BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A civil rights champion speaks out in support of same-sex marriage in Maryland.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains how the former chairman of the NAACP is impacting the marriage equality debate.

Julian Bond is nationally recognized as a champion of civil rights.

“As chairman emeritus of the NAACP, I know a little something about fighting for what’s right and just,” he said in an ad.

And in his view, that includes same-sex marriage.

“Gay and lesbian couples in Maryland have the same values as everyone else,” said Sultan Shakir, Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality are pleased to have Bond’s endorsement.

“Dr. Bond gets it. He gets that all couples, all committed couples really want the same thing,” Shakir said.

But Bond’s YouTube statement is a huge disappointment to Maryland’s organized black clergy.

“I had the highest esteem for him because he was a great civil rights leader; however, at this point my stock in him has gone completely down because the Bible is right. Same-sex marriage is wrong,” said Dr. John Lunn, Baltimore Baptist Ministers Conference.

A Gonzales poll shows that while a majority of white Marylanders favor changing the marriage law, 59 percent of African-Americans are opposed.

Some African-American leaders in Maryland who support gay marriage are making it a civil rights issue and they’re drawing fire.

“Now remember the real civil rights movement started in the church and so civil rights is an outgrowth of the church,” Lunn said.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality is apparently not taking on that argument.

“Well I think it’s an issue of couples going down to City Hall and getting a marriage license, and I think that’s something that all committed and loving couples should be able to do,” Shakir said.

While Bond does not use the words “civil rights” in his ad, supporters of traditional marriage say the message is implied.

“I think one of the things we’re up against is there are so many people outside the church who have very strong opinions about the idea of gender, and unfortunately some of them  are influencing some of our church members,” said Dr. Cleveland Alexander, St. Paul Baptist Church.

Both sides in this issue intend to exert strong influence in the General Assembly next year.

Governor Martin O’Malley is sponsoring the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland.

Comments (13)
  1. Mr.right says:

    look her we have another gay friendly story what i what to know is what does the average american think? And I’m not talking about your professional gay blogger at that you allow to post with out censorship while at the same time you delete and keep the natural marriage people from posting; give the appearance that mostof the people are for gay marriage and that lie!you know it !

    1. Bob says:

      Everyone’s allowed to express their opinion, and nobody censors anybody else. (Which might be the problem – it sounds like you could probably do with some censoring) The reason you feel the way you do is because nobody wants to listen to bigoted hateful rhetoric that denies equality to a group of people who deserve it as much as you or I do.

  2. tylerjake says:

    Why with everything that is WRONG with the US and especially this state, is this ALWAYS on WJZ’s site?! Who at this station is so obsessed with this topic?!

  3. Judy Fox says:

    Are gay rights not civil rights? How can you champion someone for fighting for the rights of one group and blast him for doing the same for another? EQUALITY for ALL means race, gender and sexuality.

  4. Let the People Vote says:

    Very limited opinion on this site. I think most people are opposed to gay marriage, so place it on referendum and let the majority decide.

  5. Mi13 says:

    I love that o many assume everyone is against gay Marriage. Used to be “Everyone” was against desegregation…remember that?

    1. H HA HA says:

      Yea and we see where that got us

  6. Working Poor says:

    The fact that people form a bias towards gay rights is evidence in and of itself that this is a civil rights issue. If people, weren’t prejudiced about gay rights, then it would not be an issue.

    Personally, I really don’t care if my nextdoor neighbors are gay or not. It’s not my business what they do in the bedroom, just like it isn’t anyone else’s business what I do with my girlfriend in our bedroom.

    What is bothersome is that we have all these laws that prevent people from being singled out based on race, religion, ethnicity, and disability. The reason why those laws exist is that some people (particularly some of the posters on this website) draw baseless conclusions on those facts. Those same people draw baseless conclusions against gays as well, and that is exactly why they need the same protection as other minorities.

    So keep airing your biggoted opinions, that will only help get gay rights passed quicker.

  7. Leonard says:

    Better watch out! The last time this issue got hot and heavy O’Malley tried to slip the 15 cents increase on the Gas tax in while we were all going rounds about gay marriage! He probably has a doozie in the works right now.

  8. robertryan says:

    Fudge packers & coons are one & the same. Civil rights applies to all creeds, races, & gender period!

  9. Marlene says:

    Why spend money on Gay Right bill..This is so wrong.. Our country is in debt . Let’s spend ou money on something more important..

  10. Ernie says:

    “Why spend money on Gay Right bill..This is so wrong.. Our country is in debt . Let’s spend ou money on something more important..”

    Because the government wants to distract people with these moral issues so they can bend us over and f*ck us some other way. Usually by taking our money.

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