Al Sharpton Condemns Churches That Supported Proposition 8

The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Atlanta on Sunday and spoke out against the Mormon Church and evangelicals who fought to pass Proposition 8:

Sharpton“It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when the they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being delegated into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners. There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you.”

According to the Southern Voice, “Sharpton came to Atlanta to celebrate the launch of the Alliance of Affirming Faith-Based Organizations.”

He added: “I am tired of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they’re preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade…We know you’re not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you. We would have heard from you when people were starving in California, when they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When [alleged Ponzi schemer Bernie] Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren’t there you had nothing to say. … But all of a sudden when Proposition 8 came out you had so much to say, but since you stepped in the rain, we gonna step in the rain with you.”


Sharpton decries churches pushing Prop. 8 [southern voice]


  1. MissNee says

    Exactly. You need more people saying this. Don’t get all picky about who says what. If they’re behind the cause, then al-fucking-right!!!

  2. will says

    Wow. Now he IS preaching to the choir.
    I do, however, wish we would have attempted to get him to say this
    three months ago

  3. Marc says

    The more that I hear from this “crackpot”, the more I like him! He makes some damned relevant points! :-)

  4. RB says

    Well, he finally said something intelligent, well composed, logical and true! I am shocked to say the very least!!! While I am thankful for his current words of wisdom, I still believe him to be a anti-Semitic race baiter.

    I suppose that a blind squirrel does find a nut every once in a while because short of this statement, I do not think that the good Rev has every said anything useful. But for now, thanks AL!

  5. Asher says

    Rev. Sharpton has (to my knowledge) always been on the right side of ‘our’ issues. He was vocally in favor of same-sex marriage when he ran for president 5 years ago.

    Yes, the Tawana Brawley mess was a misstep, but it was a long time ago.

    Count me as a fan.

  6. Nick says

    “I do not think that the good Rev has every said anything useful.”

    That’s only because you’re an idiot.

  7. nikki says

    yawn. the ‘race pimp’ gig is drying up so he’s moonlighting as a ‘gay pimp’ for extra face time. whatever. al sharpton is and has always been a charlatan. don’t be fooled.

  8. Tara says

    It’s not surpringto hear that he’s for prop 8 since a racist. No surprse, as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t expect anything else from him.Stay in your own church and brainwash them and leave others alone.

  9. says

    “It’s not surpringto hear that he’s for prop 8 since a racist.”

    Except, Tara, he isn’t for Prop 8. You might want to check your reading/writing comprehension skills. Whatever anyone might think of him otherwise, he’s on our side on gay civil rights issues.

  10. jimmyboyo says

    Well said Mr Sharpton

    Strangely I am not surprised. Many have an image of Sharpton in their head that is quite different from the reality. Despite totally disagreeing with the whole religion thing, he makes a lot of sense more often than people realize.

    My fave of his will always be when he talked about unfair trade practices “…..unfair trade practices? I’m the product of unfair trade practices.”

  11. David T says

    LOL! His summary is the best I’ve heard on this subject. He deserves praise for this comment. If you disagree with him on other issues, um, that’s called real life.

  12. Jim says

    Wow! This is the clearest and strongest language I have ever heard Rev. Sharpton use and he is rocking my world! You go!! I hope to hear MUCH more from him addressing the “christian” community regarding their hateful practices. Amen!!!

  13. willy says

    ERNIE: Why to you have to criticize TARA in that way? Just because she said something you don’t agree with doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to lash out for something that could have simply been written quickly. It’s my understanding that this site isn’t to be used to release underlying anger issues. You could have simply said you didn’t agree with her thoughts.

  14. Jose in Portland says


    While I agree with you that Ernie may have been a little harsh on his criticism of Tara, I don’t think it’s because he just disagreed with her. She said “It’s not surpring to hear that he’s for prop 8 ,” while the ENTIRE article is about how he’s AGAINST Prop 8. It’s not an opinion, its a fact.

    And these quotes by Sharpton are great because it can really get one thinking and hopefully if enough Prop * supporters, it can get them thinking as well. Maybe not enough to support gay marriage, but hopefully enough to get them to focus their energy on more important issues and stop messing with our lives.

