Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When black pastors attack gay folks

The Southern Poverty Law Center have just come out with an excellent expose on black ministers who have taken it upon themselves to make lgbts scapegoats for the ills in the African-American community:

Some black ministers have been attracted to the white-dominated religious anti-gay movement by the money and power of white Christian leaders, not to mention "faith-based" grants under the Bush Administration. But it's also obvious that a segment of the black community in America has long had its own negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians. "I'm sure [black ministers] are being co-opted, but they don't need a great deal of co-optation," is how the Rev. Peter Gomes, chaplain of Harvard University, put it to the Village Voice in 2004.

and farther down:

Fanning the Flames
White leaders of the Christian Right have long sought to recruit blacks into their anti-gay crusade. Conservative Christian organizations with multimillion-dollar budgets have funneled money to black anti-gay churches through programs such as the Christian Coalition's ill-fated "Samaritan Project," which aimed to raise millions of dollars for black churches that "promote family values." (The Samaritan Project disintegrated after black employees sued the Christian Coalition in 2001 for allegedly forcing black workers to enter through the back door and take their breaks in segregated rooms. The coalition settled the case out of court.)

The expose is an excellent piece of work. And I would recommend it to be read by everyone.

It just goes to prove that ignorance, greed, and the need to blame is unfortunately universal.
Sweet Trifecta

We are on the verge of some good stuff here in the lgbt community. Three pieces of legislation that will positively affect the lgbt community has a good chance of passing in Congress.

For the benefit of those who don't know, the pieces of legislation are:

Repealing of the ban on gays in the military,

Adding lgbts to hate crimes laws,

Passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, thereby keeping lgbts from being fired solely because of their orientation.

These pieces of legislation have an excellent chance of passing through Congress. Now whether or not our esteemed (and I say that as I roll my eyes) President Bush will sign them into law is another story entirely.

But I am being optimistic.

I like the fact that national gay rights organizations seem to be on the ball in defining the issue. And I especially like the fact that there are many bloggers on the internet (myself included) who are exposing how the anti-gay industry will try to distort the issue.

In 1993 when President Bill Clinton tried to over turn the ban on gays in the military, the anti-gay industry shot out propaganda like mad, freely citing Paul Cameron statistics and horror stories of gay men and fisting.

I want to see them try it now. I have a feeling that unlike in 1993, the pro-gay forces (there is no shame in calling ourselves that) are ready for them.

Already the anti-gay industry have tried to frame the pieces of legislation as capitulations that would eventually cause Christians to be jailed for speaking out against homosexuality. There is no truth in this and they know it.

There is a certain shrillness and a bit of desperation in their tones. Desperation comes from knowing that you are losing. And when you get desperate, you get careless and trip up.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone reading my blog post to support HRC, Lambda Legal and all the groups attempting to pass these laws. I encourage you all to write your Congressmen giving your support for these laws. And above all, get others to do so also.

Lastly, educate yourselves as to what the anti-gay industry is claiming. And refute their lies every chance you get.