Media Blog

Blacks Against Gay Marriage

The New York Times ran a piece yesterday that described how same-sex marriage advocates are trying to woo blacks in Maryland into supporting legislature legalizing same-sex marriage due for a vote this week in the state legislature. This quote stood out:

“It’s a very sensitive subject in the black community,” said Ezekiel Jackson, a political organizer for the 1199 Service Employees International Union in Maryland, who has been meeting with members, mostly health care workers, to persuade them to support the bill. “The culture is different. Gay people got pushed off into their own circle. Instead of dealing with it, they just lived their lives among like minds, apart.”

If any white politician or pundit had said “the black culture is different” or “blacks lived their lives among like minds, apart” they’d be skewered in the MSM for overt racism and insensitivity. There’d probably be a call for a new national conversation on race relations. But since this is from the SEIU, it’s treated with kid gloves by the Times.

This stood out as well:

Much of the hesitation, black advocates of the bill say, has its roots in the churches, whose influence is strong among many African-Americans. And while the overwhelming majority of black clergy in the state still strongly oppose same-sex marriage — they held a rally here in the state capital last month to make that point — a few young pastors have come out in support.

“This was an issue I knew I could not avoid,” said the Rev. Delman Coates, 39, one of two Baptist preachers who testified in support of the bill in a hearing last week. “Clergy leaders have been organizing against this, and I didn’t want my silence to sound like consent.”

The soul-searching in Maryland on same-sex marriage shows just how delicate the issue can be for Democrats around the country who count on strong African-American support at the polls.

It presents a tricky equation for President Obama, who cannot risk depressing turnout among blacks, as their votes will be critical in what is shaping up to be a closely fought campaign. Mr. Obama, who has in the past opposed same-sex marriage, has said his views are “evolving.” In July, he endorsed a bill to repeal the law that limits the legal definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

Among those opposing the bill in Maryland is Pastor Joel Peebles of Jericho City of Praise, a megachurch in Prince George’s County. “The black community is watching with a great deal of concern regarding how our legislators vote on this bill,” he said. “Their decision will be strongly in the mind of the voters when they go to the polls.”

Really? It’s about “marriage?” Unmarried black women raising children without fathers seems to take a back seat to the threat that same-sex marriage poses to the black community. For example:

“Households are going to be turned upside down because of this,” said the Rev. Ralph A. Martino, senior pastor at First Church of Christ (Holiness) USA in Washington, who attacked Mr. Coates’s position on a radio show.

At one time, people said whites marrying blacks might turn households upside down too.

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