WASHINGTON – A "new rainbow coalition" made up of influential Christian pastors and leaders gathered on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon to declare support for the traditional definition of marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act in response to President Obama's recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's support of repealing DOMA.
Organizer Bishop Harry R. Jackson. Jr., senior pastor of the 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in the Washington, D.C.-area, and other pastors described themselves as a "new rainbow coalition" in reference to the different races, denominations, and political parties they represent as they all come together to support traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
"We need to create a marriage culture in the church," said Jackson to The Christian Post after the press conference, noting that congregations need to strengthen and defend marriage from the many threats against it.
"I envision a pincer movement where you want to protect marriage on the one hand, and on the other hand you got to strengthen, build up, and promote it by preaching, intervention, and modeling."
The press event at the "Senate Swamp" was held after "The Defense of Marriage Summit: the Impact of Presidential Decisions on Social Institutions" this week, which produced the Stand for Marriage document. All the pastors and Christian leaders at the summit signed the document that states, "Marriage is intended for one man and one woman in a life-long covenant. One of the essential purposes of marriage is to carry on the human race through childbearing, another purpose of marriage is to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the Bridegroom and the Church as the Bride."
Jackson recalled to CP that when President Obama publicly voiced his support for gay marriage he almost immediately started getting calls and found himself debating African Americans like Al Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson, and several other politically progressive figures.
"And what that said to me was that the discussion was an attempt to make the discussion…as though there were some parity between the radical liberal element in the black church and 85 to 90 percent of people that believe in traditional marriage," he remarked.
While many commentators feel that the president's remarks on same-sex marriage will have little impact on the upcoming presidential election, Jackson felt the statement would alienate his former base.
"I think that with the president, he has poor performance on the economics for blacks and Hispanics especially," said Jackson. "So I think what you are going to find is that there is not really much grounds for those groups who might gravitate towards him personally for support."
It was announced at the rally that a letter would be sent to President Obama, signed by the leaders gathered, in protest of the administration's support for same-sex marriage. In addition to that, for Father's Day Sunday, Jackson stated that about 100,000 churches would be called upon to read statements declaring their support for traditional marriage.
Other speakers who spoke at the event included Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego's Senior Pastor Jim Garlow, and Rock Church International in Virginia Beach, Virginia's Bishop Anne Gimenez.