william_owens.jpgMEMPHIS, Tenn. — Last week in Tampa the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) thanked the Republican Party for supporting traditional marriage in its party platform.

This week the group is attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. to push the party to which most CAAP pastors belong.

“We thank the GOP, for ensuring that at least one party is willing to stand up for the common sense, biblical understanding of marriage,” said the Rev. Williams Owens, president of CAAP, noting that the GOP’s party platform included “vigorous support” for marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“African-American voters have an understandable history of concern with many other GOP positions and attitudes. We call as well for an urgent new dialogue to address black concerns about poverty and education, as well as to address perceptions of the history of racism within America and with the GOP.

“We do this because it is good for America,” Owens said.

“But we also do it because it is not good for black Americans to remain the captive vote of only one party. Part of the reason President Obama, the son of our own community, the fulfillment of the dreams of our fathers, can ignore our values is that he is convinced he can take the black vote for granted. And so the concerns of black Christians need not be addressed in the same way he is visibly addressing the demands of homosexual leaders, Latino leaders and others.”

The group’s aim in Charlotte, he said, is “to continue to press our call that the Democratic Party, the party to which most CAAP pastors belong, stand with the black church on marriage.”

The Coalition of African-American Pastors is a self-described grass-roots movement of African-American Christians who believe in traditional family values such as supporting the role of religion in American public life, protecting the lives of the unborn and defending the sacred institution of marriage.