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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Quotelines
by Rex Wockner and Tracy Baim
2004-04-07

This article shared 3004 times since Wed Apr 7, 2004
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'Shame on you, Jesse Jackson. Shame. I have listened with the patience of Job to the debate over gay marriage. I have watched as liberals and conservatives, clerics and politicians, activists and housewives have all carved out predictable parcels in the rhetorical landscape—digging in, preparing for inevitable political battle. But if you have been an observer of U.S. political theater as long as I have, none of this is new. What was new and gravely disappointing, however, were the recent comments on this issue by Rev. Jackson—a man I have long respected for his unrelenting work in the name of social justice. During a recent address at Harvard Law School, Jackson said: 'The comparison with slavery is a stretch in that some slave masters were gay, in that gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution and in that they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote.' Faced with the question of gay marriage, Jackson has shown himself to be, instead of the champion of social justice I have long admired, someone who bows to political pressure to fall in line with black clergy far less credible and intellectually capable than he. So while Jackson is not alone in his stance on gay marriage, he certainly in this case has not chosen to stand on the side of social justice and civil rights.' — African American gay scholar Dwight A. McBride in the March 28 Chicago Tribune. He is chairman of the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University and author of the upcoming book Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch: Essays.

'Saying that some slave masters were gay not only aligns the gay community with white oppressors but also tries to circumvent the obvious corollary that some slaves, therefore, were also gay. When Jackson suggests that gays 'were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution,' he ignores the fact that this is precisely what we will be doing if we pass a constitutional amendment abridging the right to civil marriage among that class of citizens known as gays and lesbians. We will be writing into the Constitution an amendment that denies the right of civil marriage for one group of citizens while reserving that right for others.' — McBride.

'As a black gay man, I recognize that I cannot trust my freedom to be fully achieved by the current civil rights movement or the current gay rights movement. So for now I work and struggle at the margins of both, hoping to make both of them more inclusive, more responsible, more effective. There is certainly much to be said about the racism found in the gay and lesbian community. There is much to be said about the overwhelming use of white faces to represent that community in mainstream media. Still, blacks must own up to the fact that we do the same thing when it comes to our ideas about the black community. We exclude gays and lesbians.' — McBride.

'For some time now, I've heard African-Americans argue that it's not fair for gay people to compare their quest for equal rights with the civil rights movement. Last week, several dozen African-American pastors rallied at a church in the Atlanta area and signed a declaration of opposition to gay marriage. They added that they were appalled at the way same-sex marriage advocates have co-opted the civil rights movement. ... Those who don't appreciate the comparison say it's unfair because gays never had to endure slavery; weren't systematically denied the opportunity to read or write; didn't suffer Jim Crow laws; and aren't readily recognizable as gay unless they choose to be. ... Folk who don't like the gay rights-civil rights link also suggest that being gay is a lifestyle choice unlike being born a certain hue. They say gay white men always have had more privileges than African Americans. Well, it's true that the two movements don't perfectly parallel one another. But it's not necessary that they do. The goal of the civil rights movement was to change unjust laws. And, right now, many marriage statutes across the country in some way or another restrict marriage to a man and a woman. ... While the two movements don't perfectly parallel one another, ironically they do intersect on the issue of marriage. For a long time, racists believed it an outrageous proposition for people of different races to marry.' — African American Author Dawn Turner Trice in her Chicago tribune column March 29.

'I understand that folks will be morally opposed to gay marriage. I understand also that within the black community, particularly the black church, there remains a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy when it comes to homosexuality. But I think it's unfortunate when those who have suffered oppression forget what it's like to be standing on the outside looking in.' — Dawn Turner Trice.

'Did you know it's no longer correct to say gay or lesbigay or even GLBT? It's now GLBTQ, the latter for 'questioning.' Questioning, my left testicle. I say it's BLT and to hell with it.' — New Joy of Gay Sex author Felice Picano to Canada's Capital Xtra!, Jan. 15.

'I hear Mary Cheney is creating a new line of walk-in closets with revolving doors.' — Openly lesbian California Board of Equalization chairwoman Carole Migden, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle.

'My career has never been stronger. There's far more interest in me as an actor than when I was closeted.' — Queer As Folk's Robert Gant to Out magazine, April issue.

'They [gays] kept me alive when I got into trouble with the Johnson administration. As long as they kept looking for my records and imitating me, then of course my name was always alive, so I'm very grateful to them.' — Eartha Kitt to the Miami gay newspaper The Weekly News, Feb. 12.

'I love the gay community. Naturally, having been in this business since I was 17, I came into contact with gay people very young in my life. To me they were always the most talented, the kindest, they have the most wicked senses of humor—I always felt comfortable. I was never threatened, ever, and I just embraced them and loved them.' — Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson to the Miami gay newspaper The Weekly News.

'False, vicious gossip that after thorough investigation by numerous media outlets have [sic] been found to be completely baseless.' — Robert Black, spokesman for Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, responding to rumors that Perry's wife Anita is planning to divorce him after finding him in bed with a man, to the Dallas Voice, March 12.

'Another guy that I sense is a funny bunny is that teen idol kid Clay Aiken. How does this guy flutter below the gaydar without being caught? He's a cross between Howdy Doody and k.d. lang's more feminine yet less attractive little sis.' — Columnist Paulo Murillo in Los Angeles' fab!


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