Reverend William Owens, founder and president of The Coalition of African American Pastors, prepares to speak at a rally supporting the Marriage Protection Amendment in Upper Senate Park with black pastors from around the nation, organized by Owens and Bishop Harry Jackson, Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition.

The Coalition of African-American Pastors is protesting at the NAACP’s national convention in reaction the African-American civil rights organization’s support of gay marriage. The CAAP believes that the NAACP has abandoned its mission by endorsing marriage equality. The Huffington Post reports:

An organization of black clergy members traveled to the NAACP’s annual convention in Houston to protest the civil rights group’s recent decision to endorse same-sex marriage.

The Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), headed by Rev. William Owens of Memphis, Tenn., said that the NAACP had abandoned its core mission by supporting same-sex marriage.

“This is supposed to be an organization for black people who were beaten, who were mistreated and who were enslaved,” Owens told The Huffington Post. “You’re advocating for something that’s not normal, that’s not natural. It’s still out of line, it’s against moral law.”

“Gay marriage is leading us down a bad path,” Owens added. “Our young people are already hurt. They’re already damaged.”

Owens said that the NAACP should focus on issues like unemployment and education, and added that CAAP’s online petition in support of “traditional marriage” had garnered at least 5,000 signatures since the group held an initial press conference about its effort last week. He said that he doubted the civil rights group’s membership would have backed the resolution.

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