Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

An Open Letter to the African American Community on Marriage Equality
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2006-04-01

This article shared 5495 times since Sat Apr 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Dear Community,

In recently celebrating Black History Month and Valentine's Day, I am reminded of no greater challenge to the African-American community than the issue of marriage equality.

With the topic still being debated—with African-American ministers leading the campaign against it and, ironically, with many African-American lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities also not wedded to the idea—I am afraid that the civil-rights issues concerning same-sex marriage as it affects all Black families—straight and gay alike—may very well become a non-issue.

And if we are looking at how to move forward on the issue of same-sex marriage, let us remember that an African-American woman named Mildred Loving set the precedent for same-sex marriage.

Loving gained notoriety when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in her favor that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. Her crime was this country's racial and gender obsession—interracial marriage.

Married to a white man, Loving and her husband were indicted by a Virginia grand jury in October 1958 for violating the state's Racial Integrity Act of 1924.

The trial judge stated the following to the guilty couple:

'Almighty God created the races white, Black, yellow, Malay and red, and He placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.'

The trial judge suspended their sentences on the condition the Lovings leave Virginia and not return to the state together for 25 years. The Lovings initially agreed and left, but returned soon after and decided to fight their case.

On June 12, 1967, Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the high court:

'Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival ... . Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.'

One of the ways this society has been able to control and regulate human sexuality and race relations is through the institution of marriage. Before the Loving case, there was the case of marriage equality concerning our ancestors residing in the American South. African-American slaves were forbidden to marry until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Prior to that, my ancestors had to 'jump over the broom'—an African-American tradition—to legalize their nuptials before a crowd of witnesses.

African Americans have always had a tenuous relationship with the institution of marriage. Therefore, one can argue that the topic of marriage equality in the U.S. has always been a Black issue.

So I ask: why the opposition or indifference to same-sex marriage?

Social research shows that African-American same-gender households have everything to gain in the struggle for marriage equality and more to lose when states pass amendments banning marriage equality and other forms of partner recognition.

In November 2005, Equality Maryland and the National Black Justice Coalition published 'Jumping the Broom: a Black Perspective on Same-Gender Marriage.' The publication was produced to initiate dialogue in churches, fraternal organizations, media outlets, and NAACP chapters.

The statistics revealed the following: Forty-five percent of Black same-sex couples reported stable relationships of five years or longer. Even if marriage becomes a legal option, clergy will decide who they wish to marry. And 20 percent of Black men and 24 percent of Black women in same-sex households are denied healthcare benefits for their partners by government.

Statistics may be helpful, but what does same-sex marriage look like in real time and in blackface?

Historically, it is about saving Black families, with its focus on spiritual content and not physical composition.

Contextually, it's about raising and protecting our families. It is LGBTQ couples raising their siblings' or other family members' children because those family members have died of AIDS or are incarcerated or are too sick.

Multiple-family structures presented by same-sex marriages should not be what the African-American community opposes because those structures are what have saved and what are still saving African-American families. A grandmother or an aunt and uncle—straight or gay—raising us in their loving homes have anchored our families through the centuries. And these multiple-family structures, which we have had to devise as a model of resistance and liberation, have always, by example, shown the rest of society what really constitutes family.

Mildred Loving knew the importance of saving families.

If you get tied in a knot and start wondering what to do concerning the civil rights of same-sex marriage, remember the 'Loving spirit' of Mildred.

Rev. Monroe is an adjunct professor of religion and the director of Multicultural and Spiritual Programming at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. She writes a biweekly column, 'The Religion Thang,' for In Newsweekly, in New England, and an online column, 'Queer Take,' for The Witness, a progressive Episcopalian journal.

Museum Shows Mexican-Africans

The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum is showcasing The African Presence in Mexico, the most comprehensive project ever organized about African contributions to Mexican culture. The show will feature three exhibitions: The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present; Roots, Resistance and Recognition; and Common Goals, Common Struggles, and Common Ground. In addition, there will be various public and educational programs.

