Boston city councilors take turns inviting local members of the clergy to open their Wednesday meetings with a convocation. Today was Althea Garrison's first turn and the at-large councilor invited her friend, Roy Owens, pastor of the Walthall Chapel Church of God in Christ in Roxbury.
Owens typically runs for elected office every year and makes opposition to the gays in general and same-sex marriage in particular a key part of his campaigns.
Last year, Owens, in his second-straight unsuccessful race for the District 7 council seat held by Kim Janey, thundered how other councilors supported laws that would force ministers to preach the gospel of gay marriage:
We as African Americans and people of color have been by tradition a Holy and Spiritual people. My opponents have failed to take a stand against laws forcing pastors to promote same-sex life style in their Churches or face jail and large fines.
In 2017, in a failed run for the same seat, he campaigned against a bill he claimed would require teaching oral and anal sex to kindergarten students.
The law he was upset about, of course, did not such thing and, in fact, would have strengthened the rights of parents to know what sort of sex education their children would receive.
In 2007, an anti-gay group praised Owens as "a fairly good guy" in his race against then state Rep Marie St. Fleur, whom it called "another footsoldier for the gay lobby."
Owens did not raise such specters in his convocation. He praised the work of city councilors, said he he hoped they realized they were doing God's work and backed a proposal by Garrison to help homeless veterans. He then led the council in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, substituting "Constitution" for "Republic."
The Satanic Temple of Salem has been complaining for several years now about its failure to get one of its members invited to open a session of the Boston City Council; it seems no members of the council are willing to take a turn having a Satanist give a convocation. The group last fall filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination over the issue.