Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gays, Blacks, and the State In-Between

The excerpt below is from an insightful article published on Sunday, October 12, 2008 by Ernest Hooper, a columnist with St Petersburg Times. It echoes my sentiments on the hypocrisy of some African American social and political leaders (including these Blacks for Marriage Coalition leaders in the above photo taken at the recent NAACP Florida state convention) in supporting Amendment 2 or the so-called Marriage Amendment. They advocate equality and reconciliation, but only for some people. They speak the language of Martin Luther King, Jr., but never his universal ideals. Never mind that this country was built on the bedrock of tolerance. And never mind the more pressing socioeconomic ills that still afflict blacks; those ills can wait whilst they expend time and effort to promote bigotry. See HEREfor the entire article.

Imagine a black man standing on a yacht and pulling up the rope ladder after climbing aboard, even though more people are down in the water.

That's the vision I get whenever I hear black people, especially black ministers, promoting Amendment 2, the state's proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage. I just don't understand how blacks can demand equality while denying it to gays. Middle- and upper-class blacks always hear a message about how we have a responsibility to reach back to the inner cities and lend a hand even though we've escaped to the suburbs or moved up to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Shouldn't the same principle apply to gays? Shouldn't we help other folks achieve equality now that we've made strides?

Many misguided blacks argue there is a difference between civil rights and gay rights: "I couldn't choose my skin color, but gays choose their lifestyle." You could argue it's not a choice for gays, but why does it matter? This is America and what someone chooses to do in their bedroom — either by choice or by genetic decree — is their business.

If people who say they're for less government really mean it, they shouldn't expect our lawmakers to regulate what happens in the privacy of a home. If your church sanctions gay marriages and you disagree, challenge your minister or join another church.

The moral debate, however, shouldn't extend to a government that theoretically represents every citizen.

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