The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional! We knew all along that Prop 8 was wrong, and this ruling affirms what millions of people all across the country already know — loving, committed same-sex couples and their families should be able to share in the celebration and obligations of marriage.
This is a huge victory in the battle for marriage equality, but this fight is far from over.
The federal government still refuses to recognize our families. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act remains the law of the land, and thousands of loving families are denied the protections, rights, and responsibilities that other married couples take for granted. The Obama Administration has refused to defend DOMA. It’s time for Congress to repeal it.
At last month’s 102nd annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a historic workshop focused on overcoming homophobia within the black community. As an African American, heterosexual, male pastor of a traditionally black Baptist church in the inner city of Washington, D.C., I was glad to see this legendary organization take this small but important step in its increasingly inclusive perspective on civil rights.
There are some, however, including the Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., an NAACP national board member, who see no parallel between gay rights and civil rights. Expressing this conviction at a rally last May, he demanded that the gay community “stop hijacking the civil rights movement.”
This statement, subtly suggesting that “civil rights” is a black issue and “gay rights” is a white issue, implies that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, equality is not a priority for black people. This sentiment, particularly prevalent regarding the issue of marriage equality, is often expressed in a variety of ways, including, “This is not our issue,” “This is not a priority for the black community,” and, “We have more critical matters to consider.”