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06 January 2009


the Gay Numbers

I watched some minister try to link marriage equality to the lack of marriage in the African-American community. It was all about shifting blame off his shoulders to some external party. "It's the gays." It's sad, but two communities are harmed by the black Christian leadership at this point. White straight Christians can afford these games of distraction. Blacks can not. I think they know they aren't helping the black community. I think they do this to retain their position of moral authority in the community. Whereas going after the real issues, they would fail, and therefore, they would lose respect. It's screwed up, but I think that's the reality.


Rod, I really love your blog and hope you come back post wise for the new year. You brought up alot of important things in the past (that I wouldn't have heard elsewhere) from the racism after the prop 8 protest to the increase of HIV rates for black men and I'd hate to see you get un-active again.

Maybe to help things get going this you should invite some guest bloggers and do a little more on gay black scenes or general history? Adding some of our transgender/lesbian sisters and brothers is another good idea.

M. Mark

I don't think Rod is being "unactive" at all. He took a break during the holidays like many other people did. Are you talking about this post or something? Cause this is an important story and he broke it.

Now. Do you know of another story facing the black gay community right now today that Rod is ignoring?

Derrick from Philly

Yes, Rod, it is unfortunate that every time the issue of gay civil rights oomes up nowadays, the anti-gay spokesperson is often black. It is an evil and insidiously brilliant tactic used by white conservatives and white evangelicals: pit blacks against gays. The face of hate towards gays becomes black, and the face of gay beocmes white. We shouldn't let this devious strategy work.

One thing to remember while we point out the "blackness" of this anti-gay sentiment is the religious background of many American Blacks. They are fundamendalist Christians--even those who haven't set foot in a church since they got their new Easter outfit at age ten.

"God made Adam and Eve--not Adam and Steve"--the Jerry Springer Church of Old Testament explanations of what "gay" is. Many black/white fundamendalists don't have a clue as to what "sexual orientation" means. We've have got to teach them--bring them into the 21st Century. It's difficult--especially without the help of black media, black artists and black educators...(am I being kinda' harsh here?) Only black elected officials (Democrats) are usually brave enough to side with gay civil rights.

What other group do Black Americans share these religious views with? Why, their old nemisis: the Southern White American Protestant, of course. Now, let's do some polling of white folks in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and lovely South Carolina--and let's see if those white folks' view of gay marriage rights are similar to those black pastors in Cleveland.

No one uses harsher language against anti-gay black gay-bashers than I do, but it infuriates me to see how many white gays are falling for this strategy of turning the face of anti-gay hate into a black face.


This is a great story and the gay numbers is right. It's a distraction and another attempt by black pastors to remain relevant and to hold on to power. We cannot afford the distraction but many in our community do not understand.

Totally Unrelated is totally random. Pay her no mind. Rod is just nominated as one of the best blogs and some queen has suggestions on how he can improve lol.

Mel Smith

It's so dangerous that those men want their personal religious beliefs to affect how people are treated in society. And one of the ministers leads an AIDS board?

Mel Smith

Derrick, you're right in arguing how black people ignorance about sexual orientation contributes to our destruction. Our refusal to see sexual orientation as being diverse is also killing us as a people. But, I want to know how in the hell did those ministers become leaders of HIV boards; they are one of the reasons why HIV exist in our communities.

the Gay Numbers

Well, in fairness, the issue of black sexuality (gay or straight or otherwise) is a big issue in the community. The reality is that other than as a hoochie mama gansta rap video or something like that, sex from what I have seen in my own family and others is rarely discussed openly. It's hard to have a frank donversation about gay sexuality when you can't even discuss your own.

The church reinforces this. It's like they took on the worse aspect of the opressor about faith. For a long time, black sexuality and sex was taboo due to our history, but that taboo has been passed down. Now, there is a lot of dysfunction over it.

Again, I think any honest preacher would admit to this. Rather than addressing the issue, they seek scapegoats. What's easier? telling someone to curtail someone else's sins or telling that person to curtail their own sins? It's easier to address us than to address themselves. I think this is extremely unhealthy for our community.

Mel Smith

These so-called "men of God" are really all about themselves. How do we address HIV without having an open mind about sexual orientation and how diverse it is?


One has to wonder if their will ever be TRUE separation of Church and State. I'm so tired of the Religious communities oppressive ways! Especially our Black Religious leaders!!


Rod (and Derrick!) hit the nail on the head...The biggest problems in our community are never addressed by these so called black religious leaders. They rarely talk about crime, housing or education and how that destroys the black family....Instead they use gays as a boogeyman to scare everyone. I am sick of it.


If only they could get together and stop the killings of young black men, the out of control out of wedlock birthrates of young black women, bad schools, lack of jobs in their communities, drug addiction, no health care then they would be real men, not two bit attention seeking chumps out for a few coins.


This is so sad.

Derrick in Philly is right. The black community is making great advances like electing Obama. But at the same time we keep going backwards with these fundamentalist preachers. The world is much more sophisticated than there flat earth "God made Adam and Eve" approach. We need to think of ways to engage our community and become more progressive.

Chris Cruz

Stories like this enrage me but I have learned to deal with it. This is our legacy of slavery and oppression that we have to learn to deal with. No one else can deal with it, its up to black gays and our straight black friends to educate, inspire and change minds.


This is an important story to me. I grew up in Cleveland, my family still lives there, many of them listen to and believe these ministers.

what is so wrong about about a domestic registry? there are no benefits or powers? what is so evil?

