After publishing our piece yesterday “5 Reasons Why Touré Is Wrong On Blacks, Gay Marriage and Obama,” we had the chance to talk about the president’s new support for marriage equality with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer.
We took calls from black listeners and talked to Lehrer about the many reasons why we believe black angst over gay rights is overplayed and how we strongly believe there will be no major fall out for Obama with black voters.
In addition to the five politicians we noted in yesterday’s piece who have supported gay rights and been elected by black constituencies (Washington, D.C.’s Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray, Newark’s Cory Booker, Massachusetts’s Deval Patrick, and Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter), we talked to Lehrer about black politicians of all ages across the country who now support gay marriage. They include:
— Multiple members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including its chair, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri
— Attorney General Eric Holder, who is leading the Department of Justice in asserting that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional
— Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, civil rights hero and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) who was attacked during the Freedom Rides in South Carolina and nearly beaten to death during the March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
— Congressman John Conyers of Detroit, the second longest serving member of the House of Representatives (and longest serving black representative)
— Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas
Of course, there are black politicians here in New York City (Charles Barron, Ruben Diaz, Sr.) and around the nation (Republican Congressman Allen West) who are not for same-sex marriage. But when you take into account that the President of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the nation’s only black governor, every black state senator in New York, and the chairman and most prominent members of the Congressional Black Caucus are for same-sex marriage — well, it makes it pretty hard to see how they’ll all be knocked out of office by black voters.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 11, 2012