Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel talks about gay marriage at Victory for the World Church in Stone Mountain.
Rev. Raphael G. Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Thousands marched against gay marriage in Atlanta in December 2004.
ATLANTA -- Politics and religion collided on the first Sunday since President Barack Obama said same-sex couples should be able to get married.
It's a controversial issues for churches, especially African-American churches.
At Victory for the World Church in Stone Mountain, Senior Pastor Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel first voiced his support for gay marriage years ago and lost members as a result.
During Sunday's sermon, he had strong words for other pastors who oppose it.
"You know, some of them got wives in front of them and boyfriends behind them," Dr. Samuel said. "And rather than tell the truth and set people free, they'd rather preach a lie."
A Pew Research Poll from April shows only 39 percent of black Americans favor gay marriage compared with 47 percent of white Americans.
In 2004, thousands marched in Atlanta to protest gay marriage.
They were led by the Rev. Bernice King and mega-church Pastor Eddie Long.
"No, I'm not mad at the president," said Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. "We've got to keep working this out."
Pastor Warnock told his congregation the issue was meant to divide and distract.
"No matter how you feel about this issue, let us agree as children of African descent that we need to protect the rights of the minority from the wheels and whims of the majority," Rev. Warnock said.
He preached about love and mercy and said the president is not the pastor of the United States.