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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 02:36 AM
Original message
Is there any solution to the black/gay divide?
There is a huge disconnect between the struggles for gay rights and african-american rights. A lot of it is due to the fact that the black civil rights movement is based largely in the church, and the gay civil rights movement is secular. Blacks, including Jesse Jackson, are largely indifferent, if not contemptuous, to the gay rights struggle.

The two camps SHOULD be natural allies, but they aren't. In fact, blacks are exceptionally unsympathetic to gay rights issues.

We need to align ourselves, but it seems almost impossible right now. How do we solve the problem? How do we join together in a larger rights movement?
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La_Serpiente Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've been thinking about this for awhile
I think many in the black community are split over it themselves.

Let's look at Jesse Jackson. As you said, Jesse Jackson is indifferent towards the Rights of Gays and Lesbians. In fact, some of the same Civil Rights Leaders from the 60s do not support Gay Rights.

Now Coretta Scott King, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, John Lewis, Kweisi Mfume, and a few other prominent African Americans do support it. John Lewis made a good argument for Gay rights in this op-ed.

They are all really great people. However, they are all getting older. They won't be with us for very long, and some of them are busy representing their districts in Congress. There are assaults on Affirmative Action that they need to defend as well.

What we need to do is start all over again with new leaders. It is time for the new generation to take the helm. Personally, I would like to see the movement center around the environment, gay rights, social justice, human rights, and labor. To add something else, we should not just be trying to get the votes in Congress to pass gay rights for all GLBT, but to influence society in an meaningful way by activism.

There is already fairly strong opposistion out there to Gay Marriage in America. We need the movement to make an impact on American society.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. i agree with
much of that. But is the problem one of church vs. secularism? Or is it that blacks are offended by the comparison of the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement? I think both are factors, but the question remains: how do we overcome it? African-Americans are probably less sympathetic to gay rights issues than most traditionally democratic groups. Is there anything to be done about it?
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. The notion of a "black/gay divide" is media fiction
The Congressional Black Caucus is one of the staunchest supporters of gay equality.
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La_Serpiente Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
36. Is the Congressional Black Caucus representative of the entire
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 07:02 AM by La_Serpiente
black community?

Here is a poll I found from July of 2003:

http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=725



Less Opposition to Gay Marriage

The issue of gay marriage recently returned to the public's agenda after the Supreme Court overturned a Texas anti-sodomy law and enunciated what many observers believe is a broad prohibition against government regulation of private sexual behavior. While a majority of the public continues to oppose gay marriage, support has been gradually building over the past few years and the intensity of the opposition has been declining. Overall, 53% say they oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 38% favor the idea. But support is up from 27% in 1996, and strong opposition now stands at 30%, down from 41% in 1996.

There is a growing gap of opinion on this issue along racial and religious lines. Opposition to gay marriage is widespread among white evangelical Protestants and blacks, and opinion within these groups has changed little over the past seven years. White evangelicals remain the most firmly opposed on this issue: 84% opposed it in 1996, 83% do so now. And opposition among African-Americans is also unchanged (65% opposed gay marriage in 1996, 64% today).

By comparison, seculars, white Catholics, white mainline Protestants, and Hispanics have become increasingly open to the idea of legalized gay and lesbian marriage. Opposition to gay marriage among white mainline Protestants dropped from 63% seven years ago to 44% today. White Catholic opposition also dropped 19 points (from 60% to 41%) over this same time period. Even among seculars, who were more supportive of gay marriage than most other groups in 1996, there is less opposition today: 46% opposed gay marriage in 1996, compared with only 30% who do so now. And while most Hispanics (54%) oppose gay marriage, this is somewhat lower than in 1996 (64%).

While most Americans remain opposed to gay marriage, fewer people now say they are strongly opposed. Strong opposition declined even among white evangelicals, from 64% in 1996 to 56% today, and it dropped even more among mainline Protestants, Catholics, and seculars.

