Just days after President Obama announced his support for gay marriage, many Black religious leaders have come out and condemned his decision. Some say it was a calculated political decision made in an election year to gain votes and some say it was an outright attack on the Church.
While most of the critics have said they merely “disagree” with the President, a few have come out with some particularly harsh words for the Commander In Chief.
One reverend described Obama’s statement as “hellish” and “insidious.” Some have said he's turned his back on African-Americans and he no longer believes what they believe. A few stated that they would not be voting for him in this election because of his support for gay marriage.
They are willing to take away their support for President Obama, simply because he wants to give the rights to gay people that all other Americans have.
The fact that we’re still debating this in 2012 is ridiculous. If you are against gay marriage what you’re really saying is that you just don’t like gay people. There is no other reason why you would want to deny them the same rights that you enjoy. Unfortunately, homosexuals are a group that it is still OK to discriminate against.
As Americans, we wouldn’t allow this kind of bigotry against any other minority. But because that fear and bigotry is hidden behind religion, a good portion of the country is OK with it.
What is interesting is that many civil rights leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton, have come out in support of President Obama. They see it more as a civil rights issue than a religious one.
And this is really a civil rights issue. Contrary to the beliefs of many religious people, being gay is not a choice. I’m still shocked (and a bit saddened) that people can ignore all the science that is out there and still view homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice.” Gay people can no more choose to be gay than Blacks can choose to be Black. They are born that way.
Black religious leaders need to get with the program and support the President. Railing against gay marriage is a losing proposition. In 20 years, we will look at those people against gay marriage the same way we look at the racist good ol’ boys down South. They will be ridiculed and not taken seriously. And instead of wasting time preaching against gay marriage, Black ministers should take some time to promote marriage in their own congregations.
According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank, Black women are the “most unmarried” group in America. By the age of 30 only 52 percent of Black women will marry. Compare that to 81 percent of White women and 77 percent of Hispanic women who will marry by that age, and you can see there is a major problem in the Black community.
Marriage equality is an idea whose time has come. As Americans, we need to push for equal rights for all of our citizens. As a country, we seem to be regressing in our tolerance of others. There are 10 other countries that have legalized gay marriage, some for nearly a decade. Even South Africa recognizes gay marriage. We should all be ashamed that we are behind South Africa when it comes to civil rights.
America will probably not fully embrace gay marriage this year. Or even next year. But it will happen. We finally have a President that is willing to state the obvious; that all Americans deserve to be treated as equals.
And who can argue with that?
Israel is a sports blogger, contributor to GlobalGrind.com and owner of SportsBrosWorld.com