Arguing that both African Americans and LGBT people have been targets of violence and discrimination because of who they are, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart in his most recent column spotlights the shared struggles between both groups--including those who are at the intersection of the two communities, i.e, Black LGBT people and their families.
Both African Americans and gays have been denied equal access to the rights, responsibilities and protections the Constitution provides. Just last week, Maryland became the eighth state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. Washington State joined the club on Feb. 13. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed a marriage equality bill last month and called for a public referendum. Putting the rights of a minority up to a popular vote is wrong, un-American and immoral.
The columnist went on to point out that numerous Black civil rights leaders have spoken out in support of marriage equality. “African American resistance to same-sex marriage and linking the quest for it to the black civil rights movement emerged again in the push for marriage equality in Maryland,” he wrote. “But an excellent counter to that are three black leaders who have been unashamed and vocal in their support of gay rights and who see the struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans as part of what they’ve fought for their entire lives: equality.”
Among the advocates mentioned was Rev. Al Sharpton, who has long been a proponent of marriage equality and who lent his voice to the effort in Maryland. “All of us must fight for what’s fair and for what’s right....Maryland, the time is now,” Sharpton declared. “Let’s be fair. Let’s do the right thing.”
Also noted were civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and former NAACP chairman Julian Bond.
Read the full article here.