This issue divides the public in many other ways as well. Young people are twice as likely as their elders to approve of gay marriage: 52% of those age 18-29 favor it, compared with only 22% among those 65 and older. Women are eight percentage points more supportive than are men (41% to 33%), and people living in the East (48%) and West (43%) are more supportive than Southerners (31%) and those in the Midwest (34%). Far more Democrats and independents (at 45% each) favor gay marriage than do Republicans (24%). Perhaps not surprisingly, people who have a gay friend, family member, or co-worker are more than twice as likely to favor gay marriage (55%) as those who do not (24%).

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Of course, it does not take into account regional differences. However, the poll clearly indicates that there are some differences at least in the black community over this issue.

And for your information, here is how the Congressional Black Caucus voted on DOMA in 1996.

http://www.nbjcoalition.org/support/cbcdoma.html

Voting against DOMA:

CBC Members Who Voted Against DOMA

In the House, Barbara-Rose Collins, John Conyers, Ron Dellums, Julian Dixon, Chaka Fattah, Alcee Hastings, Jesse Jackson Jr., John Lewis, Carrie Meek, Cynthia McKinney, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Donald Payne, Charlie Rangel, Robert Scott, Louis Stokes, Edolphus Towns and Maxine Waters all voted against DOMA.

CBC Members Who Did Not Vote

William Clay, Elijah Cummings, Cleo Fields, Harold Ford, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Major Owens, Bennie Thompson and Mel Watt did not vote.

CBC Members Who Voted For DOMA

Sanford Bishop, Corrine Brown, Eva Clayton, James Clyburn, Cardiss Collins, Floyd Flake, Earl Hilliard, William Jefferson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Bobby Rush and Albert Wynn voted for DOMA.

It seems the Congressional Black Caucus is divided themselves over this.
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #36
39. The study you linked is a riot!
white evangelical Protestants and blacks

seculars

So let's slice out the white demographic by 16 different measures (protestant, catholic, secular, evangelical), but stick blacks in just one category.

How did they survey? Go to churches?

This is the sort of thing that contributes to the notion being promoted -- research that doesn't take a careful look at African Americans.

It seems the Congressional Black Caucus is divided themselves over this.

So about 2/3 of the CBC who voted chose to vote against DOMA. If the white legislators had voted similarly, DOMA never would have passed. But there's a "divide" between blacks and gays (but not whites and gays)?

:wtf:
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ariellyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. Whaaaaa? It's OK for blacks to get married....
I don't see the comparison as relevant, it's more inflammatory than anything.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. the gay rights movement
is much more than the right to marriage.

What I'm pointing out is that African-Americans are generally not sympathetic to the gay rights movement - gay marriage being only one part of the movement.

African-Americans and leaders of the AA movement have not been particularly sympathetic to gay issues. I believe it's largely because of the religious influence on the AA movement. I was struck by it tonight while watching CSPAN and it's conference on the black family - when lay people and social scientists were speaking as if they were in church, using religious references and preaching style to make their points.

But it's just my opinion that the separation is one of secularism vs. religion. I could be wrong. I want to hear other people's opinions.
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
28. My point is over stuff like this. . .
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 06:14 AM by Brian_Expat
African-Americans and leaders of the AA movement have not been particularly sympathetic to gay issues.

This simply is false. Research consistently shows African Americans are more likely to support the entire range of gay issues from non-discrimination to marriage than are the average white heterosexual male in the USA.

African American groups have some leaders who are homophobes -- but so do Democrats and every other demographic grouping. As for supporting equal rights, the most moving speech in the MA Statehouse debate on gay marriage came from an African American state representative who contrasted the bigotry she encountered in Arkansas to the bigotry being directed against gay people by the (white) Romney and Finneran.

The heads of all the big anti-gay organizations (as well as most of the staff) such as FRC, AFA, CWA, Eagle Forum, GOP, etc. are all white (and usually men) -- but curiously, there's no talk of a "white/gay divide."
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. I agree
From what I have seen, most blacks do get it. The GA Marriage Discrimination Amendment was turned down because of black southern legislators who said that the gay civil rights fight is like the fight for black civil rights.

There have always been SOME FEW members of minorities who do not think other peoples struggles are relevant. There have been jews who didn't think blacks had suffered as much as them, there were blacks who didn't think women's issues were worth much.

