if you’re going to allow them — excuse me if this offends you, those perverted spirits to come over here because it’s a spirit of perversion,” he said. “I’m trying to cross my attitude because I get I’m really challenging a lot of areas because I didn’t get to choose to be black. I was born this way. Sexual preference is a choice. You can choose what kind of sexual preference you want, I guess. To me I don’t understand how two men would want to be together anyway. That’s nasty. That’s nasty. Maybe you don’t like the way I’m saying it, but it’s nasty. I like what God did. God made a man, but then he handcrafted him a woman because he wanted that woman to take our total attention. So there’s got to be something the matter when a man sees another man or wants a man more than he wants a woman … That’s sick. That’s sick.”
Goudeaux and others spoke at the church near Johns Hopkins Hospital slightly more than two weeks before Maryland voters will vote on Question 6.
A Washington Post poll published on Oct. 18 found 52 percent of Maryland voters support the same-sex marriage law that Gov. Martin O’Malley signed in March, compared to 42 percent who said they oppose it. A Gonzales Research poll last month indicated 44 percent of black Marylanders back marriage rights for same-sex couples, compared to 52 percent who oppose them.
A Public Policy Polling survey in May found 55 percent of the state’s black voters support nuptials for gays and lesbians. A Hart Research Associates poll conducted in late July noted 44 percent of black Marylanders would support Question 6, compared to 45 percent who would vote against it.
Revs. Donté Hickman of Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore, Delman Coates of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Prince George’s County and Al Sharpton and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are among the prominent black clergy and civil rights organizations that have endorsed Question 6. Both Hickman and Coates and NAACP Chair Emeritus Julian Bond have appeared in Marylanders for Marriage Equality television ads that continue to air in the Baltimore and D.C. media markets.
Jackson mocked those religious leaders in Maryland, D.C. and elsewhere who have backed marriage rights for same-sex couples. McCoy showed his group’s latest television ad that features Angela McCaskill, the Gallaudet University administrator placed on administrative leave earlier this month for signing the petition that prompted the Nov. 6 referendum on the state’s same-sex marriage law.
“Now I know you hear a lot of stuff that says, well the pastor’s not going to have to preach this thing. We can co-exist together. We can do all of this,” said McCoy. “That’s totally disingenuous. And I wish I had more time, but I’m going to tell you that’s a lie. It’s not true. Yeah, he might not be forced tomorrow to marry somebody, but they basically said in that law that I’m going to give you the right you already have in the First Amendment of the Constitution, thank you very much. I never understood that: I’m going to give you a right that you already have.”
Perkins showed a FRC video during his speech that features a Massachusetts man who claims he was arrested in 2005 because he demanded his son’s school administrators not expose him to what court documents describe as “any further discussions of homosexuality” after he brought home a book that includes families with same-sex couples. A local newspaper reported police arrested David Parker for criminal trespass after he refused to leave his son Jacob’s school.
“Your vote can make a difference in this election,” said Perkins. “And I know you’ve seen unfolding here in just the last several days in Maryland the fact that same-sex marriage is not about what happens at the altar of marriage, but rather it’s about altering every fundamental right that we care about in this country. You’ve seen with Dr. McCaskill, what has happened with her in that she has lost her position or been indefinitely suspended simply because she signed a petition to put this on the ballot. These are not theoretical issues. These are happening across the nation where people are losing their God-given right of the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech in the wake of this forced march down the aisle towards same-sex marriage. Now friends, it does not have to be that way. It’s not what God intended. It’s not what our founders intended. It is not I believe in the best interest of America. It’s certainly not in the best of interest of the church to go down this path. I want to encourage you to continue in this stand.”
Perkins again urged those who attended the rally to vote on Nov. 6.
“We need to know what the issues are, where the candidates stand on the issue. I could not, and I will not vote for a candidate who supports the redefinition of marriage,” he said to applause. “We need to know where they stand. And finally we need to participate. We can have rallies. We can register. We can do all that, but on Election Day we have to turn out. And no one should keep you from voting. As an American citizen, you have a right to vote. As a Christian, you have a responsibility to vote, to stand up for truth and to be salt and light to this culture.”
Marylanders for Marriage Equality spokesperson Kevin Nix responded to Perkins’ claims that Question 6 threatens freedom of religion and speech.
“This comes right out of their binder full of lies and misinformation,” he told the Washington Blade earlier on Monday.
Bishop Angel Nunez of the Bilingual Christian Church in Baltimore and Bishop Eugene Reeves of New Life Ministries in Woodbridge, Va., also spoke during the roughly two-hour event.
Beverly Johnson of New Harvest Ministries told the Washington Blade on behalf of Bishop Marcus Johnson, the church’s pastor, that the marriage rally was one of the “many events” that the congregation hosts.
“This was just one of many and that’s what his answer was on that,” she said.
She directed questions about Goudeaux’s reference to gays as “predators” to him. McCoy declined to speak with the Blade inside the church.