When the decision came down from the people on whether to ban gay marriage I was both proud of the decision to stand up for traditional values amid the growing call for progressive europeanization of America and also disturbed by the rabid behavior within the homosexual community. As an African American speaking I’m not surprised by the overwhelming support from the black community in regards to Prop 8.
It offends me to hear homosexuals and their supporters balk at the decision made by the people. To hear them label this as a denial of civil rights, and then to liken it to the very struggle of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement was equally offensive if not more. I’m not the only African American who feels this way. Many African Americans who supported Barack Obama voted for Prop 8. Perhaps that’s the most heartbreaking and surprising fact to the gay community. Perhaps they felt well, the blacks know what we’re going through so they’ll support us. Well we don’t know what you’re going through and you don’t know what we went through.
Not being able to get married is different from not being able to vote. Gays can still vote, they can own their own business, get an apartment if they want to, they can work in the movie industry, they can run for office. African Americans in the 60s and prior, not only could we not vote, we couldn’t drink from the same water fountains as whites, ride in the front of the bus, own a business, a property, eat in the same diners, in Hollywood you wouldn’t see an African American leading man. All you got were cooks, piano players, and maids. The “Yes sir Mr. Charlie” and the “I do say Mrs. Scarlett” were the only lines spoken.
Homosexuals were never hung nor had their homes burned for being gay. Sure there are hate crimes but homosexuals were never bound by the single most unjust and immoral law known to man, I speak of Jim Crowe.
So when I hear them chant “Gay, Straight, Black, White, Marriage is a civil right” I get annoyed. I remember the times when my own grandparents were harassed in the deep south for being shades darker than everyone else. I remember my father’s own story of being singled out for having “nappy” hair and big lips.
It’s not just a religious issue, it’s an issue of whether or not gay marriage is a civil right and it is not. Elton John said it best when he stated that straight people have marriage, gay people have civil unions and that’s how it is. No one is denying gay people the right to vote, the right to drink from the same water fountains as everyone else. But there once was a time when those basic rights were denied to black people. When the most simple things were taken away in the most inhuman manner. So don’t tell me about civil rights, I know the topic all too well.
But then again, what is democracy when the courts take it away? When a group of people scorned and filled with selfishness take the streets and threaten church goers and threaten violence against the church? Why do we vote in America? Why did the people even bother voting in California when the activist judges on the California Supreme court honor partisan preference and agenda over the will of the people? The folks voted and they voiced their opinion, live with it. Contrary to popular belief Americans value the traditional foundations that made this country the envy of the world. We don’t want to be like Europe, this is America.
And so when you create this hatred amongst yourselves and you clash well, what does that solve? What measures and consensus building can take place if we just continue to fight and clash over issues? And what is this democracy all about when the will of the people is denied with the stroke of a pen by the Supreme Court. That I think above everything else is the most concerning. When the votes and the voices of the people no longer matter in America. To that I say, god help us all.