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Civil Rights vs. Gay Rights

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I have always been stunned by how insensitive Black America is to the gay rights movement. What gay people want is civil rights, you know, something due each and every citizen in this country...unless you are LGBT.

Here in Florida we have the tea party answer to the gay question in the form of Alan West. I would venture to say that he sits at the right hand of that other idiot state politician, Gov. Scott. Between them, big business and the Republican agenda are first and formost. It almost seems absurd that West speaks about civil rights as he and Scott go about infringing on those rights for state employees, and a whole litany of groups they are targeting for extinction.


That Black America doesn't see gay rights as part of the struggle they fought sixty years ago seems just as absurd. Do they think the Civil Rights Act is immune from tampering by our less than stalwart Supreme Court? If the right wingnuts have their way, any and all forms of civil union, defined or otherwise outside of a church marriage might just be considered criminal.

This marry or otherwise we will lock you up for living together doesn't seem too far fetched in this state of Christian fervor. If Black Americans fail to recognize that the threat against LGBT folks ought to be a part of their fight then they have only themselves to blame when the whole civil rights issue blows up. All that shouting and praying in black churches, and the rants against unholy, unnatural gay people, will turn to screams of anguish when the rug gets pulled out from under them.


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I have always been stunned by how insensitive Black America is to the gay rights movement. What gay people want is civil rights, you know, something due each and every citizen in this country...unless you are LGBT.

When California had the Prop 8 election (temporarily killing gay marriage) a few years ago, I noted that the polls showed that the main targets for the religious right were Catholics, particularly Hispanic and Black voters. One of the forum members took issue with my comments -- despite the fact that I quoted the LA Times as the source of the information -- and I pointed out that the irony that one minority was trying to limit the rights of another minority (gays). It did not end well. I noted that not all black people are against gay marriage, but apparently, many black and Hispanic voters are.

Obama has at least gotten rid of DADT in the military, finally allowing gay people to serve openly, and now he's sorta/kinda supporting gay marriage. I'm still with Howard Stern: Obama could do a lot more to really support gay people, and that would be in helping promote legislation for true sexual equality -- which has been voted down time and time again in the Senate.

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Er, I'd have to say I don't remember if I wasn't around the forum much when what Pecman's referring to occurred, or if it's just slipped my addled mind. But yeah, I don't doubt it. Sigh.

It would be great if many black and Hispanic/Latino folks were accepting (or at least tolerant) of gay folks. Some are, and that's great. Many are not. It is connected with cultural ideas of what it is to be manly, or with what is perceived as a threat to family structure, or, yes, the old bugaboo about equating being gay with interest in seducing or unduly influencing kids/teens. That bit about being manly includes machismo, ideas on what seems to them campy or feminine, and the role (who's inserting versus receiving). Yes, that's perceptions, preconceptions, versus what gay people actually are like. So yes, many black and Hispanic/Latino people are not in favor of gay people, males or females. But then, many white people (Anglos) are not either. This fact should not be surprising. Nevertheless, there are still white, black, brown, yellow, red, etc. folks who are indeed gay.

I have also met black and Latino folks who are accepting of gay people. This is most welcome.

I don't think we can single out any one group. Too many groups are prone not to accept gay people. There's blame to be had on all sides.

That said, is it sad and unfortunate that many black folks don't see the parallels between the arguments against gay people and those formerly used (sometimes still used) against black people? Of course it's a shame.

Do black people have a point when they point out that there are some fundamental differences between being gay and being black, that make comparisons difficult? Such as, black skin versus white skin is readily apparent (in most cases). ...That gets into all sorts of things, such as the idea of "passing" and being "closeted," and there are points there too. I'll grant that it's not a one-to-one comparison, but I'd say there is enough in common, the core issues, that the comparison has merit. The chief objection is among people who claim being gay isn't something you're born with. They claim it's a "lifestyle" or a choice. Well, I don't agree with them on that. (I didn't wake up one day and "choose" to be gay and treated the way I was. Not as an elementary kid or a middle or high school student, and not as an adult. But I am who I am.) (My lifestyle isn't particularly gay, either. It's probably not particularly not gay, though. What exactly is that lifestyle, again?)

I'd like to see acceptance instead of opposition -- in the white/Anglo community as well as the black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and indeed, any other communities you'd like to list.

I think a lot of it stems from lack of public understanding of what gay people are really like and what gay people really do.

