Obama, Marriage Equality & the Black Civil Rights Movement

By | May 17, 2012

Many Black ministers who denounce President Barack Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality claim that leaders of the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement would be absolutely against Same Sex Marriage, and that those leaders are probably turning over in their graves over a notion that the first Black President would endorse it. These ministers ignore the examples of how three of the best known leaders of the Civil Rights/Black Power Movement, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Huey P. Newton, were willing to overlook religious, cultural and philosophical differences to achieve the greater goal.

Many, but not all of the Black Ministers criticizing President Obama’s decision endorsing Same Sex Marriage are Republicans who have long sought an issue to pull politically liberal but religiously conservative Blacks from the Democratic Party. Their calls urging Black Christians to vote against Obama this November because of the President’s position on Same Sex Marriage appear to be masked as a religious, not politically partisan action.

Malcolm X was famous for often stating “I am neither a Democrat or a Republican.” While Malcolm was a devout Muslim minister, he did not let his religious views get in the way of working with and supporting people who did not share his religious views, or for that matter people who did not embrace any religion. In Malcolm’s famous “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech he says “I’m not here tonight to discuss my religion. I’m not here to try and change your religion. I’m not here to argue or discuss anything that we differ about, because it’s time for us to submerge our differences and realize that it is best for us to first see that we have the same problem, a common problem, a problem that will make you catch hell whether you’re a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a Muslim, or a nationalist.” (BeyondChron)

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