RR Freak Out over Obama Support for Marriage Equality

by Dan Quinn

President Obama’s declaration Wednesday that he supports marriage equality for same-sex couples has religious-righters practically foaming at the mouth. Here are just a few of the comments from right-wing extremists in Texas.

Dave Welch of the Houston Area Pastor Council says the president is an enemy of God:

“When marriage is everything, marriage is nothing. Obama and his radical allies of the sexual diversity agenda cannot redefine marriage, they can only undefine it and destroy it. Our prayer and commitment is that the people of this nation will continue to make it clear that we will not allow enemies of God and His design of marriage and family to destroy it on our watch. President Obama today not only came out against marriage, he came out against God.”

Steve Riggle, a Welch ally and senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Houston, went for a two-fer — attacking President Obama as well as Houston Mayor Annise Parker (already one of Riggle’s favorite targets):

“In November, the people need to speak once again, overwhelmingly, and tell President Obama by not giving him another term that we want our leader to believe in and support traditional marriage. In addition, since Houston Mayor Annise Parker has not only refused to honor the will of the people of Houston regarding their overwhelming support of traditional marriage, but has now as our mayor expressed jubilation at President Obama’s support for gay marriage, it may be that the people of Houston should consider adding her to the November ballot by the process of recall.”

Dwight McKissic, an African-American pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington who in 2005 suggested that God sent Hurricane Katrina to “purify” New Orleans because of tolerance for homosexuality, said the president’s announcement was bad for African-American churches and parents:

“President Obama has betrayed the Bible and the Black Church with his endorsement of same-sex marriage. The Bible is crystal clear on this subject, and the Black Church strongly opposes same-sex marriage. His endorsement is an inadvertent attack on the Christian Faith… This means that parents are now going to have an extremely difficult time teaching their children that marriage biblically and traditionally is between a man and a woman, when the President that many love and admire is now on record endorsing sodomy. This is painful and shameful. The Black Church should galvanize, mobilize and address this matter with the same (if not greater) intensity, velocity and resolve as we did the Civil Rights Movement. If we don’t, our children and grandchildren will pay a far greater price in suffering from a governmental sanction of same-sex marriage than we would have under segregation.”

Jonathan Saenz, a lobbyist for Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family, was so agitated that he told one reporter he “absolutely” agreed that marriage is a states’ rights issue — but then suggested that a federal constitutional amendment is necessary to keep states from, well, having the right to decide for themselves:

“I think this is something you should see decided at the state level, but not exclusively at the state level.”

OK. Sure. He’s “for” states’ rights — except when he’s not. And too bad for the same-sex families who live in states where their marriages and civil unions are already legally recognized, right? Just another example of how, at its core, the religious right is anti-freedom.