Blacks versus gays in the culture war

Nunzio's picture

Here's one by Dick Polman, The Inquirer's columnist on politics.

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/Blacks_versus_gays_in_the_culture_war.html

There's a twist of irony in that African Americans have made a significant achievement in gaining equality with the election of Barack Obama, yet played a significant role in defeating California's attempt to allow gay marriage. In further irony, Barack Obama does not support gay marriage.

yeah yeah's picture

I believe Obama does not

I believe Obama does not support "marriage" but would support a union with all the same positives/negatives associated with "marriage". I heard or read and interview with him saying that the term "marriage" is really a religious view of what ever church you belong too. If that church does not support gay marriage, then so be it. But if gays what to have a union (or what ever term you want to call it), then he would support it. Same was said for McCain at the beginning of the election, later he caved to the conservatives.

cristen's picture

Being from California and

Being from California and gay and growing up in a Mormon family I can speak at length on this one. Prop 8 passed largely with the support of the Mormon church 40 million dollars worth of support. They ran adds saying they were going to have to teach gay marriage in schools, churches would have to close down etc. All lies actually none of that has happened in Mass. Check out the adds they are on youtube. While I think singling out the African American community is unfair, there are a lot of other groups that passed Prop 8, there is a certain about of homophobia in the African American community that I don't even think they would deny. Obama does support Civil Unions and has made several statements to that fact, I am sure personally he probably supports gay marriage but it is political suicide to say so. Most people do not support gay marriage, I even have friends I suspect don't but wont say to my face.

Nunzio's picture

Here's a follow

Here's a follow up...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20081111/us_time/afterthegaymarriagedebacleactivistsrethinktactics;_ylt=AuOtoaRtayQcl53fbd7eKLas0NUE

Some gay activists feel that gay marriage is not really the battle they want to fight and that too much attention is placed on it, at the expense of more practical issues like civil unions and adoption. I feel otherwise. In our society and culture, marriage gives you instant credibility and prestige, which are things that cannot be given to you through legislation, but have importance nonetheless. To become fully assimilated into American society and culture, gays should have the right to marry, just like straight people.

As much as I support Barack Obama, I think his support of the argument that we should reserve the term "marriage" for a religious viewpoint is just a cop-out. Marriage may owe its invention to religion, but it has taken on a completely different meaning in modern society. One needs to look no further than two agnostics getting married.

But, I mainly put the post up because I think it underscores the tipping point in people's opinions about affording equal rights and protections to homosexuals. That is, if you think homosexuality is a conscious choice, you probably don't support gay rights. If you think homosexuals are born gay, you probably do support gay rights. Why else would African Americans, who suffered so much from discrimination and prejudice, and continue to suffer, be so supportive of legislation that subjects another group of people to some of the same injustices?

jbette01's picture

interesting points. I found

interesting points.

I found this comparison of Obama/McCains points on LGBT issues:
http://obama.3cdn.net/9bbadf2e4222f1de03_5humvyu4s.pdf

Personally, I think DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) on the federal level is more of a challenge than indivdiual state resistance. If DOMA is reworked or overturned, the states may follow along in landslide fashion.

maryt621's picture

Nunzio wrote: Some gay

Nunzio wrote:

Some gay activists feel that gay marriage is not really the battle they want to fight and that too much attention is placed on it, at the expense of more practical issues like civil unions and adoption. I feel otherwise. In our society
But, I mainly put the post up because I think it underscores the tipping point in people's opinions about affording equal rights and protections to homosexuals. That is, if you think homosexuality is a conscious choice, you probably don't support gay rights. If you think homosexuals are born gay, you probably do support gay rights. Why else would African Americans, who suffered so much from discrimination and prejudice, and continue to suffer, be so supportive of legislation that subjects another group of people to some of the same injustices?

Agree 100%.

Being gay and recently deciding with my partner of over 4 years that it was time for us to make our relationsip "official", I've changed my views as far as gay marriage goes. I used to say, as recently as a few weeks ago, that I didn't care what it was called as long as it afforded us the same rights as a heterosexual couples as far as taxes, etc. I have, since the election, decided that it does matter what it's called, if only for the simple fact of equality. I still feel the same, i.e., why should I as a taxpayer have to pay an attorney to draw up legal documents that afford my partner and I the right to make medical decisions for each other, if necessary, or to redo my will to ensure that my partner is taken care of in the event of my death? Why should my partner have to pay inheritance tax on our joint property in the event of my death? These are the issues that concern most people I've spoken to about this topic. But, equal is equal, and separate but equal is just that and I refuse to accept being considered second class. I think it's a hypocrisy that African Americans of all people would support a ban on anything that would limit the equal rights of anyone period. I hope in my heart of hearts that it simply isn't true because it's just so wrong on so many levels.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever. --M. Gandhi

stein's picture

that original article is

that original article is terrible.

I don't feel like getting into it, but the scapegoating of black people has got to stop.

(the discrimination of gay people also has to stop, and it will. heterosexuals wanted the institution of marriage to be about love matches and now its time to take that idea to the logical conclusion).

Ftown66's picture

It's just not a black thing.

It's just not a black thing. Its also a white issue. When it comes down to it many are afraid to show support for gays and gay marriage because they are afraid some one will think they are gay. Sometimes its as simple as that.

tudor's picture

Most of the stories I saw on

Most of the stories I saw on this were blaming both blacks and Latinos--spreading it around--some just said Latino voters--

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_10909847?source=most_emailed

Jeffro's picture

I don't mean to make light

I don't mean to make light of this, but every time I read the title of this thread, I think about this opening sequence of the Superfriends cartoon:

Like it's some epic battle or something. By the way, I am not saying either group is the Legion of Doom.