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JIC Post:By Steve KovalSouthern VoiceWashington, D.C., pastor Willie Wilson issued a statement Friday apologizing for the language he used in an inflammatory July 3 sermon but repeating his claim that lesbianism among young black girls is so grave a threat it should be declared a national emergency. "All of us should be aware that there is a severe crisis in the black community concerning our young girls," he said in the statement. "The situation is so grave that it should be declared a national emergency. The very survival of the black family is being threatened by this crisis."Wilson claims that black girls as young as 10 and 11 years of age are engaging in same-sex relations. The statment was issued in response to criticism over the anti-gay comments he made in a sermon on July 3 at his Union Temple Baptist Church. Wilson is the executive director of the Millions More Movement march, a national black civil rights event called by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The march and related events are scheduled to be held in D.C. in October.In his July 3 sermon, Wilson gave graphic and disparaging descriptions of the sexual relations of lesbians and gay men and declared, "Lesbianism is about to take over our community." He went on to describe in graphic terms gay sex acts he disparaged.In the July 29 statement, he said the sermon was intended for consumption only within his church, but that he regretted the language he used to make his points."In retrospect, I admit that some of the language I used in my sermon was intemperate and offended some of my brothers and sisters," Wilson said in the statement. "To any and all whom I offended because of this language I sincerely and most profusely apologize.""But," he went on to say, "I do not apologize for bringing to the forefront a very critical and crucial issue facing our young girls as well as the survival of the black family."Wilson then repeated his charge that lesbianism is threatening the black family. "It is a problem that is epidemic, endemic and pandemic in the black community," Wilson said. "It is epidemic because it has gotten totally out of hand. It is endemic because it is rapidly becoming a part of the very fiber and fabric of the black community. And it is pandemic because it is happening in black communities all over the nation."Wilson stated, "As a preacher-prophet, it is my responsibility to do critical analysis and assessment of what is going on in society and then to offer a Biblical, spiritual and moral response. This is what I did."Since Wilson's remarks of July 3 became public on July 15 when this publication posted them on its Web site, Wilson had refused requests by black gay leaders to apologize.Wilson has refused all media requests for interviews about his controversial sermon, which was recorded by church officials on a CD sold in the church store, similar to the sale of all of his Sunday sermons. After this publication and other media outlets reported on the July 3 sermon, church officials removed that CD from the church’s shelves, according to press reports.Black gay activist and author Keith Boykin credited Wilson on Saturday with at least admitting his language was inappropriate, but took issue with the "non-apology apology" in a statement on his Web site: "His statement is a first step but it's not nearly enough," said Boykin. "In fact, it's not even an apology at all. "Wilson still seems not to understand the offensiveness of his remarks. His defensive statment begins by repeating the red herring that his comments were made 'within the confines' of his church. Yeah, so what? It doesn't matter where it's said, the point is, it was said. In fact, saying it in church makes it worse, not better."Rev. Candace Shultis, who heads the predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, told the Washington Post she was "glad he apologized" and said she hoped Wilson would "work on his understanding of sexual orientation."
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