samuel_green_web.jpgNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The leadership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church has condemned a false online report that the denomination has withdrawn support for President Barack Obama over his stance on same-sex marriage.

In a statement, Bishop Samuel Green Sr., president of the Council of Bishops, said the denomination does not endorse candidates for political office.

Green also said the denomination is not affiliated with a group called the Coalition of African-American Pastors which has called on Obama to renounce support for same-sex marriage.

The erroneous report was published on Christian news website but appeared to have been taken down.

Obama, a senator at the time, was a featured speaker at the AME Church’s 2008 general conference. Recently, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the 2012 conference in Nashville, receiving a standing ovation and enthusiastic cheers from a crowd of about 10,000.

After the speech, several attendees said they were not bothered by President Obama’s recent expression of support for same-sex marriage, although they believe homosexuality is a sin.

The Rev. Joseph Williams of Mobile, Ala., said he felt Obama’s statement about same-sex marriage had been misrepresented.

“He didn't say he was in favor of same-sex marriage; he said every person has a right to marry,” Williams said. “We still don't know how he feels about it personally.”

The AME Church has a longstanding position supporting marriage between a man and a woman that is based on their reading of the Bible, according to Jackie DuPont Walker, director of the denomination’s Social Action Commission.

Photo: Samuel Green