According to the museum's Web site, the project examines the missing chapter in Mexican history involving the African contributions to Mexican culture over the past nearly 500 years. The exhibitions will run until Sept. 3 and will then be shown on a tour involving at least four other museums in the U.S. and Mexico.

The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum is located at 1852 W. 19th and the phone is ( 312 ) 738-1503. See www.mfacmchicago.org/current for more info.


This article shared 5495 times since Sat Apr 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Indian marches, delegation in Cuba, anti-LGBTQ+ investigation 2023-01-15
- Hundreds of people took part in the first Delhi Queer Pride march in three years as pressure grows for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India, The Manila Times noted. In March, the South Asian's top ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Testifying in D.C., Brittney Griner, marriage law, school policies 2022-12-18
- WARNING: This week's news contains graphic content. Survivors of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs that killed five people and injured approximately 20 others joined GLAAD and other advocates in providing testimony before the House ...


Gay News

Cook County's Kevin Morrison attends signing of Respect for Marriage Act at the White House 2022-12-13
-- From a press release - Washington D.C. — December 13thth 2022 — Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison attended the signing of the historic Respect for Marriage Act recently passed by both chambers of congress. The bill guarantees the federal rights ...


Gay News

With President Biden's signature, Respect for Marriage Act is law 2022-12-13
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — celebrated today as President Biden signed the Respect ...


Gay News

President Biden signs Respect for Marriage Act into law; groups and leaders respond 2022-12-13
-- From press releases - In response to President Biden signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law, groups and leaders release statements. ...


Gay News

Respect for Marriage Act passage important step but not equity says LGBTQIA+/ally Catholic group 2022-12-09
-- From a press release - Dec. 8, 2022. DignityUSA, the nation's foremost organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church and society, is pleased that both houses of Congress have now passed the ...


Gay News

Groups and leaders celebrate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act 2022-12-08
-- From press releases - U.S. Representative Mike Quigley: Washington, D.C.— Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, released the following statement celebrating the passage of ...


Gay News

Congress passes Respect for Marriage Act, sends to President Biden for signature 2022-12-08
-- From a press release. Video below - (New York, NY - December 8, 2022) — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. ...


Gay News

WORLD Japan ruling, Kenya groups, World Cup, Almodovar 2022-12-04
Video below - A district court in the Tokyo Prefecture ruled that Japan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is legal, according to The Washington Blade. In a statement to Reuters, plaintiffs' attorney Nobuhito Sawasaki said, "This is actually a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans officials, marriage equality, Karl Schmid, Pelosi, Buttigieg 2022-12-04
Video below - Once all of the newly elected officials are seated, there will be nine transgender state legislators (up from eight this year) and nine non-binary state legislators across the country, NBC News noted, citing The Victory Institute. ...


Gay News

Landmark step toward equality: Senate passes bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act 2022-11-29
-- From press releases - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Respect for Marriage Act, lesbian judge, gay official resigns 2022-11-20
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said that debate on the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) is suspended and will continue on Nov. 28, when the Senate reconvenes after Thanksgiving, LGBTQ Nation reported. The RFMA ...


Gay News

Senate marriage equality bill advances with 62-37 bipartisan vote 2022-11-16
- A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators voted 62-37 for cloture—the end of debate—for the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), signaling passage in the near future for the measure that enshrines marriage equality into federal law. The ...


Gay News

Rights advocates: Nov. 16 Senate vote a 'backstop' against SCOTUS overreach 2022-11-16
- Representatives from HRC and GLAD met with media virtually the morning of Nov. 16 to discuss the implications of the Respect of Marriage Act. That legislation, scheduled for a Senate vote the same day, codifies marriage ...


Gay News

Reports: Senate to vote on marriage equality law Nov. 16 2022-11-15
- The U.S. Senate will vote on a measure enshrining marriage equality into law Wednesday, according to reports. Supporters of the measure, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, which aims to protect against an eventual repeal ...


 




Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.