In a CNN report on how the issue of same-sex marriage has impacted upon the Christian Church in America, Soledad O’Brien spoke to a woman who set out to sue her Washington DC church for performing a same-sex ceremony.
Pastors Christine and Dennis Wiley performed the ceremony at Covenant Baptist in 2007, way before state’s legalisation of same-sex marriage which finally took place in March this year. The pastors said they believe gay rights are a natural extension of the black Civil Rights movement. However, their congregation – historically a predominantly black one – didn’t agree with them, and they lost half their members overnight.
One member, Yvonne Moore, who attended the ceremony and declared it “totally disgusting” went one step further and decided to sue the church for $250,000, the amount she estimated she had donated to the church in nearly 40 years of regular attendance.
“I don’t believe in that, I’m southern Baptist,” Moore told CNN. “The Bible speaks against that. You cannot take that in the church.”
Ms Moore’s now ex-pastor, Dennis Wiley, said, “I don’t think we as a people have a lock on civil rights” and said he had asked Ms Moore to consider her own experiences growing up in a segregated south with that of gay person’s.
Ms Moore said she did take the issue into account and latterly dropped her lawsuit. However, she has never returned to her former church.
Soledad O’Brien’s documentary, Gary and Tony Have A Baby, which follows a same-sex couple fighting to overcome obstacles in order to adopt a child, will be screened on American television tonight at 8pm Eastern time.