By Tim Devaney and Ben Goad - 02/25/14 11:30 AM EST
A group of conservative black pastors called Tuesday for Attorney General Eric Holder’s impeachment, saying the Obama administration has “sold out” with its support for gay marriage.
The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) is targeting Holder after concluding that going after the nation's first black president would be a losing battle.
The group is launching an effort to gather a million signatures in support of Holder’s impeachment.
"He will go down in history as the worst attorney general," Owens said.
As of late Tuesday morning, however, only 81 people had signed an online petition backing the effort.
The effort comes as Holder, addressing the nation’s attorneys general, defended the Obama administration’s decision in 2011 to stop supporting the federal ban on gay marriage, which later was struck down in a major Supreme Court ruling.
“This marked a critical step forward, and a resounding victory for equal treatment and equal protection under the law,” Holder said Tuesday at the National Association of Attorneys General winter meeting in Washington.
In his remarks, Holder noted some states, including Pennsylvania, Nevada, Virginia and Oregon, had reached similar determinations. He suggested attorneys general need not defend state bans on same-sex marriage, if they find them to be discriminatory.
“Any decisions — at any level — not to defend individual laws must be exceedingly rare. They must be reserved only for exceptional circumstances,” Holder said. “And they must never stem merely from policy or political disagreements — hinging instead on firm constitutional grounds.
The black pastors said it is a shame that President Obama has used the civil rights movement as a platform to champion gay rights.
"It's a disgrace that this man has stood on the shoulders of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.," Owens said. "I detest them calling this a civil rights movement. It's not a civil rights movement; it's a civil wrongs movement."
"He's used his blackness to get away with some of the things he's gotten away with," Owens added.
CAAP bills itself as a “grass-roots movement of Christians” that is “not affiliated with any political party or religion.” According to published reports, the group has “deep conservative ties.”