Bill Owens
Bill Owens of Coalition of African-American Pastors shilling for Trump. Owens is an anti-gay bigot who was in the employ of National Organization for Marriage for a number of years.

According to CBN, Trump met with a group of African-American pastors Monday to counter charges of racism.

Twenty or so pastors met with the president at the White House Monday afternoon to discuss issues in the African-American community. Afterward, Rev. Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, told media that the event was not a photo-op but a substantive, two-hour meeting in which the president did a lot of listening.

Coalition of African American Pastors was a front group of National Organization for Marriage.

Bill Owens received an annual grant of $35,000 from NOM. Bill Owens’ wife, Deborah Owens, was on the payroll for nearly five years “doing” what was seemingly a no-show job:

Brian S. Brown would dispatch CAAP to locales where same-sex marriage was under consideration. CAAP would give “Lifestyle Management” seminars.

In January, 2014 Brian S. Brown wrote:

In a particular way I acknowledge with heartfelt gratitude the work of the Coalition of African American Pastors, led by Reverend Bill Owens and his wonderful wife Deborah, with whom I have been able to work closely over the years and whose excellent work for the true legacy of the Civil Rights movement cannot be praised too highly.

I say the true legacy of the Civil Rights movement because these great men and women know, as well as you and I, how that legacy has been hijacked by those who try to claim it for the purpose of redefining marriage and imposing a radical redefinition of the family on our society. They know — as we all know through simple common sense — that this hijacking is a travesty and an insult.

In February of 2014, the message from Brian S. Brown was similar:

National Organization for Marriage Applauds and Joins with the Coalition of African-American Pastors in Calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s Impeachment.

Think about that for a moment. An African-American organization wanted to impeach the nation’s first African-American attorney general serving the nation’s first African-American president. None of that mattered because Holder supported marriage equality. It was an irrational reaction from the astoundingly homophobic Bill Owens. That level of insanity often speaks to an individual’s insecurities.

A year later, in 2015, CAAP honored Roy Moore with their “Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award.” Moore is a racist who thought that America was great under slavery. Owens could disregard that because Moore was a notorious homophobe who vigorously opposed marriage equality.

The bottom line is that the very bigoted Donald Trump used a very bigoted Bill Owens as gaslight fuel. I would not call a pastor a bigot for asking adherents to observe what they believe are biblical prohibitions. Bill Owens actively campaigned, outside of any religious setting, to deny gay citizens of this country their civil rights. Owens used religion as a weapon against gay people. That makes Owens a bigot.

Equally revolting was the presence of Alveda King. While she never knew him, Alveda King’s existence is the result of being Martin Luther King’s niece. You will never see anything written about Alveda without mentioning MLK. MLK would never attempt to blunt criticism of Trump being a racist. He would be appalled by Alveda.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.