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
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 5192 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 5192 times since Sat Apr 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Commission: Jamaica should repeal same-sex ban 2021-02-18
- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the top rights body of the Americas, said in a symbolic landmark ruling on Feb. 17 that Jamaica should repeal its colonial-era gay sex ban, Reuters reported. Two Jamaicans ...


Gay News

Leading groups submit amicus briefs against discrimination against LGBT surviving spouses 2021-02-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON D.C.—AARP, AARP Foundation, SAGE and the American Society on Aging (ASA) filed amicus briefs today in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing that the ...


Gay News

WORLD Honduran Congress, deportation, Canadian support, athlete comes out 2021-01-24
- On Jan. 21, members of the Honduran Congress voted to amend the constitution, making it much harder to reverse existing hard-line bans on abortion and same-sex marriage, as lawmakers double down on socially conservative priorities, Openly ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage proposal, Creating Change, mural erased, 'Queer Santa' 2021-01-05
- A COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a Canton, South Dakota, hospital turned into a marriage proposal for one healthcare couple, CNN.com noted. Robbie Vargas-Cortes, 31, a paramedic and EMS supervisor, was scheduled to get his vaccination on ...


Gay News

WORLD Lithuania outlook, HIV/AIDS and COVID, lawyer arrested, trans youth 2020-12-27
- Lithuania appears set to legalize same-sex civil partnerships next year, but same-sex marriage could be up to a decade away, according to Tomas Raskevicius—the country's only openly LGBT+ lawmaker, Reuters reported. "We're going to submit t ...


Gay News

Switzerland's parliament okays marriage equality, residents to have final say 2020-12-18
- On Dec. 18, the Swiss parliament approved a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, finally bringing the nation in line with much of Europe on LGBTQ rights, TheLocal.ch reported. However, the Swiss residents themselves will have ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-11-16
- "You can't say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until very recently, that's what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it's considered bigotry."—Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. So much for ...


Gay News

WORLD Canada museum, gay NZ leader, marriage items, 'Drag Race' 2020-11-09
- The embattled Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) said it's planning sweeping changes to rebuild the organization more than four months after staff came forward with shocking allegations of racism and LGBT censorship, CBC.ca reported. The ...


Gay News

Jennifer N. Pritzker, Erin E. Solaro wed 2020-11-02
--From a press release - Jennifer N. Pritzker and Erin E. Solaro were married in a private ceremony in Chicago on Oct. 31, 2020. Ms. Pritzker is President & CEO of TAWANI Enterprises Inc., Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army, Retired, and Founder ...


Gay News

WORLD Taiwan marriages, Nigeria court, protests, GQ Awards 2020-11-02
- Two women became the first military officers to marry their same-sex civilian partners at a mass military wedding in Taiwan—marking another landmark for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, CNN.com reported. The island's defense ministry called it an ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus co-chairs bring resolution affirming court's marriage ruling 2020-10-30
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. - Tomorrow the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Co-Chairs, Chris Pappas (NH-01), David Cicilline (RI-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Sean Patrick Maloney ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage support, GLSEN, LGBTQ voting campaigns 2020-10-26
- Seventy percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to the 11th annual American Values Survey—the highest percentage recorded by a major national poll, NBC News reported. The results found just 28 percent of respondents oppose the ...


Gay News

Pope calls for same-sex civil unions in documentary (UPDATED) 2020-10-21
- In a departure from the position held by the Vatican's doctrinal office, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a documentary that aired in Rome, NBC News noted. "Homosexuals ...


Gay News

WORLD India couple, Japan items, pro-trans writers, Nigeria job fair 2020-10-12
- In India, a same-sex couple approached the Delhi High Court seeking legal recognition of their marriage under the Foreign Marriage Act, India.com reported. The petitioners, an Indian citizen and an overseas citizen, are two gay men ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage equality, minister and trans journalist die, HRC 2020-10-12
- LGBTQ-rights advocates are warning of a renewed threat to marriage equality, NBC News reported. President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ignited fears of ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.