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 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

VIEWS Blacks and Prop 8: Reap what we sow
by TRACY BAIM
2008-12-01

This article shared 5215 times since Mon Dec 1, 2008
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


There is a lot of outrage about the hypocrisy of a populace that would vote for "change" and a candidate who represents the nation's true ideals of diversity, Barack Obama, and also vote to ban gay marriage. How could someone vote for Obama and against gay marriage? Why did so many African-Americans vote against same-sex marriage in California? The numbers show high rates of anti-gay votes among Blacks and Latinos, who were especially targeted by the multi-million-dollar funding of the tax-exempt Mormon Church.

I will leave for another day the issue of any tax exemption for any group that is involved in political lobbying, including any church. I will also leave for another day the fact that the same-sex marriage that had been allowed in California did nothing to destroy hetero marriage; why not instead have a a ballot banning divorce? ( Now THAT would save traditional values. ) And finally, it is also a tragedy that any civil rights should ever be allowed to come up for a popular vote, but that, too, is a separate issue.

Rather, I want to add my two cents to the general fault of the gay movement in trying to fight for our rights. There is a lot of blame to share in the California debacle. Bad tactics by the gay groups lobbying against Prop 8. The Mormons. James Dobson. Right-wing fundraisers who use the gay issue as a cash cow. But those who are blaming certain racial groups, or the "uneducated," are off the mark and playing into racial stereotypes. You can use raw statistics to find a "cause" for any success or failure. But to say any one racial group is more homophobic is a simplistic, shallow and a wrong analysis.

Let's look at some other facts. In Chicago, and nationally, Black and Latino elected officials have often been among the strongest allies of the gay movement. Our civil rights in Chicago were won because of diverse aldermanic support and a Black mayor signed it into law ( the late Eugene Sawyer ) . The strongest anti-gay voices, especially those that have true power, are white right-wing politicians, talk-show hosts and preachers. James Dobson, Rush Limbaugh, white evangelicals and the Mormon Church are some of the most vile backers of Prop 8 and other anti-gay marriage efforts. They are white. And they are educated. And they used their funds to laser-target groups of people who were not reached by the gay community.

Why? Because the gay movement has often been very racially divided. The California marriage efforts were therefore hampered by decades of "ignorance" by the gay movement on how to speak to a wide and diverse populace. Yes, it is unfair that we have to defend our rights in a way no other group has ever had to. ( Meaning by popular vote, not lobbying politicians or the courts, but instead lobbying millions of people—interracial marriage bans were struck down in courts, not voted on by citizens. ) But that doesn't mean we can't fight with better ammunition.

It may come as a surprise to some gay leaders, but there are Black and Latino gay people. There are progressive Black leaders, Latino leaders, etc. Those voices were mostly sidelined by the anti-Prop 8 campaign. I saw many of the ads on YouTube, generic ads that often didn't even have gay people in them. Some looked like 1970s coffee ads combined with ads for "female protection," not mentioning certain things to avoid offending people. It's easy to point fingers when others do the work. And the Mormon funding really trounced a lot of the gay fundraising. Plus a lot of the celeb gay money came very late in the game--even from those who had very public marriages.

But a truly heartfelt campaign could have worked, and may be needed next time. We need Black leaders and Black GLBTs in the ads. We need to show that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Meaning that some of these same anti-gays are the same people and groups who have their own anti-civil-rights baggage. James Dobson, the Mormons, the right-wing preachers and others who fought against gays in California, Florida and other states are not friends to civil rights. If we do an Obama-style research campaign against those who hate gays, we will find that diverse communities will begin to see that we are more the same than different. But that message can not come from some traditional white gay mouthpieces, or ad campaigns. It must come from a grassroots, spiritually honest campaign that brings out the gay person in every family in California. They need to connect gay rights to the "separate and unequal" battles of the past, like the eerily similar arguments against inter-racial marriage. ( Why wasn't the Supreme Court's Loving v. Virginia case—which struck down interracial marriage bans—a central argument against Prop 8? ) But this must be done with sensitivity, recognizing that racial and gay inequality are similar, but not the same.