  15. says

    I’m hardly angry at Tara, Willy. Tara is the one who seemed angry in the comment, and angry–unless I misunderstood the remark, in which case my apologies–based on a complete misunderstanding of what Sharpton actually said. I can’t disagree with someone who clearly hadn’t bothered to read the post before they lashed out at someone who’s on our side.

  16. says

    I’m shocked that these words actually came out of Al Sharpton’s mouth. Seriously, all these years I’ve thought he was an absolutely horrible human being, a racist, a loudmouth. I’m absolutely dumbfounded.

  17. says

    I’m shocked that these words actually came out of Al Sharpton’s mouth. Seriously, all these years I’ve thought he was an absolutely horrible human being, a racist, a loudmouth. I’m absolutely dumbfounded.

  18. chuck36 says

    Wow… Bravo!!

    The Christians in Germany use to say… “It’s okay because their JEWS” in America, the Christians said “It’s okay because their black” and even pulled out their bibles to promote their evil, then the “christians” fled to the streets again with their bibles, when black men wanted to marry white women, the said it was against Gods will.

    Now, in 2009, they’re at it again, today they say… “It’s okay because they’re GAY!”

    Well, I’m here to tell you, it was not okay then and it surely is not okay NOW!!

    I think it’s remarkable that we are fighting two wars overseas to supposedly protect our rights and freedoms and yet someone like Rick Warren can advocate the TAKING AWAY OF RIGHTS FROM AMERICAN CITIZENS and gets invited to Washington. (???)

    Yes, I understand and invite seeing different views and I fully understand the Gay marriage issue, but when you ADVOCATE the taking AWAY of rights from AMERICAN citizens, then you’ve crossed the line.

    Now, I might be a tad naive, but I thought it was illegal. Saddam threatened the rights of Americans and we went to WAR, the Mormon church does and the likes of Rick Warren and we do nothing??? I want no part of that and I’m shocked you and Barack support such behavior.

    Sure, I understand freedom of speech as well as the freedom to practice your faith, but when you go after the rights of another AMERICAN CITIZEN, you should be in JAIL.

    For me this is not seeing different sides of a issue, because it will NEVER be acceptable to take away rights from AMERICANS.

    We just voted in the United States of America to TAKE AWAY RIGHTS FROM CITIZENS of the United States and then YOUR husband invites Rick Warren to Washington… again, a man that has openly talking about his advocation for taking away rights from certain Americans. Shameful and what kind of a message does this send to our children?

    To take part in what will happen in Washington with Rick Warren in my mind would be like inviting Hitler over for dinner or David Duke for a bbq. I want no part of it. And what will history say about such?

    I find it amazing Saddam threatens the rights of Americans and we go to WAR!!!… Rick Warren does it on multiple occasions and gets invited to Washington. (???)

    Talk about a judgment call.

  19. DJ says

    Its quite strange that Im seeing comments from white gay men about how racist they believe Al Sharpton is,despite the FACT that he is own the Gay & Lesbian side.However,Ive read nothing but racist comments from plenty of the white gay readers/commenters of this blog about black people.Classic case of the pot calling the kettle black (No pun intended)

    Ignorant,Ignorant people.MM MM MMM!!!

  20. Brandon says

    DJ: I hear you, but should we really be surprised? I mean how often do folks go on rants about how they “know” about the homophobia in the black community when they are not black. America is still very segregated. I don’t see that much true “mixing.” And while there may be some gay white men that are informed about black american culture, I truly don’t think that’s a large group. Folks hear some rappers say something, watch MTV or BET, or see or read some comments from a few black people, and suddenly they “know” black people. And the funny thing is that the PRO GAY black people like Sharpton? Oh, they are a total surprise. Sharpton ran for President years ago and supported gay marriage and somehow this is a surprise?

    Of course, people know Sharpton as the guy from the Brawley case. Let’s forget that this was years ago.

    And let’s not be critical of the media that often runs to Jackson or Sharpton for soundbites instead of actually engaging with them on issues of substance. Ridiculous.

    Perhaps if we had more critical thinkers, you wouldn’t see this response.

