October 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm EDT | 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 is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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

  • Thank GODDD the republicans and NRA have made sure that you and I can carry guns for protection! If you go to a Baptist or fundamentalist church, and you are gay/LGBT, then maybe you should bring some protection! Well, at least if you go to THIS guy's church, that is. But hey: you have a right to defend yourself from assault and from death threats– even if they are only coming from Jesus and the Holy Spirit– right? Of course right.

    • Please be careful Christians how you speak. I believe its sad that we have to redefine anything. There are many companies that support significant others. I don't think redefining marriage is the key to showing love to alternative life styles. People use Government to spit at the people who believe in God. The rights of the families that believe in marriage as it is defined in the word of God, know this should not be redefined. They need to come up with rights that don't hurt one and not the other. It's he said she said. People who believe in God are trying to defend their faith. Because people who don't care about faith try to hurt people of faith. Calling them bad names, that's a hate crime, however Christians don't fight back because they love or should love all. If they are not loving based on the Bible they are not Christians. So the hate that comes to them is defended and that is just as much hate as calling people names of alternative lifestyle . Lets just be kind to one another, and do case by case basis law suites of people who do injustices to anyone. It should not redefine peoples faith. That is against the Words of God. You do this and you are speaking against God. I love people and I think people need more information about things before setting laws in motion. Laws are here to protect us from injustice. Where is the justice if you tell one person its okay to change their faith, based on mans word over Gods word. I am sorry. I will love all people, I will treat them with love, but redefine someones faith,using your words over God word I will not do. Alternative Lifestyle should learn about not hurting people of faith. Read the Bible, read where their faith is challenged, have an understanding of what they believe and the values they want for their families. We do have to love, we do have to trust in God, who created all and is in all people. One of my best friends is Gay, I love her she is my friend. She knows the words of God. She does not disagree with the words, but she is hurt by others who come against her. When she comes back to God, I know she will see He is more important than anything to her.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Reverend Anderson's extreme judgement of death for those in favor of Marriage Fairness highlight that Maryland citizens should have civil marriage open to all.

    He may be reading his Bible correctly, I don't agree but I'm no expert.

    I know Maryland does not want divorce or sleeping in late on Sundays to be illegal.
    even if the Bible says it's sinful.

    Please vote to let citizens decide who to love not the religious police.

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