Watch CBS News

Opinion: Rev. William Owens Confronts Barack Obama On Same-Sex Marriage

The Right Politics

The Reverend William Owens is the president and founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors who has been a constant thorn in President Barack Obama’s side since our commander-in-chief gave his blessings to same-sex marriage a couple of months ago. At first, Rev. Owens appeared to be a spectacle that wouldn’t be taken seriously because of his outlandish views on same-sex “anything”, let alone same-sex marriage. But there are some assertions from this self-appointed leader of the “faith and family” values that are worth contemplating.

On the wrong side of Owens’ argument, he has claimed in the recent past that all homosexual persons – gays and lesbians – were molested as children. How he knows this for sure has not been established and likely never will be since many are saying that isn’t true. He has also made headlines by stating that two people of the same sex having sex together is the same as a person having sex with a dog. Again, how Owens arrives at his bestiality claim is not known – and quite honestly, if he could prove it, most people would probably say “T.M.I.” (too much information), and wouldn’t really want to hear how he arrived at that conclusion.

However, at the NAACP annual convention in Houston, Texas a couple of weeks ago – and since then – Reverend William Owens has made some interesting, non-outlandish statements, that are making people think again about President Barack Obama and the upcoming election.

Initially, at the NAACP convention, Owens has said that President Barack Obama is taking African-Americans for granted in this election. The NAACP convention was a most appropriate place for Owens to make the assertion because the president wasn’t even there. Instead of President Obama addressing his fellow-African-Americans at the high-profile event, he sent Vice President Joe Biden. While Biden may have been a success with the crowd, it wasn’t like having the leader of the free world speak in person to the audience.

Though the White House schedule showed a near-empty page of obligations on Obama’s calendar the day Biden spoke to the NAACP, the reason for Obama not attending was that he was simply too busy. Some accepted Obama’s excuse for not being there while many others did not. Beyond not accepting his excuse, there were those who found his absence to be a slap in the face from one African-American to the others. Then there were those who thought he was trying to avoid any possible confrontations regarding his lack of accomplishments for American blacks in the past four years. Such concerns, logically, could have confronted Obama at that convention.

The other concern brought up by the Rev. Owens and his followers is the most strikingly interesting as it appears to be an extremely legitimate complaint. Owens is saying that Obama is linking his politically-motivated same-sex agenda to the civil rights movement of the past. Owens points out that – beyond taking African-Americans for granted in this election campaign by assuming they will show up to the polls on November 6 and vote for him – he is also abusing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic civil rights movement. Owens says that Obama is attempting to change the meaning of what Dr. King and his followers were very successfully advancing in the early 1960s.

Last week, while speaking before the National Press Club, Owens – a Tennessee pastor who marched for civil rights back in the day – got some resounding approval from the African-American community when he said: “I didn’t march one inch, one foot, one yard, for a man to marry a man, and a woman to marry a woman.”

Owens takes great issue with Obama’s linkage of Dr. King’s civil rights movement of the past to the current gay rights movement regarding same-sex marriage. And someone likely should. Owens says that King embraced traditional religion, and he strongly suggests that King would not want his civil rights’ mission altered as Obama is clearing trying to alter it.

If Obama wants to front a new civil rights revolution of his own concerning same-sex marriage in the 2000s, more power to him. But to fall back on the beliefs and ideals of Rev. Martin Luther King is not being honest – and Rev. Owens is reminding everyone of that fact. From what we saw back then and what has been analyzed since, that movement was strictly a movement for racial equality.

Though Owens most assuredly has his own issues with twisted claims regarding sexuality, he is right when making these two assertions. First, Obama is taking the nation’s African-Americans for granted. Owens believes that the blacks who realize they have been ignored during Obama’s time as president and during this election campaign will not turn out to vote this time. Like many, the Reverend clearly sees that the passion for an Obama presidency by many blacks has justifiably vanished. While blacks are still polled to be 95% for Obama, it doesn’t do him any good when they aren’t motivated to vote. Owens also tells it like it is when he says that the president has incorrectly attempted to alter Dr. King’s civil rights movement of the past for his own political agenda of the present – and he has no right to do that.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.