The enemies of civil rights are ALWAYS going to take those cases of individuals and build them up as though that means an entire group of people could care less about anothers struggle. An excellent strategy, called divide and conquer.

Sadly, another thing you have to remember on a forum like DU (anywhere on the internet), is that not everyone is who they say they are.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. The logic is simple
Civil rights and in particular Brown v. Board of education involved the 14th ammendment.

The equal protection clause applies to marriage just as it does government sponsored education. To support one and not the other is hypocritical and I am very disappointed with Jessie Jackson over his actions.
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:12 AM
Response to Original message
4. The black community is more religious than other groups
I'd say you got a hard row to hoe.
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
35. Religion can be used in very different ways
Martin Luther King used religion to preach for working for equality for all people, for working for peace, and for the rights of poor people. How many religious right churches preach that message or did at that time?

My mothers church preaches a pretty steady message of tolerance, love and inclusion.

Don't make the assumption that all very religous people are hearing the same hate filled messages that the religious right promotes.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. There are progressives and liberals in every group
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 03:30 AM by LeviathanCrumbling
I am willing to bet that a higher percentage of black people support gay rights then white people (or at least a lower percent actually oppose gay rights.) The reason you are distressed by the black opinion on this subgect is because the left has come to rely upon the black community as stead fast in its support of progressive policies.

edit: Your question "Is there any solution to the black/gay divide?" should be "Is there any solution to the American/gay divide?"
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Ahh..
but I'm not comparing support for gay rights against all Americans. I'm comparing it to a very traditionally Democratic group of Americans - african-americans.

Yes, perhaps a higher percentage of black people support gay rights than white people, but I'm sure a lesser percentage of black people support gay rights than DEMOCRATS.

It is an issue. AA leaders simply cannot come out in favor of gay rights. The Mayor of Detroit was on Bill Maher last night - a young, forward thinking progerssive black man. He was adamantly opposed to gay marriage. And his argument was based on religion.

We could also ask if it were possible for an atheist African-American to achieve any level of prominence. I think not.

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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. You make a good point
Good religion can be a good thing, but bad religion is just about the worst thing.

Many in the black community right now have relationships with religion that most resemble drug addiction. For a young African-American "intellectual" such as myself it is a huge source of concern.

This brings to mind the Arrested Development song "Fishing For Religion."

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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. I don't know that song...
I'd love to hear it though, or at least see the lyrics.

As a young african-american, how do YOU view this issue? Do you think the divide is one of religion?
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Well like I said in another post
The culture of poverty is also a contributing factor.

Arrested Development "Fishin' 4 Religion" Lyrics

Grab the hook, grab the line
Grab the bait, grab the box and wait
Tackle and shackle the topic the faculty has chosen
Chosen by many, chosen by plenty, chosen by any
man or woman who understand
the topic that's known and
flock and clock the topic
as I drop my hook and get a bite
The reason I'm fishin' 4 a new religion
is my church makes me fall asleep
They're praising a God that watches you weep
and doesn't want you to do a damn thing about it
When they want change the preacher says "shout it"
Does shouting bring about change ? I doubt it
All shouting does is make you lose your voice
So on the dock I sit in silence
staring at a sea that's full of violence
Scared to put my line in that water
coz it seems like there's no religion in there
Naively so I give it another go
Sitting in church hearing legitimate woes
Pastor tells the lady it'll be alright
Just pray so you can see the pearly gates so white
The lady prays and prays and prays and prays
and prays and prays and prays and prays...it's everlasting
"There's nothing wrong with praying ?" It's what she's asking
She's asking the Lord to let her cope
so one day she can see the golden ropes
What you pray for God will give
to be able to cope in this world we live
The word "cope" and the word "change"
is directly opposite, not the same
She should have been praying to change her woes
but pastor said "Pray to cope with those"
The government is happy with most baptist churches
coz they don't do a damn thing to try to nurture
brothers and sisters on a revolution
Baptist teaches dying is the only solution
Passiveness causes others to pass us by
I throw my line till I've made my decision
until then, I'm still fishin' 4 religion
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #20
37. Wow, I like that
Is their other music similar in its bite? I'm going to have to broaden my musical experience.
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RoeBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #9
43. You should go tell your mom, dad, grandma or grandpa that...
...you think their religious devotion is akin to drug addiction.

