Very interesting. The Associated Press takes up the thorny issue of blacks and same-sex marriage in our nation's capitol, framing the recent city council vote to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as a "signal the gay rights movement is making inroads among groups traditionally opposed to it."
"Washington became the first place in the U.S. with a large percentage of black residents to take up the issue. As more than 100 mostly black protesters gathered outside city hall, council member Marion Barry, a longtime supporter of gay rights, rejected the measure and sided with ministers who he said "stand on the moral compass of God." Despite Barry and Jackson's claims, there's evidence the city isn't as split on gay marriage as some suggest. Of the 12 council members who voted in favor of gay-marriage, six are black."
The money quote is from Donna Payne at the Human Rights Campaign on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on blacks gays in the black church. "A black preacher once told her she would be accepted into his church under one condition—that she didn't tell anyone she was a lesbian. Payne said keeping quiet wasn't possible. 'That's the conundrum in the African-American community,' Payne said. 'They don't want to talk about it, but they know you're there.' "
Payne is spot-on. There are precious few black gayborhoods in the country and the majority of black LGBTs live in the larger black community. On the other hand Washington D.C. has one of the largest black LGBT communities in the country—many of whom live in NE and SE, many others in suburban Maryland. Will the District's many black gay men and lesbians stand up and be counted while Marion Barry and Harry Jackson insist there are few "out" black gays in their city? We shall see...
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