In 2008, a majority of Black voters helped ban same-sex marriage in California. KPCC talked to Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, about whether attitudes around LGBTQ rights have changed in the Black Church since then. Smith-Pollard said that more conversation, compassion and empathy for LGBT folks in some, but not all churches. But back in 2008, many pastors were afraid that they would be forced to do same same sex marriages.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
“I don’t wanna call it a love-hate relationship. I don’t think it’s love-hate. I think it’s love and be quiet,” said Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, who pastored a church like Walker’s in South Los Angeles.
“Like, we know you’re here but we not gonna talk about it.”
Today, 10 years later, marriage equality is an important issue for some in the black church leadership.
“I don’t preach messages that condemn same-sex marriage. We teach family,” said Smith-Pollard.