Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Obama's decision on DOMA not alienating the black community

There is a religious right meme going around that the Obama Administration's decision not to defend DOMA in the courts has alienated him from the African-American community.

Well the Washington Post did something "amazing" and "absolutely astounding" to see if this theory as accurate.

It actually talked to African-Americans and created a story from what it found.

And the results are just as many black folks knew - it doesn't make that much of difference:

Some say the decision is dismaying, though not damning. Others may be rethinking their views, given the influence Obama has in the African American community. And there are those who don't seem to care much at all.

"I don't think that this is a deal breaker in terms of whether we are going to support the president . . . but it doesn't help," said Cheryl Sanders, pastor of a small church in Washington, D.C.t, who described herself as fairly conservative theologically.

She is among the 68 per cent of churchgoing African Americans who oppose same-sex marriage and among the 90 per cent who support Obama.

As a question on its own, churchgoing African Americans are against same-sex marriage. But when the issue is wrapped up into a larger political context, it becomes just one of many and generally not the deciding one, said the Rev. Al Sharpton, an Obama ally.

"I remember in 2003 when I said I was for gay marriage. I got a lot outrage from my fellow ministers," Sharpton said. "I've been on my radio show and on conference calls with other pastors, and I haven't heard any outrage on this position."

The only person in the article who voiced an outright rejection of Obama was Anthony Evans of the the National Black Church Initiative,. I never even heard of this group.

But I especially liked this part:

Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, which advocates for gay rights, praised Obama's decision, saying it makes clear "there is not just one moral authority in the black community."

Rev. Joseph Lowery, the civil rights leader who prayed at Obama's inauguration, has long supported civil unions and predicted black churchgoers will continue to support Obama even if he backs same-sex unions.

"The president has overwhelming support from the black church because people are looking at the bigger picture," Lowery said. "He will not be hurt by one issue."

Isn't it amazing what happens when folks actually talk to black folks about our likes and dislikes rather than trying to predict them?

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