- Last Updated on 08:10 AM 06/06/12
- BY Melvin D. Whitlock
President Obama’s timely support for same sex marriage has generated a wave of discussion amongst the American people. Whether it is the workplace water-cooler, letters in local newspapers or reports on local and national news, the recent “flip-flop,” I mean “evolving” position of the president on the matter of same sex marriage, has reemerged the issue into a public discussion.
Recently the State of North Carolina, like 31 other States in our Union, publicly voted to recognize marriage solely as an institution between one man and one woman. As a result of this decision by the people of North Carolina, much like the other states who voted similar, the decision for defining marriage has drawn dissidence from the gay acceptance movement.
One of the most frequent arguments made by gay acceptance advocates for same sex marriage has been the constant attempt to relate its cause to the fight for black civil rights.
Factually, same sex marriage is not the sole target of marriage referendums; however, it is the most outspoken against marriage referendums.
Factually, the civil rights movement has a deep culture of Christianity; however, the gay acceptance movement largely rejects or alters Christian doctrine to satisfy a worldly view.
Lastly, it is factual that laws were put in place to discourage blacks from voting during the 1950s and 1960s; however, members of the gay community have always been free to participate in the voting process.
Since Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage, several civil rights icons have politically aligned themselves with the gay acceptance movement. These men and women have allowed the gay acceptance movement to push a faulty ideal that the fight for gay marriage in 2012 is the same as the fight for civil rights in the 1960s.
In my opinion, political loyalty to the Democrat Party and liberal ideology in addition to a desperate desire for relevancy in 21st century America has caused these leaders to compromise the moral cause of civil rights.
There comes a time and place where even those who fought for a worthy cause in the past are susceptible to losing touch with that same cause in later years. Even those who are championed as leaders, icons, innovators for civil rights justice can and should be called into question when political loyalty takes precedent over moral duty.
As a person of color, I find it extremely offensive to hear gay acceptance advocates liken their agenda to the cause for black civil rights. Not even Jesse Jackson, and his political loyalty, can hide or compromise the Christian heritage behind the fight for black civil rights; nor can the embrace of same sex marriage by Julian Bond or the NAACP refute the fact that the gay acceptance movement opposes Christian doctrine.
Every morning as I wake up, brush my teeth, get ready for work, I have to look at myself in the mirror. There has never been one moment that I have looked in the mirror, and I have not seen the same brown skin for 29 years. Every morning that I walk out my front door to engage society, just as I notice my brown skin in the mirror, society notices my brown skin as its first impression of my physical appearance. No I am not speaking in terms of racism; instead, I am speaking in terms of recognizing the racial diversity we as Americans encounter on a daily basis.
Several factors can be attributed to the potential cause of a person’s formulation of a sexual orientation, whether it is biological or environmental; however, in terms of race, the only factor for a person’s skin complexion is genetic.
If a gay man walks down the street, there is no physical trait to suggest that he is gay. The point of recognizing a person’s sexual orientation can be suggested from three major factors: dress attire, speech and opened-behavior. Unlike the gay man walking down the street, my skin color is something seen regardless of my dress attire, my speech or my behavior.
As I walk through society, I cannot genetically transform my skin complexion for one color on Sunday and another color on Monday. Although there are various complexions of skin color, none are genetically interchangeable for the occasion.
In terms of the gay community, the concept of bi-sexuality proves a fallacy in the assertion that sexual orientation and race can be viewed in the same biological standard. After all, if race and sexual orientation are uncontrolled conditions, then the bi-sexual must either be a farce or non-existent.
In my opinion, the issue of same sex marriage is a matter of acceptance and not an issue of basic civil rights. I call the support for same sex marriage a movement of acceptance, not as a means to discredit its agenda, but because there are no laws in place that specifically target people who are gay. Are there any laws in America that deter people in the gay community from voting? Are there any laws in America that require people in the gay community to use separate public facilities? Lastly, are there any laws in America that strictly forbid people in the gay community from cohabitating with one another?
The Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia of 1968, has been used by the gay acceptance movement as a rallying cry in support of same sex marriage. The Loving v. Virginia case overturned segregation statutes that prohibited white Virginians from interracially marrying. Chief Justice Earl Warren, who presided over the case, delivered the opinion of the courts for overturning the law. In Justice Warren’s opinion, he made the following critical points for the court’s decision:
“There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.”
