Supporters of same-sex marriage in Maryland are enlisting prominent African American faith leaders in their efforts to get voters to approve the issue in the upcoming referendum.
Many African American churches in the state have led the church against the legalization of same-sex marriage, arguing it over the turns of traditional views that only a man and a woman should be married.
"We've assembled African American pastors from around the country and across the state of Maryland to dispel the myth that all African Americans pastors are opposed to the idea of marriage equality," says Rev. Delmon Coates, the pastor of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Md. "Fundamentally the issue of marriage equality is a public policy issue and not a matter of theology. And in a pluralistic democracy, we have a right to our beliefs, but we don't have a right to impose our personal theological beliefs on others as a matter of public policy."
Coates says the Civil Marriage Protection Act provides for religious freedom, and does not force religious institutions to perform marriages that are against their beliefs.
The same-sex marriage question will be number six on the ballot in November.