President Obama received criticism from conservative leaders in the African American community after alluding to the gay right's movement as another civil rights struggle during his speech in Selma, Ala. last week.
On March 7, 1965 - what would become known as Bloody Sunday - hundreds of marchers seeking the right to vote attempted a Selma to Montgomery march but were brutally attacked by law enforcement with billy clubs and tear gas as they reached the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
On Saturday, the president recalled the anguish of that day, and the discrimination endured by generations of black Americans seeking equality.
"In one afternoon 50 years ago, so much of our turbulent history -- the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham; and the dream of a Baptist preacher -- all that history met on this bridge," he said.
But it was his references to gay rights - which his support for has dipped and soared in the media for nearly 20 years - that enraged some members of the black community.
"Ask your gay friend if it's easier to be out and proud in America now than it was 30 years ago," Obama said. "We're the gay Americans whose blood ran in the streets of San Francisco and New York, just as blood ran down this bridge."
Rev. William Owens, of the nonprofit organization Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), is appalled at the president's statements.
"I marched with many people back in those days and I have reached out to some of my friends who marched with me, and all of them are shocked," Owens told Breitbart News. "They never thought they would see this day that gay rights would be equated with civil rights. Not one agreed with this comparison."
The president acknowledged the hundreds of years of brutalities and indignities faced by generations of black Americans - but Owens says that reality does not mirror the gay rights movement.
"President Obama is a disgrace to the black community," Owens said. "He is rewriting history. We didn't suffer and die for gay marriage. We marched for opportunity, equality, justice, and freedom from oppression."
Just one day before the Selma commemorative, the Obama administration filed a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of gay couples' challenge of the laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The White House called a state ban on same-sex marriage "incompatible with the Constitution."
Last Tuesday, the Alabama Supreme Court put a stop to same-sex marriage when Chief Justice Roy S. Moore issued a 134 page order in an effort to uphold the state's ban on the unions which was approved by voters nine years ago. The state's highest court ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a February ruling by a Mobile federal court judge stating the opposite.
In his new book 'Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,' former Obama administration political strategist David Axelrod claims that the president lied about his opposition to same-sex marriage to benefit his run for the presidency in 2008. Though Obama has claimed many times that his view on the issue were evolving, Axelrod believes that was an evasion to avoid exposing his full support for same-sex marriage.
"Yet if Obama's views were "evolving" publicly, they were fully evolved behind closed doors," Axelrod writes. "The president was chomping at the bit to announce his support for the right of gay and lesbian couples to wed-and having watched him struggle with this issue for years, I was ready, too."
Standing at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Obama talked of those Americans who endured years of brutality and indignity, saying "they didn't seek special treatment, just the equal treatment promised to them almost a century before."
"To me, it is an insult and every black person ought to be insulted by it," Bishop E.W. Jackson of Staying True to America's National Destiny (STAND) told cnsnews.com. "Instead of applauding that, we ought to be booing lines like that because it denigrates the tremendous price our ancestors paid to experience the full rights of citizenship in this country."
Jackson also took issue with the president comparing a person's sexual behavior with the right to vote, visit a restaurant, stay in a hotel, or walk freely in one's own town.
"I think the president made an incredible error in judgment in relating the two and it was an insult to those who actually suffered the slings and arrows, the blows of those police officers, on that historic day," said Rev. C.L. Bryant, a Baptist minister, independent film producer, and Senior Fellow at Freedom Works.
In his article 'Gay is Not the New Black," Voddie Baucham - pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas - writes "the idea that same-sex 'marriage' is the next leg in the civil rights race is ubiquitous."
Baucham presents "unalterable definitions" - what he labels a disconnect between same-sex "marriage" and anti-miscegenation laws.
When comparing gay rights to civil rights he asks, "How can forbidding people who actually have the ability to interbreed be the same thing as acknowledging the fact that two people categorically lack that ability?"
On Saturday, Obama ended his speech by quoting from Isaiah 40.
"For we believe in the power of an awesome God, and we believe in this country's sacred promise," the president said. "May He bless those warriors of justice no longer with us, and bless the United States of America."
Perhaps the president needs to be reminded of what that awesome God says in I Corinthians 6:9-11:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."