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On the wrong side of history

In 2008, Slate magazine published an article called “Original Skin: Blacks, gays and immutability” calling out the Black community on their resistance to gay rights because as a voting group they said being black is immutable, being gay is not. However, since 2008, studies continue to show that gay is not a choice for many and on this fact hinges the great divide.

[A 2003 Pew study] puts the equation bluntly: “Belief that homosexuality is immutable [is] associated with positive opinions about gays and lesbians even more strongly than education, personal acquaintance with a homosexual, or general ideological beliefs.”

William Saletan, the author of the Slate article writes:

Eventually, I came to believe that the most potent force in politics wasn’t spin but science, which transforms reality and our understanding of it. But I’ve never seen a convergence like this. Here we have a left-leaning constituency (blacks) that has become politically pivotal on an issue (homosexuality) and is susceptible to a reframing of that issue (seeing sexual orientation, like color, as inborn) in accord with ongoing scientific research.

From prenatal hormones to genetics to birth order, scientists have been sifting data to nail down homosexuality’s biological origins. As they advance, it will become easier and easier to persuade African-Americans that being gay is a lot like being black. The lesson of Proposition 8 isn’t that blacks have stopped the march of gay rights. The lesson is that when they turn, the fight in blue America will essentially be over.

In a more recent poll, African Americans continued to vote more conservatively than the rest of the population against gay rights, even after President Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage rights. But this voting block is beginning to be on the wrong side of history, as evidenced by the Mormon Church that reversed its position after leading the charge since 1995.

While I prefer to refer to my sexuality as fluid, rather than L or G or B or T or heterosexual, I come at this discussion from the very slanted perspective of a parent. If someone wants to know reality, the reality is that for men or women who are adopting as either a same-sex couples (allowed in California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin) or as a single parent (in states that ambiguously define whether same-sex couples can adopt or like Florida that outright bans it), it is highly likely that the child adopted will be mixed, brown or black.

Bi-racial male homosexual couples, closely followed by Caucasian male homosexual couples, are the most common couples within the gay and lesbian community that seek to adopt. Typically, they have no preference as to the ethnicity of the child. For straight (and predominately Caucasian) couples seeking to adopt, ethnicity plays a large role. Some couples prefer to stay on waiting lists for multiple months, even years, to get a child of the same ethnic makeup as themselves, and are even willing to go outside of the United States and ignore the roughly 56,000 children up for adoption within the United States today (many of whom are African-American, Hispanic, or mixed-race children).

There is only one law to govern this action, will this person (people) be a good and responsible parent to this child who needs a home? Will they bring all the resources they have to bear on making sure that this adopted child grows up in a loving and thoughtful manner?

Everyone needs to stand back here and take stock of the reality of modern life. Gay couples will adopt and parent children and more than likely will be adopting biracial or black children, and how do we as a country support them? Not how do we divide them! Or how do we keep them from sharing the same inalienable rights as others.

It’s time for the Black voting block to get on the right side of history because just as they helped elect the country’s first (known) biracial president, so too could they turn the tide of history and move our focus to more constructive issues – like how to take care of all the children in our country who need our support (read: #gayparentsgotthis).


by Rachel Dangermond

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