Reverend Oliver White lost two-thirds of his congregation after coming out in support of marriage equality in 2005. His answer to a question about whether Martin Luther King would support marriage equality were he alive today:
I believe that in his heart, [MLK] would support it. But as far as his church was concerned, he would not risk saying that because it would divide him from his people. And I guess I can understand why more ministers don't want to divide their flocks. Just look at what happened to me!
But this is how I've always been. Growing up, I was the first one to climb to the highest part of tree — and fall out. I'm always the first one to jump in the water, even if I can't swim. But I'm still in the water. And I think many more will follow.
NPR recently addressed how various black churches treat gays.
(Photo: Conference of National Black Churches President Jacqueline L. Burton bows her head in prayer during the Congressional Black Caucus's Faith Leaders Summit at the Renaissance Hotel May 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.)