Don't expect to get invited over for the next family dinner though.
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. Ha, this is a regular discussion in my family
and I still get invited for dinner. Of course, many in my family aren't religious, and the many of the ones who are recognize that some people DO use religion like a drug. We also agree to disagree on some issues re: religions. It's nice to have a family that realizes that people are entitled to different opinions. Sorry about your family.
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RoeBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #44
54. So you're constantly telling family members...
...that their devotion to religion is like a drug addiction and they still love you. That's good.
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #54
56. Of course I don't say something that way. Neither did the original poster
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 10:58 AM by kayell
He made the statement "Many in the black community right now have relationships with religion that most resemble drug addiction. For a young African-American "intellectual" such as myself it is a huge source of concern."

In my family, which is mostly white, the statement would be more like "Many Christians right now have relationships with religion that most resemble drug addiction. For me it is a huge source of concern for our society" He didn't accuse his family of being religon addicts, neither did I accuse my family of being religion addicts.

But, yes, we do talk about the situation, Christians and non-Christians. And my extended family pretty much covers the religious spectrum. Like it or not, some people are using religion in very destructive ways, and many religious people also recognize this.


By the way, you may want to take a look at this thread. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1176534 The founders of this country had some fairly strong words on the misuse of religion also, without apparently being banned from the family table.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. Bev and I discussed this very issue
on our trip to New York.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. and what were your conclusions?
n/t
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. The same as yours...
it is a divide we need to bridge.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. But how?
Is the division inherently one of religion vs secularism? CAN such a gap be bridged?
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:46 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Along with religion you have the culture of poverty issues
machismo being one of these. This is a hard question with hard answers.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #16
30. while i agree there is a divide
i would also say there seems to be a more active and frank conversation about it's existence than some others i can think of.
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:37 AM
Response to Original message
14. There is no "black/gay divide"
It's a media invention. There are lots of black gays who are also gay blacks, and the proportion of homosexuality in the African American community is the same as the proportion of homosexuality in the general population.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Of course there are black gays....
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 04:51 AM by Dookus
I've been in relationships with some.

But it is ignorant to claim there is no divide between gay rights advocates and black civil rights advocates.

on edit:

When Jesse Jackson himself comes out against gay marriage it's pretty fucking obvious
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. The black community and gay community work closely together
on a number of issues. SOME in the black community are vocal in their opposition to equality, but that number is actually fewer than the number of Democratic leaders who condemn gays regularly.

Yet I don't see a thread on the "Democrat/gay divide."
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. then I'm sorry to say you are
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 05:16 AM by Dookus
simply ignorant.

There is a HUGE divide between the two camps. I have straddled them, as a gay man who headed an AIDS agency for years. I lived in a predominantly black town within a predominantly white county. Our clientele changed from middle-class white gay men to poor black women (in my city). There was an enormous disconnect between the two groups.

Our only access into the black community was via the churches, and it was very very difficult to obtain that access. We were perceived as a gay organization, and were unwelcome in East Palo Alto. Our only access was through the more open-minded churches, and even then, it was a struggle.

Don't try to tell me there's no divide. It exists. It's real. We need to fix it.

On edit:

Anybody who claims there's no divide between gays and blacks simply has no fucking clue.
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. You are making a common mistake. . .
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 06:04 AM by Brian_Expat
. . . of applying your own anecdotal experiences to the whole world and then assuming they're the same.

Are there people in the black community who aren't aware of gay equality issues and their import? Yes. Is there a "big scary divide"? No. You'd have a similar experience in other "predominantly white" areas in the Deep South for instance, but nobody's talking about the "white/gay divide."

Anybody who claims there's no divide between gays and blacks simply has no fucking clue.

Anybody who has to repeat his "point" over and over rather than illustrate with evidence doesn't have much of a case.

