How can we get the defense of Black churches on the gay agenda?

by Granate Sosnoff on 15th July, 2015

gay agenda

The power of the rainbow is in full glow this summer. The significance of the June 26 Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality is concretely meaningful for so many, and symbolically meaningful to everyone.

#LoveWins this summer, but not for everyone and not if you plan to get married in a Black church. Because it is a summer of hate this year as well.

Parallel to the civil rights victory of same-sex marriage is a growing state of emergency of violence against Black people in the U.S. Late this June, eight African-American churches were set on fire in a period of ten days in the South. It is a time of terror.

Race-motivated crimes are at a boiling point in this country. The church burnings, together with the race-hatred murders committed by Dylann Roof, and the ongoing and undocumented police murders and brutality of African Americans is bringing combatting racism to a priority need for any political group concerned about human rights.

A gigantic item is getting checked off for LGBT advocacy groups. Winning same-sex marriage in the highest court of the land is historic, but for many in this community it is also a relief to be able to shift gears and move on.

But there is no published gay agenda. And if there were, it would be created by leadership in organizations who do not always reflect our gender and racial diversity.

One of the largest and most powerful LGBT political groups is Human Rights Campaign, a group recently confirmed through their own commissioned report as riddled with discrimination and diversity problems, and essentially a “white men’s club.”

At this historic moment, where #LoveWins it would be an incredible shift to intentionally put LGBT money and power in support of Black organizing.

Without losing the mission of focusing on LGBT rights and equality… organizations have an opportunity to extend at this time and become real allies in the fight against police brutality, racially-motivated hate crimes, the burning of Black churches and other terrorism targeting Black lives and Black freedom.

Because we are not all white and male and in charge.

In the tradition of James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, and so many other Black LGBTs we stand on the shoulders of, the gay political powerbase that’s emerged should find a supportive way to step into this battle and unleash some gay power into this arena in a meaningful way.

Granate Sosnoff is a Bay Area writer who directs Southpaw, a social change communications group supporting advocacy and social justice. @granate

 

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