    As it is, well, I wish I could say I was surprised. I’m not.

  21. Rey says

    In my liberal wonky fantasy world, Kucinich would be my President and Sharpton the VP.

    People bag on Sharpton so much. And it’s mostly white people (or black people that work in my very white office). It’s so ignorant when you actually look at his message and not how it’s filtered down through the media. To me, he’s similar to Joe Biden – he’s quite capable and experienced, and although he can go off at the mouth, it comes from a genuinely open heart and a passion to help.

  22. Paul R says

    In 2004 there was some online quiz that asked you questions about your views on various issues, then came up with the candidate who best matched them.

    I was shocked to find that I best matched Sharpton, followed by Kucinich. I’d never considered myself that liberal. So this is just a pleasant surprise.

    Yes, Sharpton loves media attention. What public figure doesn’t? That’s why they’re public figures.

  23. Cadence says

    Sharpton has always spoken out against homophobia. He even included a chapter on it in one of his books. But, I guess some on this site wouldn’t know that, since the message given out by too many gay websites is that all Black people are homophobic. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me how could so many ammendments banning marriage equality be passed since White people aren’t as homophobic as Black people.

  24. Don says

    During his mayoral campaign during the 90’s, I remember being at Champs Bar in Chelsea one weekend with some friends when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to see Rev. Al Sharpton’s hand extended towards me – we shook hands and talked for about a minute. I thought it was fantastic for him to be campaigning there. Being one of the few black folks in the establishment, I was grateful that he was showing me the love, unlike some homophobic afro-am folks whose faces turn from shock to disdain to disgust when they realize you’re gay.

    Al is great at what he does – bringing media attention to those issues affecting poor minority communities of color, particularly police brutality. You may hate him and what he has to say but recognize game when you see it…

    And for those who liken the current civil rights struggle for gays to that of blacks, where is the media agitator/rabble rouser for our fight? If someone were to step up every time there was violence against gays (or some other facet of our struggles) it would push our cause further. Both movers and shakers are needed to progress forward.

  25. TANK says

    This guy impresses me and can make me laugh…mean feats, esp. for a man of god. I loved his exchange with hitchens. Despite his detractors and his mistakes (the brawley imbroglio), his core messages are accessible, funny, and spot on. I’ll take Rev. Al over jesse jackson any goddamn day of the week. He’s smarter and realizes the message of an injustice somewhere is an injustice everywhere in a way that makes him the genuine heir to that crown. And he has the older showmanship long since replaced by the tacky demagoguery and flat out insanity of today’s “preachers”.

  26. noah says

    Ditto what DJ and Brandon said.

    Everyone who is so busy calling Sharpton a racist fails to provide any evidence of that. Sharpton is far from perfect but he has done much good.

    Sharpton has been a supporting voice for GLBT rights for some time. Sharpton and Jesse Jackson organized pro-gay education programs to help explain the position of gays to fellow Christians.

    As for trying to dump on Sharpton for Prop 8, the ignorance is astounding. The question is why did the No on 8 campaign not see Sharpton out considering his past work on behalf of gays?

  27. Tim says

    Keep on preaching on it Rev Al, the truth they will igonore as well, but, keep on telling it!

    And cadence, great question, and, I wonder if anyone here will reply??

  28. jimmyboyo says

    Paul R



    I did that poll and found out I matched Kucinich 1st and Sharpton 2nd. better said, they matched my views. i wasn’t surprised though because I have always found Sharpton to be “spot on” on many things. Except of course the religion thing 😉 hey, nobody is perfect.

  29. jimmyboyo says


    It was an injustice for the No on prop 8 leadership to approach Sharpton. He would have helped a ton

  30. whatever says

    Gee, I wanted to make a comment to thank Sharpton for speaking out again and how the LGTB community should be seeking his help to help stop these anti- marriage equality amendments but obviously according to DJ, Brandon, and Noah that would mean that I’m a racist because they “read nothing but racist comment from the white gay readers of this blog”. Man, is my AA husband going to be surprised.

