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4 comments | Thursday, September 25, 2008

On November 4th the next President of the United States is not the only important issue voters in California, Arizona, and Florida will be voting on. Voters in these three states will ultimately determine the fate of marriage equality for their gay and lesbian citizens when they head to the polls in less than 40 days. Of the three states California is the only state where gays and lesbians are treated equally under the law and are currently provided with full marriage equality.

Recent polls show 54% of Californians oppose Propisition 8, the discriminatory law that would ultimately ban same-sex marriage in the state, while 40% support the ban.

Both sides are aware of what's at stake on November 4th. The gay rights movement will without a doubt face a major setback if we lose, but the culture war as defined by Christian evangelicals over the past 30 years will certainly implode.

Activists on both sides are reaching out to voters to support their position, specifically African-American voters who are religious and traditionally vote against gay rights. One harder demographic to convince is young people between ages 18-35.That's where California's anti-gay marriage opponents step in with iProtectMarriage, a website designed to inform voters of "the truth" about gay marriage.

As I was perusing the website I began to wonder if it had been created by Karl Rove and the team of bigots responsible for making gay marriage a wedge issue in 2004 to scare voters into re-electing George Bush, as most of the language was straight out of the Republican playbook. But things got even scarier when two black females popped up on my screen to answer this question.

Do you think that interracial marriage in the 50's and 60's is equal to the struggle of same sex marriage today?

Black Puppet #1 "I get offended when people compare my ethnicity to the way that people act when they're gay, I was born this way. In and out I'm African-American. Nobody can change that. I can't even change that. Now people who are gay go through counseling all the time and through that counseling they get results. I can't be counseled out of my blackness, there's no way you can change that. So being gay and being African-American and the struggles in between them both are not the same."

Black Puppet #2 "I am offended at someone saying that me being black is the same as someone else being gay. I was born into my ethnicity, my race, so it's not something that I can change, it's not something that I can be counseled out of. Being gay is a choice; it's a lifestyle, it's not pre-determined. It's outrageous to me that anyone would try to compare an interracial marriage to a gay marriage. It's absolutely ridiculous and it offends me."

A recent NY Times article went to great lengths to predict that if Proposition 8 passes in November it will be because of huge black voter turnout for Barack Obama. If it sounds like a stretch then that's because it is. But the right-wing is counting on black folks to show why we've earned our reputation for being virulently homophobic by siding with them on Prop 8 and bolstering their chances of success. The same group of people whose moral compass throughout history has led them to oppose almost all legislation that would have advanced the civil rights of blacks in this country. Oh how quickly we forget about the sting of oppression when our civil rights as a minority are no longer up for the popular vote. It doesn't matter who was oppressed first or who was oppressed the longest, the point is no group should be oppressed.

It's embarrassing to see black folks and especially black clergy rally together with those who could care less about the real problems facing the black community but always seem to show up when they need a black face to further their cause. And like the good God-fearing Christians we are we agree to be their puppets for their bigoted crusade to take away the rights of another minority.


This could be an entire post all by itself so I'm gonna keep this short and sweet because I've written about this topic numerous times over the past couple of years and it always gets my blood boiling. Allow me to point out a few grim realities for those who truly believe that homosexuality is a choice. I'm sure if the lives of these men and women weren't taken by people who wanted to play God they would tell you otherwise. So tell me again when you chose to become a heterosexual? And when did it become honorable to vote to strip another American of their civil rights based on your prejudice?


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This post implies, if not actually says, that (straight) blacks are more homophobic than other groups. The religious right certainly thinks so when it comes to same sex marriage rights.

Blacks, more than other groups, subscribe to Christian dogmas (like the sanctified and pentecostal churches, etc.) that preclude ANY sort of rational thinking about things like gay rights and same sex marriage.

Let's face it, blacks ARE more homophobic than other groups. Most black gay bloggers/activists either disagree with this or don't directly address the issue. Black gay "thinkers" do black gay people a grave disservice by not addressing this issue directly in terms of an IMMEDIATE solution. Yes, educating straight blacks by "coming out" is important but that is a LONG TERM solution. What do we do NOW?

For the sake of their PERSONAL well being, black gays who want peace in their lives should begin separating themselves physically from straight black people where appropriate. I no longer live in, or even near, a "black community" and I HAVE NEVER FELT MORE AT PEACE. Living around and among people who don't want me around no longer makes sense to me.

In order to live apart from the masses of black people, however, a young black gay man should pursue a course of education and/or training that will give him a decent income so that he can AFFORD to move away. Brothers, take stock of your life and DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.

Psychotic black gay men will label you a "snow queen" but ignore these miserable excuses for black gay men. These black gay men are USED to being disrespected and abused and think this is a "normal" part of being black and gay. It isn't. You, as a black gay man, are entitled to RESPECT. If you have to leave the so-called black community to obtain your birth right, so be it. It is the "black community's" loss, not yours.

September 25, 2008 9:04 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

this is why you can never let people family or strangers anyone affect how you go about living your life because god created you in his image so you are all good in his eyes.he will only love you more and work it out for you when you come to terms with who you are never letting others and their opinions bring you down. i am a living testimony

September 25, 2008 10:25 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

So much for the 'greatest democracy in the world'! For me, the U.S. should have been the last place on earth where people would still be debating whether gays should marry (or am I idealistic?)and in 2008 for that matter?

And as for a sizeable amount of African Americans opposing gay rights, I always maintain that as Black people(no matter where you find us, Africa, the U.S., the Carribean)we are our own worst enemy(my opinion!). Why do we just revel in ignorance?
Being gay is a choice? And you can be counselled out of being one? WOW... Some people never cease to amaze.

September 26, 2008 6:44 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

<--chuckling--> Ummm, do these girls have an an active brain cell between them? First of all the question that was asked was not the question they answered. They are too busy riding their high horses to discern the difference. The question was about interracial marriage vis-a-vis gay marriage, not about comparing what it is to be Black against what it means to being gay, sheesh! Interracial couples were once forbidden to marry BY LAW. This was due solely to abiding racism and prejudice. LGBT folks now face the same prejudice. Republicans and conservatives are trying to weave that prejudice into the constitution, tsk, tsk, tsk. Defining "marriage" as between a man and woman-juvenile and narrow minded. Marriage is a union, that's all, a union or the joining of two forces or entities.

October 08, 2008 9:51 AM


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