Update – His group’s anti-gay marriage position did not represent his own beliefs says Bronin nominee for school board

As Massachusetts moved toward its historic approval of same-sex marriage rights, the Boston Ministerial Alliance engaged in a heated and hateful campaign to stop the effort.  Their campaign included issuing a statement condemning gay marriage;

It is with a clear conscience that the Black Ministerial Alliance adds our voice to those speaking on the subject of marriage

[…]

We believe marriage to be a unique covenant established between a man and a woman…

We acknowledge the pain and suffering of the men and women in the gay and lesbian community who are in long term relationships. However, given the most recent opinion of the Supreme Judicial Court eliminating the possibility of Civil Unions, we support the call for a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman.

The Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Inc.

But now, the individual who served as the group’s Executive Director at the time says the effort did not represent his beliefs.

In a strongly worded denial, Harold Sparrow (Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin’s nominee to serve on the Hartford Board of Education) released a statement in response to yesterday’s Wait, What? post entitled, Breaking News – Hartford Mayor nominates anti-gay marriage leader for vacancy on the Hartford School Board.

Sparrow wrote;

“I regret that a 2004 statement issued by the ministers of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, an organization for which I worked as an employee more than a decade ago, has raised questions about my personal views on equal rights for all. That statement does not reflect my personal views, nor does it reflect my personal faith. I want to say clearly and unequivocally that I support marriage equality and LGBTQ rights. — See https://www.facebook.com/MayorBronin/posts/613781482144501)

Although Reverend Harold Sparrow served as the Executive Director of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston form 2002 – 2007 and apparently coordinated the group’s activities including their political efforts, he now reports that their actions on gay rights did not represent his personal beliefs.

During the same period, the organization’s President was Bishop Gilbert Thompson.

The vitriolic tone of the debate can be seen in a variety of published documents in which Bishop Thompson condemned those who sought marriage equity.

The Boston Magazine quoted Bishop Thompson, president of the Black Ministerial Alliance as preaching,

“We are standing against demonic forces that are out to destroy not only marriage, but family…We are not against any person, but certainly we stand in favor of marriage being what it actually is — the union of a man and a woman,”

Boston Magazine went on to explain;

Thompson’s success in building up Jubilee has produced leverage felt well beyond his ministry. Especially in his role as president of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, an advocacy group that claims to represent more than 20,000 congregants, he’s often in the news—inveighing against abortion and same-sex marriage…”

Thompson was also the figure quoted in the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Report saying;

“It offends me that the proponents of same-sex marriage are trying to incorporate discrimination language in their argument. As an African American, I know something about discrimination. I was born black! It was not a decision on my part.”

The report went on to quote the BMA leader as saying,

“The massive evidence from social science research shows unique benefits to society and especially to children of a wedded mother and father.”

Meanwhile, Harold Sparrow, who served as an anti-Elizabeth Warren spokesman for Republican Senator Scott Brown’s losing 2012 campaign will go before the Hartford City Council for approval for a seat on the Hartford Board of Education at a special council meeting on Monday, January 27, 2017.

The Scott campaign utilized Sparrow to mock Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she was of Native American heritage.

 “Scott Brown, throughout this campaign, has taken on an issue that I think is very derogatory to” Warren and her claims to Native American heritage, said [Boston Mayor] Menino,

Scott Brown’s campaign responded by dispatching two African-American activists

[…]

One of the activists, Harold Sparrow, former executive ­director of the Black Ministerial Alliance, said Warren, not Brown, is to blame for the prolonged focus on her ethnic roots.

“It was a credibility issue that was raised, and Elizabeth Warren has said she should have responded sooner,” said Sparrow, who has been Brown’s friend since they were teammates on the Tufts University basketball team. “If she would have responded sooner, it would have gone away. But she didn’t.”

In May 2015, the YMCA of Greater Hartford selected Harold Sparrow to become its 5th President and CEO.  He came to Connecticut from the YMCA of Greater Boston, where he served as Senior Vice President of Operations.  Sparrow joined the YMCA of Greater Boston in 2007 after leaving his position at the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston.

  • buygoldandprosper

    A bit off topic, but not much.
    One day Connecticut will attempt to RAISE the bar….not lower it!
    Not with Dan Malloy in office or even in this state!

    General Assembly
    Proposed Bill No. 5196
    January Session, 2017
    LCO No. 479
    *00479*
    Referred to Committee on EDUCATION
    Introduced by:
    REP. SANCHEZ, 25th Dist.
    AN ACT DELAYING THE BACHELOR’S DEGREE REQUIREMENT FOR EDUCATORS AT CERTAIN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    That subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 10-16p of the general statutes be amended to delay until July 1, 2020, the requirement that at least fifty per cent of the individuals with the primary responsibility for a group of children in an early childhood education program accepting state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program’s child care program or school readiness program hold a bachelor’s degree; and to delay until July 1, 2023, the requirement that one hundred per cent of those individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children in an early childhood education program accepting state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program’s child care program or school readiness program hold a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in early childhood education.
    Statement of Purpose:
    To delay the staff qualifications requirement for educators at certain early childhood education programs.

  • Neil Aitchison

    Blacks, women’s voting rights, sexism and other non-choice circumstances are not the same as homosexual marriage because marriage is a choice and not a right – no government can legislate who you love and who you should marry.. All the legitimate rights that have been successfully achieved were not done so by redefining words to create an allusion of success. For example, If Blacks tried to achieve their right to freedom by redefining the word “freedom” to mean “white men are free but black men are still slaves to white men”, then you could say that everyone has “freedom” but in practice, nothing has changed. Likewise, if women voting rights were achieved by redefining the word “voter” to mean “men can vote but women cannot vote” then everyone becomes “voters”, but in practice, nothing has changed. So if homosexuals think that they are achieving a “right” by redefining the word “marriage” to include them, then even though they are called “married”, in practice nothing has changed because they are not doing the heterosexual marriage thing – they are still continuing to do their own homosexual thing – nothing has changed and the word “marriage” is trashed in the process. Nothing is achieved for making homosexuality acceptable to society by sabotaging the word “marriage” and changing it into whatever suits your purpose. Just how stupid do you think we all are by pushing such an emotive propaganda stunt on to us all like “homosexual rights”?….It’s a choice and it always will be. The homosexual advocates think that redefining the word marriage suddenly makes it a right for homosexuals to love each other and somehow be considered the same as heterosexuals, but all the “love, acceptability, equality and tolerance” that homosexuals want to achieve can be done without marriage involved and, in fact, the sabotage of marriage to redefine it a “sex-based” institution turns it into a completely different institution than what it has been for thousands of years (ie. a family-based institution). This sabotage of marriage is turning people away from homosexual ideologies and shows how manipulative and dishonest the homosexual activists are.

    • Sheepfarmerfun

      neil… an angry (oddly single…. why is he so obsessed with homosexuals??) right wing conservative from down under who continues to fail miserably in his run for parliament, pastoring, surfing, and tuning pianos (you really can’t make this stuff up). He is one of those mail order baptist reverends that preaches hate in Australia and trolls all of the anti gay websites. but! You can sign up for one of his surfing tours! Lol…

      • Neil Aitchison

        ….mock all you like…..but you haven’t refuted any of my points, and neither can you. Do you have anything relevant to say?

        Btw, I’m happily married with two children and your other criticisms are equally fallacious….and thanks for advertising me so more people hear my point of view. For anyone who hasn’t “checked me out” yet, please what my sermon about same sex marriage at

        and visit my church’s website at:
        http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/advertiser/index.html