Your lack of access to the black community in your area says a bit more about your inability to access the community, rather than anything about African Americans. I mean, of course you're going to find homophobia if you try and access people through churches. Duh!
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cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
22. On average they don't have much passion for gay issues
And I don't think I can blame them.

As a gay person, I've seen a higher affinity with women's and Jewish groups. For one, gays are raised in an income demographic that is essentially average, and we spring out of everyplace. We also often choose to blend in when its to our advantage.

Not so with blacks or other racial minorities. Yet they almost constantly vote for gay-friendly candidates.

Jesse Jackson is peeved about how America has handled the gay issue. A lot of hype was generated and his Rainbow Coalition essentially hijacked by gays and lesbians everywhere... we took the flag of the first major political outfit to advocate for us, and made it our own. Actually, it is more of a "gay pride flag" than a diversity flag now; a way to denote gay bars and your availability status from the bumper of your car.



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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. wtf?
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 05:30 AM by Dookus
I really don't understand your point.

"gays are raised in an income demographic that is essentially average, and we spring out of everyplace."

I don't know what that means. I don't know of any data that shows that gays are richer, poorer or more middle class than any other people.
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Lesbians consistently earn less than any other demographic group
Gay men also tend to be better educated than their straight male counterparts and on average earn less.

The old "gays make more" canard was a result of an Advocate survey to sell advertising to high-end designers, and found that the average Advocate reader earns more than average. Well duh. . . so does the average Time magazine reader.

The latest surveys conducted by one of the Universities of California (IIRC) showed HUGE income disparities between lesbians and straight women -- really shocking stuff.
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cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. This is true, but
... the Afro-American community is particularly focused on addressing the disadvatages their kids face while growing up.

Gays face disadvantages when we head into adulthood.

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mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #26
52. Gay men earn less.....
but two living together can live cheaper than one...

There are many very well off gays in our society. Hollywood producers, special effects guys, journalists, lobbyists, NASA,entertainment,political action, computer experts, web site designers, engineers, etc.

There isn't a tax form that asks sexual preference is there? How do they know that?

It is a fact that, all women gay or not make less than most men.
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cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #23
31. I'm just pointing out things that contribute to a lack of afinity
From my personal experience, we seem to consistently come from all walks of life.

It just affects enthusiasm on a personal level, and is not a huge deal because we come from African-American families too. There will always be a 'rift' there; IMO blacks are more receptive to our issues than the hetero population in general, but how much can you expect? Race is still a hugely corrosive issue; race is why America abandoned social democracy and the Great Society.

Also, isn't there a 'rift' between blacks and women? Something else to work at, but don't hyperventilate. There are worse problems, such as the relationship between blacks and Jews where bad feelings around inheritence and privilege play a large role.

OTOH, blacks and gays are both sensitive to issues of discrimination and fairness; have both had the bible used against them in a legal context. At an international level, both groups are concerned about AIDS. There is common ground.

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tobius Donating Member (947 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. here is a demographic study from Univ of Maryland and another link
from a marketing co. Lots of data out there.

Lesbians, however, earn substantially more than married women, single women and heterosexually partnered women, says University of Maryland economist Seth Sanders, who with his colleagues Dan Black from Syracuse University and Gary Gates and Lowell Taylor of Carnegie Mellon, published the findings in the May issue of Demography, the journal of the Population Association of America.............
http://www.inform.umd.edu/outlook/2000-06-20/demographics.html

........The study shows that partnered gays and lesbians are particularly well-educated, holding a greater number of post-graduate degrees than heterosexuals.
-------------------------------------------
Is the gay market really worth it? In a word: absolutely. The simple truth is, gay men and lesbians boast some of the most impressive demographics around. They're highly educated and rarely have dependents, so they have high levels of disposable income. Yet in addition to that, they're easy to reach, thanks to geographic concentration and a strong word-of-mouth network. http://www.rivendellmarketing.com/news/gaymarket_power.html
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #32
38. Rivendell sell marketing services to the gay community
So they're not going to talk about the disparity in purchasing power. The gay market is big (over $300 billion in annual purchasing power in the US alone), but the stuff about "lesbians and gays earn more" is utter crap.

