Distorting History to Promote Gay Acceptance: The Civil Rights Movement
Whether it is the workplace water-cooler, letters in local newspapers, or reports on local and national news, President Obama's recent flip-flop -- I mean, evolution -- on the matter of same-sex marriage has vaulted the issue once again into public discussion.
One of the most frequent arguments made by gay acceptance advocates for same-sex marriage has been to relate its cause to the fight for civil rights in the 1960s. In fact, since Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage, several civil rights icons have politically aligned themselves with the gay acceptance movement. These men and women have allowed gay acceptance advocates to push the idea that the fight for gay marriage in 2012 is yet another step in the ongoing fight for civil rights.
In short, it seems that political loyalty and a desperate desire for racial relevancy in the 21st century have caused certain civil rights icons to compromise the moral fight for civil rights.
To elaborate, there comes a time and place where a person who fought for a worthy cause in the past can be susceptible to losing touch with that very same cause in later years. Those who call themselves icons of civil rights can and should be called into question whenever their political allegiance outweighs moral conviction. In short, not even Jesse Jackson or Julian Bond supporting same-sex marriage can shift the moral foundation of civil rights from Christianity.
What these civil rights refuse to admit, of course, is that there are pronounced differences between today's fight for same-sex marriage and the struggle for civil rights in the '60s.
To wit: every morning as I wake up, brush my teeth, and get ready for work, I look at myself in the mirror and see the same brown skin. Every morning that I walk out my front door to engage society, just as I notice my brown skin in the mirror, society notices my brown skin as its first impression. No, I am not speaking in terms of racism; instead, I am speaking in terms of recognizing the racial diversity Americans encounter daily.
Several factors can be attributed to the potential cause of a person's formulation of a sexual orientation; however, in terms of race, the only factor for a person's skin complexion is genetics. If a gay man walks down the street, there is no external genetic trait to suggest that he is gay. One can suggest that a person's sexual orientation is based primarily on three factors: dress, speech, and behavior. But unlike the gay man walking down the street, my skin color is something seen regardless of any of these factors.
The issue of same-sex marriage is a matter of acceptance, not an issue of basic civil rights. I call the support for same-sex marriage a movement of acceptance not as a means for invalidation, but because there are no "rights" violations against gays in America. Are there any laws in America that deter people in the gay community from voting? Are there any laws in America that require people in the gay community to use separate public facilities or live in separate housing units?
The Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia of 1968 is popular in the gay acceptance movement's push for same-sex marriage. Loving v. Virginia overturned segregation statutes that prohibited white Virginians from interracially marrying. Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the courts for overturning the law. In Justice Warren's opinion, he made the following critical points for the court's decision (footnotes omitted):
- "There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause."
- "The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy."
- "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival."
The issue of interracial marriage in 1968 was based largely on the Fourteenth Amendment. In addition, the ruling pointed out that only whites were prohibited from the process of interracial marriage as a means to racial purity. Since the beginning of American history, there have always been laws on marriage. As long as one particular group was not solely being targeted in the process -- and again, such was the case with Loving -- the courts have had had no position to interfere with state marriage laws.
Once upon a time, the word "gay" was not used to describe a person's sexual orientation; instead, it was used to describe a person as merry or in a lively mood. Perhaps some bully somewhere along the way transformed this term into a generalization against people with a same-sex preference. Nowadays, in recognizing several tactics used by the gay acceptance movement against opponents to homosexuality, I contend that the gay acceptance movement has become a bully to American society.
As evidenced by diagnosing people who disagree with homosexuality as having a "phobia," by attempting to silence pastoral speech, and by forcing gay sensitivity training in high schools, the bully tactics of the gay acceptance movement are real. In particular, if a person is of color, he or she receives a higher level of intolerant scrutiny by the gay acceptance movement for opposing homosexuality. I make my point of racial intolerance with the statements of comedian and gay acceptance advocate Roseanne Barr. In response to over 70% of black Californians voting for Proposition 8, Barr racially scolded blacks for supporting the referendum to define marriage:
They [blacks] showed themselves every inch as bigoted and ignorant as their white Christian right-wing counterparts who voted for McCain-Palin and Bush-Cheney. (November 10th, 2011)
As is the case with many gay acceptance advocates, Barr targeted black Christians in her scold against black Californians. Tactics of intimidation have been a consistent trend amongst the gay acceptance movement, and it is evident that the movement is embedded with intolerance to disagreement.
President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage came as no major shock, because his base demands that he endorse the lifestyle as "American as apple pie." It is no surprise that several civil rights icons and groups have clamored to classify same-sex marriage as a descendant of civil rights; after all, the moral fiber of civil rights has long been abandoned in favor of political loyalty.
My challenge to America, especially black America, is to fall on the conviction of conscience and not the politics of moral compromise. Individually, everyone must examine the moral character of those whom we have elected to lead and serve as spokespersons for our belief systems. Those like myself, who have benefited from the blood and sweat of marchers for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, must become our belief system's greatest preservers and protectors.