Atlanta's Southern Voice along with The Washington Blade has taken a close look at the issue of gay marriage over the past couple of weeks from the perspective of black and white Americans. I highlighted their efforts in a post on this site last week and thought it was necessary to follow up. This week SOVO examines the role religion and politics plays in shaping one's views of the controversial issue. Below are excerpts from the article that I highly recommend you read in full.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Samuels of Victory For the World Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia a straight ally to the LGBT community contributed to this article and as always his thoughts are a breath of fresh air.
The Pew Research Center found in 2006 that 52 percent of black Protestants consider homosexuality “just the way that some people prefer to live,” rather than an innate orientation. According to the survey, 22 percent of white mainline Protestants say the same.
The survey also found that only 20 percent of black Protestants say homosexuality is something people are born with, and 60 percent say that homosexuality can be changed.
Many pastors adhere to what they consider a literalist view of the Bible, a view that Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel of Victory For the World Church in Stone Mountain said is wrong.
“If you are going to be a Biblical literalist, you have to be a sexist, a warmonger, you are probably a polygamist,” Samuel, who is straight, said. “We have changed our thinking on so many issues — divorce, women preachers — but we haven’t been willing to change our feelings on homosexuality? That’s unfair.”
Cuc Vu, chief diversity officer for the Human Rights Campaign, said education therefore becomes essential to securing new support.
“The reality is that many members of the African-American community believe you can choose to be gay, but you cannot choose to be black,” Vu said. “We need to create safer spaces for African-American GLBT people to come out and challenge the perception in the African-American community that there are no gay black people.”
Openly gay pastor Rev. Troy Sanders of preach2me.com said the root of the issue lies in education.
“The crux of the argument cannot be gay marriage or even marriage rights; it has to be addressing homophobia,” he said. “If someone considers homosexuality as a mental disorder they will consider anything that comes out of a same gender loving relationship as wrong.”
In an ironic twist we have a black heterosexual pastor stepping out on a limb to achieve equality for the LGBT community and then we have a white theater performer who has just contributed over 18k to support California's anti-gay mariage amendment. Yep, you read it right. Justin Caster is a former Chicago cast member of the hit musical Wicked and his father is the CEO of The Caster Group who owns A1 Storage. So the 18k Justin contributed was probably pocket change, but regardless he did it to hurt the very same people that he no doubt worked with during his days in Wicked.
Loldarian.com affiliate Jeremy over at Good As You has the entire story as well as a ridiculous letter from Justin explaining his self-homo hatred. Get into it here as well as the amazing and well thought out comments from his readers.