Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New York Racial Divide on Same-Sex Marriage

According to a poll released today by Quinnipiac University (and remember I don't always believe polls) there is a definite racial divide regarding same-sex marriage in New York. The state of New York is right on the brink of recognizing marriages for the LGBT community with a governor that endorses gay marriage and legislation already passing in the NY House of Representatives. The legislation could also be successful in the state senate which has a Democratic majority and some Republicans in favor of recognizing the unions. The only obstacle could be the Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.

According to the Quinnipiac study, New York state voters are split 46%-46% on the right of same-sex couples to marry, with African-American voters opposed 57%-35% and white voters in favor 47%-45%. Hispanics are split 45%-48%. These numbers have me very uneasy. If they are true then I'm pressed to ask the question why are so many black folks opposed to same-sex marriage? Why would a group familiar with oppression seek to oppress others? As I viewed the protest in Washington DC that opposed same-sex marriage(you can view it here) I noticed this was organized by and filled with all black folks. I just don't understand the hatred coming from African-Americans against the LGBT community.

I am a member of both communities and I can not deny one for the other. I embrace all of who I am. Black and gay. But it does anger me to know that others in my community look at me as less than or unequal to. I know there is ignorance in all communities, but if this poll holds true then there is an elevated degree of ignorance on this issue in the black community and that doesn't sit right with me. We were blamed for the passing of Prop 8 in California. Should New York not be successful in passing same-sex marriage looks like the African-American community will bear the blame for that too.

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