1. Brianr54 says

    If the argument remains about CIVIL rights, then I don’t see how the fight can be lost. It has to be moved from the “religious argument” arena to the “civil rights argument” arena and be fought there. The Right will constantly try to drag it back to the church at all costs because they can win with those people. But the law HAS to remain in the public halls of debate, not the pulpit!

    Julian Bond is a man that I hope to be like. He’s thoughtful, open, and willing to keep his arguments in the field of logic and reason and not just moral passion (although the question of equality for everyone remains a moral imperative.)

  2. kev says

    The NAACP has almost always been in the middle of gay civil rights issues, I know they were public against the Briggs Amendment and they worked with Harvey Milk. One former head of the NAACP (Mfumi?) was at the LGBT march on Washington.

    The gays-blacks alliance is a historic alliance going back to the Harlem Renaissance period in the 1920’s. And Julian Bond is not one to kowtow to black church organizations either.

  3. Bill Perdue says

    This is nothing new. Historically the NAACP has been an ally, as has MALDEF. As far back as the 1978 Briggs Initiative in California they spoke at our rallies and participated in our mass leafleting efforts.

    They know that Prop 8 puts their agendas and gains at risk as well as ours. Their acknowledgment of that is remarkable not so much for its recognition of political reality as for the fact that both groups refuse to abstain from supporting us after seeing the repulsive levels of race baiting that infected much of our communities after prop 8. Rising to principle they refuse to become part of the process of divide and rule. Hurrah for Julian Bond!

    We saw that race baiting at demonstrations, heard it in bars and eateries and read it in dozens of racist comments in blogs claiming that Blacks had sabotaged us. African Americans did not take away our right to marriage. That was done by southern baptists like Warren, the catholic hierarchy and the mormon cult. They used Obama’s patently bigoted remark “gawd’s in the mix” to turn the polls on their head and defeat us in the last week of the campaign.

    The GLBT communities reflect the realities of US society which is a veritable sewer of homophobia, misogyny, immigrant bashing and racism. We have a lot of house cleaning to do in the GLBT communities as well.

    And we have to be real allies. The Black community has been especially hurt by the loss of good paying union jobs to Clintons NAFTA. There are the beginnings of a rebirth of nationalist sentiments for [independent (of the Democrats and Republicans) political action We have to be ready to support that when it occurs.

  4. kev says

    Really, a lot of the gay-black tensions are more about class than race, as Bill points out.

    Black churches are the most influential institutions in the black community but they are not the only ones. Organizations like the NAACP are one of the ways to reach black folks that have much more enlightened views on gay civil rights. Not every black person goes to church and I know many black folks–gay and straight–that don’t like the church at all.

  5. jimmyboyo says


    “Black churches are the most influential institutions in the black community…”

    I would say ALL CHURCHES, SYNAGOGUES, MOSQUES, etc are all the most influential institutions in their respective communities. Black churches do not hold a monopoly on having too much influence in their community.

  6. kev says


    I suspect there’s a lot of truth to that.

    However, there are so many functions of the church in black communities, that it is hard to do any sort of outreach or political organization in black communities without going through black churches. For example, many (most?) black LGBTs are actively involved in churches.

  7. peterparker says

    I would urge everyone to go to to either join the organization or at least donate. The NAACP will likely take some heat from their conservative members who do not agree with their decision to stand with us. We must counter the repercussions of those who abandon the NAACP by stepping up and taking their place within the organization.

  8. Foochy says

    It’s nice to see Ben Jealous coming out from the dark cloud of the NAACP CEO/President search which paralyzed the organization for months. However, there is a larger question within the black community as to whether the NAACP is relevant to the lives of socio-economically disadvantaged blacks.

    Jealous will have a difficult job to do, trying to advance the NAACP philosophy as espoused by WEB DuBois while recapturing its authority to address the day-to-day issues of African Americans (police and the justice system, public education, housing and food security, etc).

    If he is strategic about how he discusses the connection of Prop 8 to not only historic precedence but to the daily reality of people of color (“double discrimination” for black gays, lesbians, and their families; connection between HIV transmission and cultural oppression, etc), the NAACP will have a vibrant future ahead. Otherwise, the NAACP will become a prized relic only of importance to the black middle class.

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