Prominent author challenges black religious leaders to support gay marriage

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Terry E. Hill

Courtesy of BlackPR.com

Through his books controversial writer Terry E. Hill is challenging ministers of color around the country to step forward and publicly declare their support for Gay marriage. Even though some have paid a high price for supporting gay marriage, their convictions and faith have outweighed the fear of challenging the status-quo.

Hill is the author of the popular and controversial Sunday Morning Trilogy. The first novel in the series, Come Sunday Morning, was released in 2011. The book caused an uproar in the Black faith community by publically tackling the topic of homophobia in a fictional mega-church based in Los Angeles, California.

“I was raised in the church so I speak from experience.” Hill said. “I am amazed, and embarrassed, that in 2012 gays and lesbians are still marginalized in the Black church and, on a regular basis, subjected to derogatory comments from the very pulpits they support with their tithes, talents and prayers.”

One of the most prominent ministers to publically support gay marriage is Reverend Amos C. Brown, pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco. Rev. Brown, a Baptist minister and board member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People stated it would be hypocritical for the 103 year old civil-rights organizations not to pass its recent resolution supporting marriage equality, reports APB News.

In Come Sunday Morning, Samantha Cleaveland arranges the assassination of her husband Pastor Hezekiah Cleaveland after learning of his homosexual affair. After his death Samantha is installed as pastor of New Testament Cathedral and the head of the international television ministry.

According to Hill, he wrote the book to shine a national spotlight on the hypocrisy that he has witnessed in the black church. “There would be no national or international gospel music industry if it were not for the talent of gays and lesbians. Usher boards would shrink, choirs would dwindle and the weekly donations would suffer significantly without the generosity, love and support of gays and lesbian.”

Another minister who has made national headlines on the subject of gays and religion is the Reverend Carlton Pearson. Rev. Pearson was ousted from his mega-church in Tulsa, Oklahoma for teaching that Muslims, Buddhists, and homosexuals go to heaven. The larger faith community has however rallied around Pearson and many are now embracing his teaching of inclusion.

Although Hill’s books are fiction they contain enough truth and realism that they have resonated with many who are aware of the double standard in many churches and are supportive of a more evolved and inclusive approach to homosexuality. The second installment in the Sunday Morning Trilogy is scheduled for release in June 2012. In When Sunday Comes Again, Samantha out maneuvers all who challenge her and expands the ministry into one of the largest in the country.

Hill comments, “Even though the books are fiction my intent in writing them was to spark a national dialog on this very important issue. We can’t continue to pretend that gays and lesbians are not important and valuable members of the faith community. We need to acknowledge they are entitled to the same rights and privileges, and to be treated with the same dignity, as all other members. I am proud of pastors like Reverend Brown and Reverend Pearson. They are the forward looking thinkers of our time and are quickly emerging as the new leaders of the Black Church.”

More about Terry E. Hill can be found at www.terryehill.com.

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