Filmmaker Looks At ‘The Black Vote For Gay Marriage’


While filming a documentary called The New Black, filmmaker Yoruba Richen realized she should take a closer look at how black communities in Maryland are approaching that state’s forthcoming vote on marriage equality, so she made “The Black Vote for Gay Marriage.”

Some of her interview subjects support equality, others not so much, but taken together the film gives a multifaceted view into the discussion about LGBT happening among African Americans.

Richen explains herself:

… I realized that the issue of gay rights in the black community is in many ways a fight over the African-American family, which has been a contested space since the time of slavery. So marriage is not just about marriage for black people — it’s also about how blacks have become accepted as legitimate participants in American society.

…[Maryland’s vote] will be the first time a gay-marriage referendum is on the ballot in a state with such a high percentage of African-Americans. This will also be the first vote on gay marriage since President Obama and the nation’s pre-eminent civil rights organization, the N.A.A.C.P., came out last spring in support of marriage equality. Both faced a backlash from some African-Americans, especially those in the religious community. But no matter which side you are on, the gay marriage question in the black community has forced a conversation, which is taking place in the pulpits and the pews, the hair salons and barbershops — and ultimately at the ballot box.

Watch Richen’s excellent piece at The New York Times.


  1. Randal Oulton says

    Someone needs to stand beside that lady in the picture with a sign saying, “You need to read the Koran.”

    She’d have a bird, of course, that someone had the audacity to tell *her* that she needed to read something.

  2. Diogenes ArktosAr says

    @Michael: It wouldn’t surprise me if the Story of Hamm and the Mark of Cain are not taught any more in African American churches. People with general biblical literacy are the minority in most Christian churches, especially right-wing Protestant churches.

  3. ahc says


    If gay marriage is ok, why not make polygamy, incest, or pedophilia, OK?

    And all of aforementioned in the name of ‘LOVE’ will justify them all?

    Do the “ends” justify the “means” at any cost?

    Are gays really being honest with themselves and others in “coming out of the closet”? Why the need for gay “pride” in the first place decades ago?

    Perhaps someone can explain why they want to shame others for their hate or homophobia when they themselves needed to advertise and promote their own “pride” well before anyone knew about gay pride?

    Doesn’t the medical community recommend that you, “Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.”?

    Yet, now there are some in the medical community that now say it’s OK to “Sleep with the waste that gets flushed down in the toilet?” and that it’s possible to live a perfectly normal life.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    To those who say that anti-gay marriage supporters are “bigots”, would anyone opposing polygamy, incest or pedophilia also be bigots?

  4. T.J says

    AHC…STFU, you know you’re side is losing and it’s killing you. Here’s to hoping the distress of gays being everywhere DOES actually kill you. Maybe via cancer.

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