Doug Spearman, the handsome openly gay co-star of Noah's Arc and the upcoming feature film Noah's Arc Jumping the Broom, headlines a news conference with several Los Angeles ministers to urge the black community to vote NO on California's toxic Proposition 8. The newser was held at the Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Leimert Park. From left to right, Spearman; Rev. Eric Lee, President, Southern Christian Leadership Council of LA; Rev. Vanessa Mackenzie; Rev. Arthur Lawrence Cribbs; and Willie Pelote with AFSCME.
Spearman, who is on the board of Equality California and the No on Prop 8 campaign says, "When the Supreme Court authored its opinion, it effectively wiped away not just discrimination against gays and lesbians. They wiped away discrimination in the state of California in a way that had never been addressed before. They did a brave and beautiful thing."
Earlier this month the cast of Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom headlined a fundraiser for No on Prop 8 in Oakland. Spearman, Darryl Stephens, Jensen Atwood and
the still not gay Rodney Chester urged black voters and the black gay community to turn down the ballot measure. The film opens in limited release on October 24 and features a wedding-themed plot.
Black voters could play a crucial role in the fight over same-sex marriage. The Los Angeles Times reports "they make up only about 6% of the electorate in California [and] are expected to vote in record numbers this election because of Barack Obama's presence on the ballot."
Ron Buckmire, who heads the black gay rights group the Jordan/Rustin Coalition, says black voters could be more progressive. "People have this impression that black people in general are more homophobic than the population as a whole." Buckmire tells Rod 2.0 the Mormon Church's substantial donations to Prop 8 are troubling to many blacks because of the church's racist history. "African Americans are fully aware that before 1982 Mormons openly discriminated against Black people and will be unlikely to agree with them amending the state constitution to deny civil rights to a particular group of people."
While surveys show a majority of black voters support the measure, many black gay activists push back on some attempts—Andrew Sullivan et al—to blame Proposition 8's passage on the black community. Blogger and journalist Darian Aaron criticizes the largely vanilla complexion of the gay community's opposition anti-Prop outreach. "There are thousands of black gay and lesbian couples throughout the state, supportive clergy, and straight allies that could have been included in this campaign," Darian writes. "African-Americans understand what it feels like to not have a place at the table, to jump the broom versus having legal recognition of their marriages, to enter through the back door versus the front."
Did You Read ...
"Noah's Arc" Cast Urges "No" on Proposition 8 [R20]
Blige, Etheridge Raise $3.9M for No on Prop 8 [R20]
Doug Spearman in "The Advocate"[R20]
Darryl Stephens Talks Coming Out to "Instinct" [R20]
Rodney Chester of "Noah's Arc": I'm Still Not Gay! [R20]
Behind the Scenes Video from Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom [R20]
Noah's Arc Has Sailed [R20]
Deal or No Deal? [R20]
Rodney Chester: I'm STILL NOT Gay!" [R20]
Beyond the Sassy Sidekicks? [After Elton]
What Does the Future Hold for Noah's Arc? [After Elton]
TV's Most Influential Gay Sex Scenes [After Elton]
Patrik-Ian Polk in "Genre" [R20]
Hamilton Cobb: Big Deal Playing Gay [R20]
Uno Dos TREY [R20]
"Honey, I'm Home!" [R20]
DVD Review: "Noah's Arc" [R20]
Patrik-Ian Polk in "Genre" [R20]