Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gay Marriage and the Black Vote

An interesting article in the Las Angeles times today by Timothy Stewart-Winter took a look at the upcoming election and discussed the issue of same sex marriage (which will be on the ballot) in California and the black vote. It is expected that African-Americans will turn out in record numbers for the elections because of Barack Obama. It has been assumed that because African-Americans tend to be a bit conservative and have been accused of being a tad more homophobic, this could be bad news for the marriage amendment.

Constitutional amendments to ban same sex marriage were on the ballot in several states in the last presidential election. In many states the vote of the black community was very similar to the votes cast by whites. Although some recent polls show that there may be less support of gay marriage in the black community, Timothy suggests that public opinion on this issue is actually very difficult to determine.

Here is where I take my stand and SCREAM something I've been demanding of the black LGBT community for years - visibility. It is extremely important for black gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders to be out and proud. It is very easy for people to deny us the right to marry if they don't know us. I know we all have varying degrees of safety - some people can't come out at work because they would lose their job. Some people can't come out their neighbors for fear of violence. But I will continue to make my plea that we have to be seen and heard.

We can change the world one person at a time. Maybe by coming out to someone you will make them aware that LGBT individuals are no different (okay - maybe a bit more stylish) than anyone else.

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