- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 28, 2004

Black ministers from across the country rallied yesterday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to support a constitutional amendment to ban homosexual “marriages.”

“We have come here because we are concerned our nation is in trouble morally,” said the Rev. Lyle Dukes of the Harvest Life Changers Church in Woodbridge, Va. “We have come to reaffirm the definition of marriage. … God defined marriage, and laws are supposed to be passed on morality. We have slipped from our spiritual foundation, and we’ve come to say it’s time to get back to God.”

The bipartisan coalition of about 50 black ministers representing 30,000 church members came to the District yesterday — the 41st anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic march on Washington and his “I Have a Dream” speech — to say the same-sex “marriage” movement is not a civil rights issue.

“We will come to Washington every week, and we will represent the interests of moral America,” said Star Parker, founder and president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, which sponsored the rally. “We will make sure people are informed when they go into the voting booth, so they will know who will stand up for [traditional] marriage.”

President Bush supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriages.” The Senate recently rejected such an amendment.

The morning rally and short speeches by the ministers — who were joined by Alan Keyes, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, a former Montgomery County resident, a former ambassador and a former presidential candidate — defined marriage as a union between one man and a woman and drew the attention of passersby, tourists and hecklers.

“I think we all understand elements of the [King] dream have been damaged,” said Mr. Keyes, who continued despite the heckling. “The root of the nightmare is not in money and material things. It’s the destruction of the black family. … Sadly, government programs aided and abetted in the destruction of the black family along with [negative] films directed at blacks.”

The Rev. William Turner of Pasadena, Calif., applauded the Bush administration for opposing same-sex “marriages” and said he corresponded with the president on the issue.

“President Bush is the man I believe will stand against same-sex marriages,” he said. “When morality falls, so does family. So we’ve come today to say the church is standing with the president.”

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