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Prominent Baltimore Clergy Gathered To Speak Against Same-Sex Marriage

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PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—In these final days before the election there’s a renewed push to influence African-American voters in the same-sex marriage debate. Many are those are considered to be on the fence.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports the final four days of the election campaign are expected to be intense.

Same-sex marriage supporters aim to hit home with a new TV ad.

“Question 6 strengthens protections for our churches and guarantees the civil right to commit to the one you love,” an ad says.

Traditional marriage supporters are aiming at the pews.

Among the pastors saying no to same-sex marriage are the leaders of well known Baltimore churches, including Rev. Frank Reid at Bethel A.M.E., Empowerment Temple Pastor Jamal Bryant and Bishop Clifford Johnson of Mt. Pleasant Church and Ministries.

They disagree with the NAACP that same-sex marriage is a civil right and with those who redefine marriage from the one-man, one-woman definition in the Bible.

“We choose to love those who are gay and lesbian members and brothers and sisters, but we also have to choose to stand up for God and our own belief,” Rev. Reid said.

Several polls show same-sex marriage is gaining acceptance among African-American voters. In its final push to influence those voters, marriage equality rolls out the big guns.

“Presidents Obama and Clinton stand with us,” an ad says.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance throws out big numbers.

The group’s estimate of the number of people it represents: “750,000? Close to a million people,” an ad says.

“And just understand these are people that vote in Maryland. These are voting citizens throughout our state,” said Derek McCoy, Maryland Marriage Alliance chairman.

And both sides of the issue are trusting those voters to decide what’s right.

“They’re not the sort of people who try and impose their own religious views on others,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Given that this is the last weekend before the election, it’s not hard to imagine what the faithful will be hearing from the pulpit on Sunday.

Maryland’s same-sex marriage law passed the General Assembly this year and was petitioned to referendum on the general election ballot.

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