This article by Jonathan Capeheart makes some excellent points. I usually dislike the analogy between the struggles for gay rights and civil rights in the African American community, because they seem to be very different struggles. But I am OK with being wrong in this case. That’s what education is good for:
Civil rights icon Julian Bond told me during an interview for the PBS program “In The Life” in 2008, “Black people, of all people, should not oppose equality. It does not matter the rationale – religious, cultural, pseudo-scientific. No people of good will should oppose marriage equality. And they should not think civil unions are a substitute. At best, civil unions are separate but equal. And we all know separate is never equal.”
When I asked Bond what is the connection between the black civil rights movement and its gay counterpart, he said it was the immutable characteristics of the individuals involved. “You are what you are,” he said, “and you cannot be discriminated against in this country for what you are.
“And the fact that the black civil rights movement came to public attention before the gay civil rights movement, which is existing at the same time but I don’t think well known to people. . . These draw from each other. And the gay movement draws tactics and techniques and songs and slogans. As did the Hispanic movement, as did the women’s movement.”
From The Washington Post: “Black and gays: The shared struggle for civil rights.”