Getting up to speed on Friday's historic decision by the Iowa' Supreme Court that legalized gay marriage in the nation's heartland. Religious leaders across the Hawkeye State are criticizing the decision, including Iowa's most prominent black pastor. The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., pastor of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, received "a standing ovation Sunday as he denounced the court's decision", reports the Des Moines Register.
Ratliff, an outspoken critic of gay marriage, called on state
lawmakers to begin the process of amending the constitution to restrict
marriage to between a man and a woman. "We believe the homosexual lifestyle is wrong," he said. "But we invite homosexuals to the church, and invite them to repent."
Ratliff said the ruling contradicted God's word, and he cited a Bible passage from the Old Testament. The passage, according to some translations, says: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination."
Iowa becomes the third state—and first in the nation's heartland—to allow same-sex couples to wed. Even if Iowa legislators were to pass a resolution endorsing an anti-gay marriage amendment to the state's constitution, which is unlikely, the issue still could not be placed on the ballot until at least 2012.
Ratliff—who describes the ruling as "a perversion that opens the door to more perversions"—is the head of the Iowa/Nebraska chapter of the NAACP. As the president of the state chapter of the NAACP, the anti-gay reverend is at odds with the national body and leadership, which officially went on the record to opposing California's Proposition 8 and supports equal rights and protections for gays and lesbians. The anti-gay pastor elaborated on his intention to push for a constitutional same-sex marriage ban on the steps of the Iowa Supreme Court, reports Radio Iowa. "This is just one step of many," Ratliff says "We are going to continue to fight this thing because it is very important to the people of Iowa."
Not sure why opposing same-sex marriage is so "important" to Iowa's very small black population, which statistically lags its white neighbors in income, employment and housing. Sadly this is yet another case of a black pastor whose priorities are so irrelevant to his constituency.
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