Kirk Franklin apologizes to gay community for ‘homophobia’ in black church

Grammy-winning Gospel artist Kirk Franklin is back with his first studio album in four years, the provocatively titled Losing My Religion.

Franklin has been known over the course of his twenty-two year career as a contemporary Gospel recording artist who pushes boundaries, and his latest album is no exception.

“More than anything, I’m trying to peel back those layers [that] keep people away from God and keep people away from experiencing the love of God and knowing God’s love as a father,” Franklin told theGrio.com. “I’m trying through this album to erase the dogma and the ideology that gets in the way of the true essence of one of the most simplest things we could ever say to somebody: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

This year, with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, as well as a gay love story prominently featured on Fox’s Empire, the LGBT movement has been heavily in the spotlight. However, being gay and out of the closet in the black church is still somewhat taboo.

Franklin took a moment to weigh in on how the black church has dealt with LGBT issues.

“I want to apologize for all of the hurtful and painful things that have been said about people in the church that have been talented and gifted and musical, that we’ve used and we’ve embarrassed… and all this other horrible crap that we’ve done,” Franklin said. “We have not treated them like people. We’re talking about human beings, men and women that God has created.”

“The Bible is not a book that’s an attack on gay people,” he added. “It’s not a book written to attack gay people.”

Overall, Franklin said he wants people who identify as gay, straight or other to realize that God is about grace and love.

“It is horrible that we have made it where the Bible is a homophobic manual,” Franklin said. “That’s not what the Bible is. I mean you want to talk about things that God gets at… pride and jealousy and envy and arrogance. But what we also see is God sending his son to save us all, because we were all… straight, gay or whatever, lost and in need of a savior, and there’s room at the cross for all of us.”

Franklin’s Losing My Religion is available in stores and for digital download Friday.