  31. JTlvr says

    The irony of Rev. Sharpton’s statement is that the hypocrisy goes both ways. Civil rights and religious leaders cannot cry about disparities and social problems while simultaneously deny the rights of homosexuals.

    Similarly, the gay community cannot cry for equal rights and not support the various movements to end racial discrimination and other social inequalities. As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    We, members of the gay community should A) applaud Rev. Sharpton’s enlightened comments and his courage, and stop criticizing him, and B) cooperate our efforts into fighting all forms of injustice and discrimination, not just own singular causes. It’s the right thing to do, on both sides.

    When you join hands with other causes, you win allies…

  32. Derrick from Philly says

    Both Reverend Sharpton and Reverend Jackson have been pro-gay civil rights long before most religious leaders and politicians (atleast that I know of). If any gay person wasn’t aware of this it is because these two black preachers’ support was INVISIBLE to you. Only when a black leader/celebrity says something anti-gay do you pay them any attention–only “negative” black people are visible to you.

    Reverend Jackson and Reverend Sharpton must support gay civil rights out of a sense of justice because obviously their support will never be appreciated by many in the gay world.

    And their support for gay people only brings them criticism and ridicule from many conservative black preaching idiots. The same treatment they receive from many gays. These two men along with Reverend Joseph Lowery support gay people’s rights–yet y’all treat them no differently than you treat Rick Warren–with less respect than you give Rick Warren…and we know why.

    And thank you, JIMMYBOYO, for explaining why we didn’t hear Al Sharpton’s voice in the “NO on Prop. 8″ campaign. Judging from many of the comments here, he probably wasn’t welcomed by many gays….and we know why.

    As long as racism within the gay communities of America is not admitted to and tackled, then Gay Americans demand for full civil rights should get the same treatment.

  33. Derrick from Philly says

    Yes, WHATEVER, the racist comments are the ones that get the attention (just like homophobic black ministers are the ones who get the attention from white gays), and I guess that’s what the writers intended.

    Us black homos are only human too, WHATEVER.

  34. Marty says

    I am hoping this the first of many public figures who are going to call out supposed Christians for what they themselves do not do when it comes to the work proscribed in their Bible — charity, feeding the poor, tending to the sick, forgiveness, not judging, brotherhood, loving thy neighbor as thyself, all those lessons that most of them seem to be skipping right over as they use religion to be hateful, intolerant, judgmental, and (to me) flabbergasting.

  35. Brandon says

    Whatever: one of the most challenging things for me on Towleroad is that people incessantly read into what people write and not what people ACTUALLY write. Please point out where in my post I suggested that THANKING Sharpton for speaking out would mean that one is a racist.

    Please point out where I said that gay white people who are clueless about Sharpton’s stance on gay issue are racist.

    You can’t because I never made either allegation.

    I did say that I believe that the responses to Sharpton are in part the result of a lack of critical thinking. I respectfully submit that your response to my post is evidence of this point.

    I’ll add two more thoughts. First, having an African American spouse doesn’t necessarily mean that you are clued in black culture or that you have a dialogue with your partner about race. You may have those discussions, but most of the black-white couples that I have known don’t. I want to be wrong on that point, but my experience demonstrates otherwise. (I hope that you guys do.) Second, while I don’t expect you to be an expert on African American culture, I would expect you to possess a greater than average awareness of issues of race. You should know, therefore, that a charge or racism is no laughing matter. Given that, I am surprised that you’d throw around the r-word so capriciously.

  36. Mercurys Wings says

    “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
    –Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Today (Jan. 15) would have been the 80th birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s ironic that we’re still talking about equal rights when we haven’t even fully tackled the social ills he fought against: poverty, discrimination, racism, inner city blight, etc.

    Seems to me, the best way to win legal protection from same sex discrimination and to gain gay marraige is to fight injustice as a whole. Stop attacking each other and do it.

  37. willy says

    Ernie: I apologize for making assumptions. i guess I did exactly what i was accusing you of in the first place. Sorry if I offended you.

