With money from
evangelicals second only to donations from Mormons in the
successful effort to pass California's Prop. 8,
the Reverend Richard Cizik's resignation Thursday
from the National Association of Evangelicals after
publicly supporting same-sex unions highlights the
divide between conservative churches and gay interests.
Richard Cizik spoke in support of gay civil unions during a
December 2 broadcast of Fresh Air on National
Public Radio and said his attitude toward LGBT people
organization was quick to distance itself from
Cizik. He has become an increasingly outspoken opponent of
some of the association's positions in recent years --
in particular, its stand on the environment and global
Irene Monroe, in Cambridge, Mass., said that as more
stories like this hit the mainstream media, the easier it
will be for progressive theologians to make the case
for marriage equality.
"While the NAE
has quickly distanced themselves from Cizik,
more clerics like Cizik will want to distance themselves
from the NAE because they now know [the organization
is] going against the Word of God -- their Bible," she
told Advocate.com on Friday. "Our work as
LGBTQ religious activists is to embrace
and applaud Cizik for his courage and to begin a
dialogue with him on how to reach more evangelicals for our
Leith Anderson, a Minneapolis-area pastor who serves as
president of the evangelical group, said Cizik's
resignation was necessary.
organizations that speak to controversial issues are going
to have critics," Anderson told the Associated Press.
"What was different this time was our individuals and
organizations felt there was a loss of credibility for
him clearly espousing our positions and values. When
you lose that, it's very difficult to reestablish.