Friday, May 25, 2012
African-Americans Support Equal Rights For Gays/Lesbians
One of the communities that has been slow to accept the equality of same-sex marriages has been the African-American community (example -- a majority of African-Americans voted for Proposition 8 in California). And the right-wing has been trying to use same-sex marriage as a wedge to separate African-Americans from other progressives in this country. Thankfully, it looks like that effort is failing.
A couple of weeks ago, President Obama demonstrated some political courage in admitting to Americans that he believed same-sex couples should have the same right as other couples to marry, and to enjoy the rights and privileges that come with marriage. Then last week, for the first time, the NAACP came out publicly in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry. Together, these two watershed events have caused a lot of people to re-examine their thoughts about same-sex marriage equality.
A Public Policy Polling survey now shows that 55% of African-Americans would now join the 57% of all people in Maryland to vote to keep their new law allowing same-sex marriages. And a new ABC News/Washington Post Poll (released last Wednesday) shows that 59% of African-Americans nationwide now support the right of same-sex couples to marry. That's an even bigger majority than in the general public (where 53% support same-sex marriage).
This is wonderful news, and I'm very happy to see it. I say that because I strongly believe that if one group (any group) in this country can be denied equal rights, then any other group could also have their rights curtailed. Either everyone has equal rights are no one has those rights guaranteed.
There's still a long way to go before equal rights are established for everyone in America (in spite of constitutional guarantees), but with each passing month and year more progress toward that goal is made. To borrow a phrase from the African-American community, we just have to "keep our eyes on the prize".