March 15, 2004

Same Fight, Different Era

I offer no additional comment to this longish article in today's Washington Post dealing with the struggle for Marriage Equality:

Blacks, Gays in Struggle of Values

Today, as gay-rights activists step up the battle for same-sex marriage, their relationship with African American leaders could be crucial. Yet the issue involves such a complex mix of religion and politics that the support of black leaders -- and the mantle of the civil rights movement -- is up for grabs. Distinguished figures have lined up on both sides.

The Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, one of the architects of the 1963 March on Washington, calls same-sex marriage an "abomination" that could destroy society. Along with a coalition of other faith leaders, the former D.C. delegate is pushing for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

"For most black Americans who know our history, we do not want any further confusion about what a marriage and a family happen to be," said Fauntroy, a spokesman for the Alliance for Marriage, which helped craft the amendment President Bush has backed. "We have not yet recovered from the cruelties of slavery, which were based on the destruction of the family."

But Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a keynote speaker at the 1963 march, said such denunciations reek of the bigotry lobbed against blacks in the era of "separate-but-equal" schools and businesses -- a view shared by an increasingly visible number of gay men and lesbians who are black.

"I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation,"Lewis wrote in a column for the Boston Globe that is featured on a gay rights Web site. > > >

Posted by ronn at March 15, 2004 06:43 PM