Radio Ads Urge African Americans to Oppose Anti-Gay Discrimination

People For the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers Leadership Council In Long-Term Project to Challenge Homophobia in Black Church & Communities

Three radio ads urging African Americans to oppose anti-gay discrimination begin running across California today. The ads are part of a long-term effort to challenge homophobia in the Black Church and African American communities that is being carried out by the African American Ministers Leadership Council, a project of People For the American Way Foundation.

The ads (text below) are beginning to air the same week that Rev. Kenneth Samuel, chair of the AAMLC's Equal Justice Task Force, is in California to speak with pastors and community leaders about the historic role of the Black Church in promoting justice. Samuel, who spoke at the Prophets for Justice event at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco on Sunday evening, will be conducting a workshop this coming weekend at the convention of the California NAACP.

"The justice-seeking witness of the Black Church is threatened from within by homophobia and an unwillingness to stand up for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters," said Rev. Kenneth Samuel. "We're in California as the debate over discrimination and equality has intensified since the state Supreme Court's decision upholding marriage equality. We are committed to bringing tough and loving conversations to African American churches and communities across the country."

People For the American Way Foundation is a nationwide organization that promotes progressive values and the constitutional principle of equality under the law. The African American Ministers Leadership Council supports, strengthens and mobilizes progressive clergy who encourage African American churches and communities to become more civically engaged and promote programs and policies that advance social justice.

"People For the American Way Foundation is committed to promoting justice everywhere," said Executive Vice President Sharon Lettman. "We are proud to work with clergy who are willing to take some heat for taking leadership. That's how change is made."

"Economics 101"

A lot of us are struggling to make ends meet. Soaring gas prices, foreclosures, outsourcing of our jobs. Politicians make bad decisions that we all pay for. But some people are trying to tell us the real threat to our families comes from gay couples trying to get married. Who are they kidding? Not me. It's wrong to support discrimination of any kind.

Listen to the ad:

"Barriers"

I'm excited about the chance for positive change this year. But while we break down the walls that divide, let's not leave any of our brothers and sisters behind. We know that gay people are part of our families and churches, so why would we tolerate them being discriminated against? Who are we to judge? Discrimination is wrong no matter what form it takes.

Listen to the ad:

"Supportive Dad"

My wife and I have been married for 35 years, and I'm grateful for every day. This year we're celebrating that my baby girl and the woman she loves were able to get the legal protections that only marriage can provide. I think it's wrong for the government to discriminate against loving and committed couples. It's wrong for our community to support discrimination. It's just wrong.

Listen to the ad:

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