Baptist Pastor Calvin Butts: Marriage equality is "the freedom God has given you"

Adding despite his religious views against same-sex marriage, he "should not stand in the way" of equal rights

By Katie McDonough

Published April 2, 2013 4:51PM (EDT)

Abyssinian Baptist Church Pastor Calvin Butts does not personally believe in same-sex marriage, but he also doesn't believe that his faith should deprive others of their rights.

As he told George Stephanopolous on "This Week":

Well, it’s something that we don’t believe in, in terms of what we have learned from the Bible. But in terms of men and women having their rights as citizens and human beings, we certainly affirm that. You should have every right as a citizen of this nation and every right as a human being to enjoy the freedom that God has given you. The choice is yours. And I should not stand in the way of you making that choice.


Hear that, Cardinal Timothy Dolan? Hear that, Joel Osteen? Hear that, Rick Warren? Hear that, [insert "I smile at gay people on the street but don't think they deserve equal rights" religious leader name here]?

You can watch Pastor Butts talk about the peaceful coexistence of religious freedom and equal rights below.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Church And State Gay Marriage Gay Rights Marriage Equality Religion Same-sex Marriage Video