One of the things I wish was most understood is, it is not a "choice" or a "lifestyle." I didn't wake up one day, decide I wanted to be disagreeable (and disliked) and protest something, and then decide I'd like guys instead of girls. I didn't decide I needed a new change of home decor and wardrobe, and go out and pick a fashionably(?) gay style. No. Being gay was a dawning awareness that developed along with my social and sexual development (feelings, not just physical body) development. -- I really wish people could understand that. They grow up straight and it's no great surprise. They don't think about it because that's what our culture expects is normal. It doesn't occur to them that it might not quite occur to a boy or girl that he or she is gay, until those feelings become differentiated enough from friendship into sexual feelings and those feelings become obvious and undeniable. Or until that gay boy or girl can accept that the feelings he or she has are there and not going away, and that not having strong feelings for the opposite sex is also not going to change.

Yes, there's a general lack of acceptance throughout much of the black and Latino communities towards gay people. Yes, some people do accept gay people. Yes, that same lack of acceptance is common in the white/Anglo community. No, I'm not going to go through the list of ethnic groups, you can figure it out. We just need better understanding. We also need the ability for people to see through the misdirections to what's really going on.

Say, if this block of voters (or believers) is so preoccupied with issues about Group X, they won't spend any time thinking about Problem Y or Group Z, or why we aren't doing anything to help solve things. We'll be a shoe-in for the election / the ministry. Yay, us! -- Never you mind that whether running for office or ministry, that person or group ought to be trying to help improve things with X, Y, and Z, but also with the A, B, and C that the voters and believers really need and care about.

Phooey. -- And why does it feel like electing Mister and Miss Popularity back in school?

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And record executive/performer Jay-Z just told CNN the other day:

Denouncing gay rights "is no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination, plain and simple."

Full story here:


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I think a lot of the opposition has to do, not with race or gender or even god forbid religion, but with just being different. People are always scared of differences. "Why does she have neon-green hair?" "Does he not know all those rings makes him look trashy?" "Have you ever seen how those people say they worship God?"

Not all gays look or act effeminate... right? So, in essence, these people are just scared of a concept. They are generationally taught to fear differences, even perceived differences.

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Blacks are very territorial when it comes to other minority groups. You will find that they are extremely racist towards other racial minorities like Hispanics and Asians. They don't want anyone else getting what is theirs; in this case... federal loot.

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That's a major deal. I applaud the NAACP for saying this.

This has gotta be driving the hardcore religious extremists absolutely crazy. They don't seem to get that marriage is as much a legal issue as it is a religious issue. It's only the legal part I worry about; religion is up to the individual, and I have no problem with certain churches not wanting to sanction gay weddings.

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There is a real problem with a lack of support from strongly religious black congregations when it comes to gay marriage. Just like there is a really big problem with lack of support for gay marriage from the white, or the hispanic religious community. Conservative religious institutions, no matter the race, have a big problem with not only gay marriage, but the existence of gay people, period. More secular black leadership, like President Obama, like rapper Jay-Z and many others are making some inroads in their communities but that isn't enough - it has to change in all communities.

If you think it's just about the word 'marriage' though, I urge you to open your eyes and get real. Take a look at what's happened in Colorado this week - where Civil Unions were discarded because they gave all the rights of marriage, just used a different name. That was too much for that state's conservatives who felt gay people should not have rights that were given to straight couples. This has happened in many other states recently as well - where they are revealing that the problem isn't about what you call it, the problem is that they don't want gays to have any of these rights.

We have to stop giving in to the false boundaries our opponents want to use. Their end goal is to get rid of gay couple by pushing us out of the mainstream and back into closets or to camps where we can learn to be straight or at least celibate. The underlying message they push and don't want to be called on is that they believe it is NOT okay to be gay and gays must be forced to live their lives as straight. That is the end game for them.

They'll do anything they can to mask it, but it shows up loud and clear at times.

As for the current President, I challenge anyone to show that any previous US President, or all previous US Presidents combined has done as much to help gay people as he has since he took office. Still, that's not enough and he needs to be pushed to keep on doing more. Employment protection is actually higher on my list than marriage since he's already moved strongly against DOMA and that's the most appropriate avenue for federal action.

Failing that he needs to keep doing what he did when he stated his support for gay marriage - speak up and be counted.

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If we learn anything from the past four years, it should, perhaps, be that leaders need continuing support from those who elect them, so that they might lead; else they might just fall prey to the forces of the opposition. But even that is assuming that the people actually know what they want, and that it is what they should be trying to achieve for everyone's benefit and not merely some extremist religious doctrine.

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