"an abomination to God's word"
African American minister W. James Favorite rejects equating the struggle for gay rights with the civil rights movement.
105 years ago today that Sigmund Freud told the world homosexuals were not sick and they should not be treated as sick. It would take the American Psychiatric Association 70 years to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Culturally it still remains a sickness in the hearts and minds of the majority of people in most countries. Successes have been many compared to where we were yet so much more is needed to allow homosexuals to live full and happy lives. Most of Europe and Canada have passed laws that protect against discrimination as have many US States and cities. It remains a political football nevertheless. The old adage, that ones rights are only as good as the next election rings as true today than at anytime in our past.
As the United States approaches a watershed election, poised to erase one gigantic barrier in the fight for equality by electing a black President, gays are again suffering a backlash. Republicans and many Democrats have spoken in favour of ballot measures amending state constitutions to ban gay marriage.
The ballot measure in California would reverse a court decision that said it was discriminatory to ban gay marriage. To beat the courts, Californians are being asked to change the constitution. If successful, the amendment would forbid gay marriage.
The ballot measure is a ruse to get likely republican voters out to support the republican ticket. The measures are designed to play to peoples fears. It worked for George W Bush and it may hold a couple of states for McCain. McCain can still win the election if they motivate enough people, scare them with the 'homosexual agenda' or the prospect of having a black President.
The Obama campaign is riding high. Obama is leading among, urban, women, youth and college educated voters. Yet none of these groups come close to his overwhelming support in the Black and gay communities of America. He is expected to rack up 80 percent or more of all black votes in this election. Democrats are use to receiving the support of black voters, yet they have never seen such lopsided support from any community before with the exception of gays.
Obama's success is exciting for all of us looking for equality and hope, yet there likely will be some unintended consequences for gays in Florida. Florida's ballot measure to prevent gay marriage is also supported by a very large number of blacks in that state. In the tight race for President, republicans are getting the evangelical vote out because of the ballot measure. Democrats are getting the vote out for Obama. The unintended consequence for the Democratic ticket in getting the black vote out, may be the success of a constitutional amendment that discriminates against gays and unmarried straight couples.
African-American Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Tampa views gay marriage as "an abomination to God's word," minister W. James Favorite told USA Today. He rejects equating the struggle for gay rights with the civil rights movement.
The vote to bar gay marriage requires a 60 percent threshold to succeed. Right now polls say the measure has 55 to 59 % support. A record turnout among blacks and young voters backing Obama could cut both ways.
The St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald statewide poll found 48 percent of Democrats support the amendment and a whopping 69 percent of black voters. "Its promise lies in the fact that you are going to see an increase in turnout among African-American voters," Kellyanne Conway, president of the Polling Company told the St. Petersburg Times.
It would be a tragedy to see so many that have suffered so long in their pursuit of equality rejoice in Obama's success, only to see the rights of others eliminated as they celebrate. Obama is everyone's hope.
Read here of one persons "Welcome to the family experience" and Andrew Sullivan's Big Fat Straight Wedding.
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