I will always marvel at the way that religious leaders think they should be able to dictate policy in this secular nation. This isn’t Iran, reverends:

 In Midtown, more than a dozen African-American ministers stepped off their pulpits to stand behind a podium and denounce President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage.

The ministers are part of the Coalition of African-American Pastors in Tennessee.

Rev. William Owens is the founder and president of the coalition, “We do want the President of the United States to rescind his position on endorsing same-sex marriages.

Not going to happen. Next:

We stand for marriage between a man and a woman. Some would like to call it a civil right, but no right is a civil right if it’s not square with God.”

It’s funny, because Civil Rights leaders had to deal with arguments like those from racists for years. One would think people would have learned that it’s simply not wise to argue based on one’s own vision of what they think their god wants.

Owens said, “The homosexual community has taken the Civil Rights Movement and hijacked it stating that it is the same thing. I was in the Civil Rights Movement and I can tell you I did not march one inch, one foot, one yard, one mile for same-sex marriage”

As I’ve written many times before, the movements are not exactly the same, but they share common threads, and they’re following similar arcs. Civil Rights and other African-American leaders who understand this: Jim Clyburn, the late Coretta Scott King, Julian Bond, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, Melanie Campbell and Al Sharpton. Indeed, many of them signed a letter in strong support of Obama’s position on marriage equality.

Bishop Felton Smith is on the Board of Bishops with the Church of God In Christ, ”We’re not here as haters and bashers of the gay community. We’re just here to say your contentions are not legitimate.”

Rev. Dwight Montgomery heads the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, “It’s not ordinary for a man to be with a man or a woman with a woman. God created animals, they know their place. Men and women should know their place, as well.”

Meh, anti-gay claptrap. Heard it before, and it’s getting kind of stale.