Rev. Lee in hot water over Prop. 8 opposition

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is trying to remove its Los Angeles president, Rev. Eric P. Lee, over his support of gay marriage. It's reopening the rift over African American support of Proposition 8. Jennifer Steinhauer at the New York Times:

During the battle last fall over Proposition 8, an amendment to the State Constitution that banned same-sex marriage, the chapter’s president, the Rev. Eric P. Lee, was more than a tangential figure for the opposition. He was front and center at an opposition group’s large rally at City Hall and marched in the blazing sun for 15 miles in Fresno. Many other local African-American pastors prepared mailings featuring church leaders in support of the proposition and linking their views to Barack Obama, then the Democratic nominee for president.

Mr. Lee “was very helpful to us,” said Rick Jacobs, head of the Courage Campaign, a left-leaning political action group in Los Angeles that fought the initiative.

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Mr. Lee said that his opposition to Proposition 8 “created tension in my life I had never experienced with black clergy.”

“But it was clear to me,” he added, “that any time you deny one group of people the same right that other groups have that is a clear violation of civil rights and I have to speak up on that.”

City Council president Eric Garcetti has written a letter supporting Lee, and the SCLC's local board chairman, Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, says his board fully supports Lee.


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