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African Americans and same-sex marriage (SSM)

Comment by Angel Mason about opposition
to marriage equality by black church leaders

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The following is an excerpt from Angel Mason's blog entry titled "Don't blame me for your mess!" on 2011-MAR-15

"Last year, on January 27, 2010, I read a statement released by the Associated Press, quoting the founder of a family values think-tank who said (while testifying before the California Supreme Court) that rights of same-sex couples should come second to preserving the cherished social institution of marriage.

You may have also noted that this year, President Obama is catching a fair amount of grief from theologically conservative African American pastors for his decision to no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans the recognition of same-sex marriage. Reverend Anthony Evans, who heads the National Black Church Initiative, recently lashed out at Obama, stating, "The president has harmed himself on this issue... He has openly offended the black church, and he didn't need to do it."

Most of my life, I have served in worship centers across America in one capacity or another, and I can tell you that what has eroded heterosexual marriages has nothing to do with a secret gay agenda and/or conspiracy spearheaded by evil men and women dressed in rainbow-hooded robes like the Ku Klux Klan in the '50 and '60s. I have decided to remain in the ranks, unlike many same-gender-loving men and women who have left the church because of crazy statements like these (heralded from pulpits across America) and attitudes that demean and demoralize them as individuals. ...

Melissa Etheridge made a profound statement when she questioned the U.S. government's right to extract taxes from her (a hard-working same-gender-loving U.S. citizen), yet deny her the right to marry the person she loves. ...

I won't shut up or go quietly into the night and stop protesting just because certain conservative Evangelical pastors and redneck politicians threaten to withdraw their support from the President of the United States (Barack Obama) in future elections. I appreciate the fact that Obama is working diligently behind the scenes to ensure that one day, I can walk down the aisle in the state that I live in and say "I do" to the man I love; and be able to avail myself to the same healthcare benefits and federal benefits and provisions that heterosexuals who enter a similar union are afforded.

I have one question to ask, especially to the so-called defenders of Civil Rights in the African-American community: What if during the Civil Rights Era, some misguided soul who headed a powerful political organization or government had the gall to stand up and say, "I think that equal rights for African-Americans should come second to preserving the cherished social institution of inequality and discrimination?!"

Oops! Well, someone actually did say something similar to that! Governor George Wallace made numerous outlandish statements that were so crazy, until if I shared them with you now it literally would make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. And here is the knock-out punch: When he made these outlandish statements, millions of white Americans across the country cheered him and supported his backward discriminatory way of thinking, the same way many do when spiritual leaders mount the pulpit and bash gay people. Had it not been for President Kennedy intervening by appointing his brother, Robert, as Attorney General to deal with these issues -- something that may have ultimately cost him his life -- the Civil Rights Movement's stunning achievements may have been stymied and hindered, for who knows how long! Moreover, countless more innocent African-Americans would have been beaten and killed in public view, all to preserve the status quo."

The full essay is at Angel Mason's blog at: http://whenanangelspeaks.blogspot.com/

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About the Author:

Angel Mason is a civil rights and HIV advocate. He is the author of a number of books including "Love Won't Let Me Be Silent," which is directed to gays and lesbians struggling with their sexuality and the need to come out to their family and friends:
book cover Terry Angel Mason, "Love Won't Let Me Be Silent," iUiniverse, (2009). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

Book description from the Amazon.com website:

"Love Won't Let Me Be Silent is a collection of writings, short stories, and poems, exploring the experiences and trials of parenthood from an African-American gay male perspective and sensitively chronicles Mason's search for love and self-hood. These masterfully creative writings express candidly the views of countless gay African-Americans who are vibrant with the faith and energy of America's Black Church yet bristling with the pain and anger of America's racial and homophobic injustice. While many still speculate over whether Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would have supported gay rights, Mason boldly points out that it is absolutely inconceivable that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would endorse anything that smacks of discrimination and bigotry against any group since it is opposed to everything he believed in as a humanitarian and Civil Rights leader.

You can download an excerpt from this book free It is directed at individuals who have gay children and/or people who may know someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

You can also download a second excerpt, titled: "Does God Hate Me Because I Am Gay?" This is directed at teens and adults who are gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender that may be battling homophobia on a daily basis.

Last update: 2012-SEP-10
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