Here's some background:

http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/archive/2001/080701badgett.html

The widespread belief that lesbians and gay men are more affluent than the general population is a myth, says M.V. Lee Badgett, associate professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts and author of the new book "Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men."

The economic reality, Badgett argues, is that gay and bisexual men earn between 17 and 28 percent less than similarly qualified straight men. Lesbians and bisexual womens earnings are the same as those of heterosexual women, even though lesbians are less likely to interrupt a career to care for families and might be expected to earn more, she says.


snip. . .

"I analyzed the best available statistical data to get a sense of how gay men and lesbians are economically situated," Badgett says. "And understanding the economic position of gay people in the workplace and in families required me to think through the ways that laws, public attitudes, and collective action influence markets and economic decision-making. In the workplace and consumer marketplace, for instance, anti-gay attitudes create discrimination. In family situations, laws prohibiting marriage of same-sex couples create economic disadvantages and hinder gay peoples pursuit of security for themselves and their children."

Badgett also looks at how corporations and businesses deal with issues of sexual identity. The relative advantages offered to heterosexual couples regarding health insurance, tax benefits, and child care are most often denied to same-sex couples, creating economic and social disadvantages, she argues.


More from other sources:

http://gaytoday.badpuppy.com/garchive/events/053100ev.htm

A report in this month's issue of Demography on income levels among same-sex partners further refutes the myth of "gay affluence," a misconception that has been used to stereotype and discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said Friday.

snip. . .

"As the real outline of economic life for gay, lesbian and bisexual people becomes more defined through these studies, we see that stereotypes portraying our communities as only rich are distorted," said Ingrid Rivera-Dessuit, coordinator of NGLTF's Racial and Economic Justice Initiative. "While the myth of affluence helps our communities gain the attention of powerful corporations, the real dangers lie in how the myths skew the political priorities of the movement and hurt our ability to advocate on issues of economic justice."

The NGLTF/IGLSS report, Income Inflation, suggested that discrimination based on sexual orientation may be a contributing factor to the fact that gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans earn less overall than their heterosexual counterparts. "Despite popular myths, this information is not surprising given the high level of discrimination experienced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, who come from all sectors of society, without regard to economic status, and experience discrimination that may at times affect their earning power," the report concluded.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
24. Yesterday on C-SPAN there was a two-part seminar conducted
by Tavis Smiley on issues concerning the black family. In the second half of the seminar, there was an extremely complex discussion about how to resolve the perceived discrepancies in remaining faithful to one's religious beliefs and embracing the homosexual community as brothers and sisters. It was the most enlightened, frank, and respectful discussion I have ever heard on how to resolve the disconnect between these two communities. Reverend Dyson engaged a discussion of several minutes duration on how the black community can interweave its theology with the reality that we live in a world made up of all kinds of people. I hope C-SPAN reruns this or puts it in the video library. The whole seminar was just breathtakingly wonderful.
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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:09 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. The "disconnect" is largely a rural problem
In the big cities, the two communities interact all the time and in fact, are subsets of each other (overlapping).

The lack of HIV prevention success in minority communities in the inner cities related to the perceived "divide" can be laid at the feet of two groups -- the GOP, which opposes sex education. . . and the rather well-heeled white folks who run many of the AIDS organizations and are "uncomfortable" with minority community issues.

I saw the latter all the time in New York, Boston and San Francisco. There was a perception that black gay folk weren't "gay" or "us," but "them." The condescending tone was sometimes shocking.
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Waverley_Hills_Hiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #24
41. too bad I missed that
it sounds like that would have been worth watiching.
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tobius Donating Member (947 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
29. Dookus- great question and I sincerely hope you get an answer,
any answer. It is an issue, albeit delicate as you can see from the types of responses so far.

Hispanic culture is similar in that gay men are seen as weak or effeminate( by some, not all ), there is the machismo element to it I guess. But I have no clue how that ties into a poverty culture- what the hell is a poverty culture?