It would be wrong for white gays to simplify this and say "Blacks caused the ban." That is not true, especially given that Blacks were just 10 percent of voters in California. Many whites and other people of color voted against it, too. The GLBT community just did not do its job, making the connections to past oppression and discrimination, and showing this through the words and images of GLBT people of color, not just white allies.

There will be a next time. But in that next time, our community has to do a much better job, overcoming the huge gaps in racial diversity that have plagued our movement for decades. Otherwise, we will once again reap what we sow.

Tracy Baim is co-founder and publisher of Windy City Times. She blogs at www.tracybaim.typepad.com .


This article shared 5215 times since Mon Dec 1, 2008
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

Reggie Greer to be White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues, Victory Institute applauds 2021-03-03
--From a press release - Washington, DC — LGBTQ Victory Institute praised the appointment of Reggie Greer to be President Joe Biden's Director of Priority Placement at PPO and Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues at the White House. Greer served as ...


Gay News

Organizations campaign for stamps honoring LGBTQ icons 2021-03-02
- The International Imperial Court System (IICS) of the United States, Canada, and Mexico and the National LGBTQ Task Force have launched a national campaign asking the U.S. Post Office Department to issue stamps honoring LGBTQ icons ...


Gay News

LGBTQ heroes postage stamp campaign launched 2021-03-02
--From a press release - San Diego, CA: The United States oldest LGBTQ organization; the International Imperial Court System (IICS) of the United States, Canada, and Mexico (founded in 1965), and the oldest LGBTQ civil rights organization; the National LGBTQ Task ...


Gay News

Treasurer Frerichs honors Illinois leaders during Women's History Month 2021-03-01
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — In honor of Women's History Month, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today kicked off a virtual campaign to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women in Illinois. This year's national theme for Women's Histo ...


Gay News

WORLD Ghana turmoil, Malaysia case, Copenhagen 2021, Brazil churches 2021-02-28
- Anti-gay outcry has forced Ghana's first LGBT+ community center to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors three weeks after it opened, Reuters reported. Church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights groups have called on the ...


Gay News

Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to 13M LGBTs 2021-02-26
--From a press release - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, federal legislation that would expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under existing civil rights laws. LGBT ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS Chicago alderman exploring secretary of state run 2021-02-26
- According to Politico Playbook, Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) is exploring the possibility of running for secretary of state. I know I can build on the work that Secretary [of State Jesse] White has done ...


Gay News

Harris reveals legislative agenda for 2021 2021-02-26
--From a press release - With remote committee hearings starting next week, the Spring Session is now truly underway. I wanted to share my legislative agenda for this year with you. In addition to my duties as chief budget negotiator for ...


Gay News

Mike Madigan picks second successor 2021-02-26
- On Feb. 25, Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar was sworn in as the new 22nd District state representative, media outlets reported. Guerrero-Cuellar is the second person to succeed now-former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan in less than a week. ...


Gay News

House passes Equality Act, LGBTQ Victory Institute demands Senate vote 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute — the only national organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ elected officials — applauded the U.S. House for passing the Equality Act and called on U.S. senators not to filibuster ...


Gay News

Vaccine eligibility opens to Illinoisans with serious medical conditions 2021-02-25
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Building on efforts to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Health today announced that Illinoisans with serious medical conditions can be vaccinated ...


Gay News

Dr. Rachel Levine confirmation hearing today, to be first trans Senate-confirmed appointee 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today Dr. Rachel Levine will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about her experience and qualifications to be the next U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health. If moved ...


Gay News

Victory Institute condemns Rand Paul attack on Dr. Rachel Levine, trans youth 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute condemned Senator Rand Paul's transphobic attack on Dr. Rachel Levine during her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He attacked trans you ...


Gay News

Advocates, legislators introduce bill to decriminalize HIV in Illinois 2021-02-25
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD, IL - Legislation was introduced in Springfield this week to end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH), which serve only to stigmatize and discriminate against PLWH. Current Illinois law makes legal behavior — ...


Gay News

Three Illinoisans among Victory Fund's latest endorsed candidates 2021-02-24
- On Feb. 24, LGBTQ Victory Fund—the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office—issued a press release announcing its endorsement of 30 more LGBTQ candidates for 2021 races. Illinois candidates in the group ...


 



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.