Eric Hogue

Today, the real civil-rights community spoke out.   African-American pastors and citizens gathered outside the State Capitol in SacramentoMonday to speak in support of marriage between a man and a woman, and to straightforwardly oppose AB 19, the “same-sex marriage license” bill.


Fifty black Californians stood shoulder-to-shoulder at a noon news conference which openly criticized the California NAACP for selling out on marriage and for ignoring the overwhelming number of African-Americans in Californiawho support keeping marriage for a man and a woman.

“The California NAACP does not speak for us,” said Craig DeLuz, a Sacramentoblack community leader and a former member of the Sacramento NAACP chapter.    “Unlike the NAACP, we understand that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Another speaker was Minister Alfred Walker of Calvary Christian Center in Sacramento, the largest multi-ethnic church in California.  “I am appalled as an African-American male to have all of the other protected groups being added to an Act that was originally designed to protect the rights of African-Americans,” he said, referring to the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act.

Brenda Bennett, head of the Sacramento Alliance for Civil Rights, which hosted today’s news conference, said, “We are offended when the homosexual community compares what they do to the civil rights that were fought for in this country for minorities.  It is not a civil right for anyone to be married.  Marriage is a privilege.  It is not a right.  The civil rights movement was not fought for that issue.”

Immediately following the news conference, the citizens entered the State Capitol Buildingto lobby members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which has tentatively scheduled AB 19 for an April 26 hearing.   The “gay marriage license” bill is coauthored by 25 state legislators, all Democrats.