The only thing I can relate it to is a strong prejudice against A/A by some in my culture, (Hispanic) and vice versa. There isn't an easy answer there.
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Waverley_Hills_Hiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
40. there isn't
The church is a pretty importiant institution in the black community, so you will be getting alot of the same anitgay message there that you see in the white fundy/evangelical world.

That being said, there are alot of black political figures that support gay rights. Jesse Jackson did , too, back during his presidential runs (although he has backed away from gay marriage).

There is, though, this "you're struggle is not my struggle" thing that one sees from the blacks sometimes, which I don't buy. Racism & homophobia are different things, yes, but the principle of equality before the law, equal protection, and protection from discrimination for unpopular groups are universal principles.

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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
42. I wish, but I don't think so
I am the only African-American I know who gives a damn about gay anything -- gay rights, gay marriage, whatever. One of my cousins told me I'm going to hell for it.

It's not even a secret in much of the black community. Homosexuality is not OK with many there. Like it or not, we are much more conservative than people like to believe.
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
45. Same problem with working class blacks and whites being divided
Racial and cultural issues are used as wedges to divide natual allies. Figure out how to solve that problem and everybody wins.
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OnceBlind Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
46. I think it is wrong
to compare the plight of blacks to the gay movement. I would be angry about that if I was black. It's just not even close to the same thing.
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
47. My take on the "black/gay divide"
First, much of black life centers around the church which is very conservative socially speaking. Before blacks as a group can join white gays they must first work on the entrenched hatred of gays within the black church.

The New York Times Magazine had an article about black men who live life on the down low (http://www.benoitdenizetlewis.com/content/Down_Low_NYTimes.pdf), meaning they appear straight but frequent bars where they know they can meet and be with other black men living life on the down low. I would guess this is similar to what white gays went through in the 1950s or so. These men tend not to self identify as gay and prefer to project a very macho "straight" image. Many are married and/or have girlfriends.

I also think that many in the black community perceive the mainstream gay rights movement to be composed primarily of very well off and well educated white men and women. White gays, like other minorities accepted as white, can escape into their whiteness when things get tough. Blacks do not have that option. They carry their skin color with them at all times.

Just my two cents.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
48. Divide? Are they fighting over who gets to use the rainbow?
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
49. I didn't know there really was one.
I know there's a small contingent of African Americans who disapprove of gay rights, but I didn't know it was so widespread...or about to be widespread if you people continue to harp on something in an effort to create a divide.:eyes:
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
50. If it is an issue, then...
the black gay men need to come out strong and proud. Which wouldn't be easy but would be dangerous for them to do so because of the more violent side to homophobia... :-(
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mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
51. Yes.....
Get rid of Republicans who use it to divide us so we can't put them our of power.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
53. the ironic
yet simple. the people that have such fear/hate of gayness, are the christians in this country. the things the say justifying their fingerpointing is the same place we go to bring them the poeace and harmony.......stepping out of fear. not kidding that simple the true jesus and who he is and what he says justifies allowing the gay, embracing.

it also means, and this is where our ultimate responsibility is, cause if we cant do this, then it doesnt work in stillness nonjudgement non polarity. our job is to love the baptist and the falwell and the bush, the same as we demand them to love the gay.

and if we cant do that, there is no way we can give them a gift
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #53
55. battle/war
be it in iraq, or the peace movement or in our parties or family or children or with ourselves.............anytime in battle, there is struggle, simply...........not peace

and battle is created fears, illusion we begin to play in game, in agendas, a must win beat them not them to the ground. the solution and i have so clearly found with children, stronger in marriage........win win is what i look for., i dont need to humiliate another. i do not need to cause them shame. cause in that i have contributed to the ugliness. that is not what jesus was speaking of. he was saying time and again shine your lite and allow others to

adn that is in the atheist and the old and the republican and the gay

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unfrigginreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
57. Yes, start advocating human rights
We should stop, as a party, defining/refining equal rights by insisting that some humans are different than others. This stupid strategy has already cost us the South.

If we came together and started advocating for the disadvantaged whether one finds themselves in that group due to race, gender, sexual orientation or economics, we'd find many more sympathetic to our causes.

The well intentioned setting up exclusive pedestals, works against us in the end.
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