“The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.”
“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival.”
Overall, the issue concerning interracial marriage in 1968 was based largely on the Fourteenth Amendment. In addition, the decision pointed to the fact that the only people who were punished for any form of interracial marriage were white citizens, as a means to preserve purity for the white race.
If same sex marriage were the sole target of marriage referendums, then the Loving v. Virginia case would hold more legitimacy in the gay acceptance advocates’ comparison; however, the statutes of defining marriage extends to any form of marriage outside of man and woman.
Once upon a time the word ‘gay’ was not used in context to describe a person’s sexual orientation; instead, it was used to describe a person as ‘merry’ or in a ‘lively’ mood. It is likely that a “bully,” somewhere along society, transformed this term to generalize people who have a same sex preference of physical attraction.
In recognizing several tactics used by the gay acceptance movement against those who oppose homosexuality, I contend that the gay acceptance movement has become a bully to American society.
As evidenced by diagnosing people who disagree with the homosexual lifestyle as having a ‘phobia,’ attempting to silence pastors from speaking in opposition to the lifestyle from the pulpits or forcing high school students to attend gay sensitivity training, the bully tactics of the gay acceptance movement has victimized even the most civil of opposition.
Personally, I have encountered many instances of mischaracterization by gay acceptance advocates over my civil opposition to homosexuality. My personal belief on the issue of homosexuality is that, although I morally disagree with the lifestyle, I believe in people having the ability to practice free-will. If ever there is a point for myself, or anyone who opposes homosexuality, to present such a position, it is only in response to an aggressive public push to promote the lifestyle within our society.
As a person of color I recognize that the dissidence for my disagreement, or any person of color’s disagreement of homosexuality, receives a higher level of aggressive intolerance from the gay acceptance movement, as opposed to opponents of other races.
Although I have several documented cases of being racially scolded by gay acceptance advocates, I will make the point on my position with the comments of comedian and gay acceptance advocate, Roseanne Barr. In response to over 70 percent of black Californians voting in favor to define marriage between one man and one woman (Proposition 8) in the ‘Golden State,’ Barr racially scolded blacks for their support of the referendum with the following:
“They [Blacks] showed themselves every inch as bigoted and ignorant as their white Christian right wing counter partners who voted for McCain-Palin and Bush-Cheney“-Roseanne, Nov. 10th, 2011
As many in the gay acceptance movement often do, Barr used her dissent to scold and negatively target the Christian faith as a tool of bigotry and ignorance. Barr went on to suggest that black Christian voters should “repent” for their decision to support Proposition Eight.
Through blatant intimidation to discourage people from the freedoms of holding a different point of view on the issue of gay acceptance, through the evidence presented, it should be clear that the gay acceptance movement shows a drastic contradiction to its call for tolerance.
President Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage came as no major shock to me, because his support base demands that he endorses lifestyle to be as American as “apple pie.”
I am not surprised several civil rights icons and groups have clamored to the idea of linking same sex marriage as a descendant of the civil rights movement; after all, the moral fiber of civil rights has long been abandoned in place of political loyalty by these men and groups.
It is time for all of America, but in particular black America, to individually rediscover the precious values of the civil rights movement that have been morally compromised by self-ordained ‘leaders of the community’ along the way.
It is common for an agenda to recite favorable quotes by leaders of moral valor; however, the same agendas seldom use quotes from men and women, whose quotes do not agree with the agenda’s moral disposition.
I have seen several gay acceptance supporters use many quotes from Dr. King in order to rally support behind their agenda; however, I have yet to see the gay acceptance movement place its agenda under the tent of the following quote from Reverend King:
“Cowardice asks the question ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question ‘Is it politic?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.” Martin Luther King Jr.
My challenge to America, especially black America, is to fall on the conviction of conscience and not the politics of moral compromise. Individually, everyone must examine the moral character of those whom we have elected to lead and serve as spokespersons for our belief systems. Those like myself, who have benefitted from the blood and sweat of marchers for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, must become its greatest protectors and preservationists to its moral history.