Rev. Matthews and Rev. McMickle are such hypocrites. they want to be the final authorities in their communities. meanwhile gang violence and shootings are rampant and children are abused in their own neighborhoods and they say nada.

bless it ...


Rod, I’m so glad you mentioned the dreadful economic situation in Cleveland. This is a city where you can buy houses now for a dollar (yes, $1), but you wouldn’t even want to, because half the other houses in their neighborhoods have already been abandoned. My (also gay) brother is unemployed in Cleveland, but he is trapped, with no hope of ever finding anything despite his skills, experience, and relentless searching.

But then there are our good friends, the men of the cloth, paid off by their white Republican/fundamentalist benefactors to betray their congregations in the face of economic despair.

Does anyone beside myself notice the parallels between these evil pastors and those in Africa, with even more impoverished congregations? Both succeed in squeezing out dollars from retired widows living on thin air and from unemployed fathers struggling to feed young children by flattering them, telling them how righteous they were for having “chosen” heterosexuality over perversion. Both use a minority held in contempt as a scapegoat in the face of economic calamity. Both use gay folks as a diversion while they abet the theft of their homes, jobs, and tax monies by those in power—and probably get a bit of a cut themselves.

None of this is new, of course. As the ages pass, only the particulars of the scapegoats change. The techniques of divide and conquer are older than the pyramids where the pharaohs of Egypt were entombed, dressed in priceless gems and gold.


It's not a slave thing or oppression thing it's a HETEROSEXUAL thing. Heterosexuals oppress gay people all over the world. It's in their nature to oppress others.

Please read a study called "The Gender Belief System, Authoritarianism, Social Dominance Orientation, and Heterosexuals' Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men". It tells how heterosexuals oppress gay people.

the Gay Numbers

That's incorrect. This is not a matter of heterosexual versus queer. When you say all over the world, I have to first ask where? Because the truth is it depends on the religion. What you describe is a product of the spread of Christianity and Islam with their prohibitions against homosexuality. That's not about heterosexuality. Indeed, if you look at native cultures, you see quite a difference picture. For example, before the influence of Christianity, there were many Native American cultures which embraced the two-spirit- (essentially queers). In some cultures in Rusia before the rise of christianity you can see the same things. You also see that in ancient times.

What you describe is a product of modern religious doctrine that gained favor later in the church's developmeny. Even the early Christian church did not specifically condemn homosexuality. It was only when the church fully started to consolidate tht like Judiasm , the Church began to prosecute homosexuals.

So much of this history is buried now by both the left and right that its hard to even have a real conversation. There is no natural dispoition against homosexuality. That's a development of the last 1000 years as christianithy and islam spread.

Cevin Fisher

Okay Gay Numbers, you may have a point about organized religion and Christianity and Islam reinforcing oppression of gays. But what is the point in romanticizing native and preChristianity cultures? It's not like you can wave a magic wand and the last "1000 years" will erase.

This is the situation we're in now. We have to deal with organized, committed Christians in this country and fundamentalism that is validated by government decree. I really don't understand why some gay men intellectualize every issue.

There is no point is yearning for preColumbian cultures or native culture. It's not coming back and it doesnt necessarily help these arguments to hypothesize about what would happen if we didnt have religion. We do. Lots of it.

the Gay Numbers

I am not romantizing anything. Cut and paste where I do what you claim. One of the issues often on blog is people add things that others have not writen. So, I ask you to cut and paste where I say something that romantizes versus what I did-which was explaining. I don't have an agenda beyond telling the truth.

It's something I studied enough to talk about how its not as what was described. Perhaps there is some agenda beyond this, I don't know. I didn't really care when I posted. I wanted to correct the factual error.

It's meant to portray the situation accurately rather than through the lense of "this is the way things always have been." That's not true.

People need no that, The Right has built this lie over the years and reinforced the lie such that you accept the frame without question. My agenda is to correct that record.

Saying "this is the way things is now" is far different from "this is way things always have been" because the later (the whole comment about heterosexuals) is implying that there is something in human nature that hates gays rather than it being culturally based.

Cevin Fisher

I understand about framing and messaging, as well as history and colonization.

I said this is the way things are "now." I didn't say "always have been."

And yes, I will continue to question why you and others will talk about pre colonial history or pre missionary history. Unless there is a strategy for "now." I didn't read any "now" in your comment, besides to say how religion, Christianity, Islam etc were not "always" the dominant moral authority and native cultures did not oppress homosexuals. I understand that. We just aren't living in that time "now."

Mel Smith

Bill and the Gay numbers, I think the both of you are correct; gay sexuality was very accepted in many societies. But today I think we have to be honest that heterosexuals do oppress gays all over the world.

Mel Smith

Celvin, I think being aware of our history is VERY important. Knowing our history is very important. We can take that knowledge and educate people on how we were not always disrespected, but respected in my societies.

Mel Smith

And not to mention our history can indeed by used as a strategy to help us gain respect in society. But, we need to stop crying and acting like babies towards each other; a lot of heterosexuals already think we are weak cowards.

the Gay Numbers

You can question as much as you like. It still is not valuable to continue false statements about what has and has not been history. You can see how the lie gets worse and worse. Now you have people like Warren, for example, claiming that marriage has always been between a man and woman since the history of recorded man. He was saying just the other day that it goes back 5,000 years. You play into this thought process which reinforces a larger lie. That human history is frozen at what we see now. if people believe that this has always been the case, it makes it harder to argue "no that's not true." More than that I believe in being historically accurate regardless of how you think it affects whatever argument you are making now.

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