  38. WHATEVER says

    Thank you Derek from Philly. I agree. I just get so angry when I, with others, get broad brushed as racist. I know when you read the racist crap you get angry too and I don’t blame you. You can believe that when a white person says a racist slur in front of me they are corrected on the spot. And that’s what it’s going to take, each one of us in the Gay community speaking out on it. We all should not let the haters create a divide in the community.
    Brandon, I said that mainly because you agreed with DJ’s who did say how he “read nothing but racist comment from the white gay readers of this blog”. It’s DJ’s comment that really made me mad. And you did say: “ DJ: I hear you, but should we really be surprised?” That sure does sound like you agreed with DJ that ALL the white commenter’s are racist. And that makes me feel like anything I say is going to be construed as racist. And honestly being called names doesn’t even bother me anymore. I’ve been called more names than I can remember. You get called a whole bunch more ugly words when you’re a mixed couple.

  39. mike says

    I have been an admirer of the Rev. Sharpton for many years now. He gets a bum rap in the press because he is so outspoken. I can say confidently that I would want Rev. Sharpton in my corner were I ever to find myself in some dust-up with the police. Al Sharpton has been a supporter of gays and lesbians for man years, and an outspoken one at that! When he ran for president in 2004, he came to the LGBT Center in NYC. During a Q&A period, he was asked what his response would be if a gay man approached him and told him he was attractive. Mr. Sharpton’s response was, “At my weight, I would be FLATTERED!” The place roared with laughter and Rev. Sharpton got a loud ovation. He’s a good and decent man and I’m glad that he has spoken up again for us. Not only that, he has done a very good job of trashing all those “christian” hypocrites in CA who voted for Prop. 8. Go, Rev. Al!

  40. Brandon says

    WHATEVER: I see where you could make that leap based upon your explanation. Respectfully though, I don’t think that makes sense.

    DJ said “However,Ive read nothing but racist comments from plenty of the white gay readers/commenters of this blog about black people.”

    DJ DID NOT say ALL white commenters are racist. He said he’s read “racist comments from PLENTY of white gay readers.” (My emphasis.)

    While DJ’s comments were provocative and you might disagree with them, let’s no accuse him of something he didn’t do.

    That said, I agree with the spirit of your post in challenging the notion that not all white people/posters are racist.

  41. Paul R says

    Jimmyboyo and Derrick, I’m not sure what effect Sharpton would have had if he’d been vocal about Prop 8. At first I thought he’s too divisive to be much help, like Derrick said. But he might have swayed some black voters to vote no, along with a few religious folks of any color. He’s mainly divisive among whites, so most white voters who were going to vote yes probably wouldn’t have cared what he had to say.

    I think his effect would have been slightly positive, but who knows. Even in California there was little coverage of donors to and opponents of Prop 8 until after the election. I only knew about Brad Pitt and other highly visible opponents because of Towleroad. There was a lot more coverage of the supporters, such as the Mormons. Not sure why that was or how it affected voting.

  42. RB says

    Thanks Nick! You continue to show your intelligence here by your name calling. Thats ok, time to go back to work. Your break at the Gap is up.

  43. Tara says

    I want to apolgize to anybody I might have offended regardng Al Sharpton.I though that he was pro 8 and that really pissed me off.Somebody e mailed me and straightened me out on it.I am sill not a big fan but I respect him for standing up aginst this ridiculous proposition!Sorry Ernie.I made a mistake.Iam a straight proud mother of a lesbian and I was just checking out Rev Ed Bacon and it led to the Al Sharpton clip.Sorry again!

  44. Derrick from Philly says

    Thanks, TARA. A little humility and humanity mean a lot more than being stubborn. I got to learn that.

  45. CK says

    Have to give props to Rev. Al for speaking up. Better late than never, the comment was spot on!!

    And also, Tara, a lot of us could learn from you humbly acknowledging an honest mistake… Your daughter is lucky to have someone like you have raised her! Not enough of us fess up when we know we were wrong.

  46. says

    Thanks, Tara. I wasn’t personally offended, but since sometimes trolls intentionally misrepresent what pro-gay people say on here for their own political purposes, my response was a bit catty. In our rush to judge, we all make mistakes, myself very much included. Best wishes, hope you’ll keep visiting the site. Moms like you are much needed in the fight for civil rights.