Springfield NAACP President Accepts National Organization's Support for Gay Marriage
The NAACP passed a resolution at a meeting of its board of directors over the weekend declaring its support for gay marriage. The organization's Springfield branch is headed by Reverend Talbert Swan, who is also a pastor at the Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ and has previously said he opposes gay marriage. But Swan says that his personal views are inconsequential to the NAACP's position, and that the resolution does not change any of the work he does with the organization.
"I think our own personal, theological perspective does not translate into civil law, and therefore, I think the NAACP board of directors had every right to make the decision which they made."
Reverend Swan says civil marriage is a civil right and that the NAACP's resolution is consistent with equal rights provided by the fourteenth amendment. However, he says his right to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds, and to not perform gay marriages in his church is still intact. He says there are many other things the church opposes for theological reasons, for which it would not support legal sanctions.
"My church is against drunkenness, but we wouldn't lobby for laws that prohibit folks from having the right to have a beer."
Swan's stance is consistent with Roslyn Brock, the NAACP's chair of the board of directors, who reiterated that the organization does not have an intent to "express how any place of worship should act in its own house."