Commentary: Gay Marriage Is Not an Attack on the Black Community

A new op-ed from a wannabe Black leader is a shameful attempt to drive a wedge between the Black community and the gay community.

Posted: 07/27/2011 06:53 AM EDT
Filed Under marriage

The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives is not a large organization by any means. Its website looks to be dedicated to a lot of Obama bashing, most of which goes unread by little more than a few people. In short, I should probably ignore most of what the NLNBC says. But a new op-ed there from self-styled political consultant Christopher Arps was too much to ignore, and it’s the kind of dangerous prattle that deserves to be pointed out and derided.

 

The title of Arps’ piece is a bit confusing: “Is Gay Marriage Another Blow to the Struggling African-American Family?” It’s the kind of title that shouldn’t be in the form of a question, as you just know Arps is about to go on rant proclaiming that gay marriage is indeed a blow to the African-American family. And, boy, does he ever rant.

 

As a woman ages, she is less likely to ever marry. The last census found just 36 percent of African-American women were married, down from 62 percent in 1950. In some African-American communities there is a negative birthrate due to abortion. It portends a bleak future for black America.

 

Why add same-sex marriage to the mix? With the black family in freefall, why redefine and diminish the value of marriage?

 

Can you spot the idiocy in that sentiment? If not, it’s this: Allowing gays and lesbians to get married has no impact whatsoever on the fact that Black women aren’t getting married. Not allowing gay men to get married doesn’t mean they’re all going to start marrying women instead; it means that Black women and gay Black men are going to continue not being married.

 

Arps says he wants more familial stability in the African-American community. If that’s the case, then why is he against gay men and women getting married and starting families? A committed relationship is a committed relationship, and often times gay relationships are great for children. Studies show that children with lesbian mothers have fewer psychological problems than other children. Another study says zero percent of lesbian mothers abuse their children. Arps, a supposed family man, is against great mothers just because they’re gay? That’s not a commitment to the Black community. That’s a commitment to selfish and backwards morality disguised as “watching out for African-Americans.”

 

Later in his essay Arps invokes the name of Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a shameful attempt to drum up support for his bigotry, one that doesn’t shake out if you talk to Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow. In 2004, Coretta said, “Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union … [B]anning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.”

 

Remember Ms. King’s words; they’re those of a real civil rights leader. Let’s let the Christopher Arpses of the world toil in their hateful obscurity.

 

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

(Photo: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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