On September 13, the North Carolina Senate in a 30-16 vote approved a measure that will allow voters in the state to decide this May on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only being between a man and a woman. Regardless of the fact that gay marriage is already illegal in the state, if the amendment is passed its sole purpose will be to make it more difficult for gay and lesbian couples in the future to gain equal marriage rights, as well as to reiterate that gay marriage is illegal in North Carolina.
One of the biggest proponents of the amendment has been Reverend Patrick Wooden. Rev. Wooden has previously caught the attention of various equal rights advocates, as he’s been one of the most vocal opponents of gay equality, suggesting thathomosexuals should not be labeled with “euphemisms” like “gay,” but rather “terms like ’deviant’ and ‘abomination’.” He has also labeled homosexuality a “death style,” and does not believe it’s a civil rights issue.
Civil rights are defined as being “the nonpolitical rights of a citizen; especially, the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to United States citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments.” As we all know, the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery in the United States, and the 14th Amendment bars any state from “[depriving] any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” and states that every citizen is legally guaranteed “equal protection of the laws.” Clearly, it is a civil rights issue.
Aside from that, it bothers me that he, as an African-American and fellow minority, would be so flagrantly anti-gay.
Considering African-Americans statistically have the strongest ties to sectarian Protestantism and highest rates of church attendance, it’s no surprise that religion would play a large in their objection to same-sex marriage. As a religious reader, he cites the Bible’s supposed barring of gay marriage, essentially hiding behind “God’s Word” to justify his ignorance. You know who else used the Bible as justification for their actions? The Ku Klux Klan. They also used religion to promote hatred. In actuality, your God distinctly preaches against exactly what you are doing, saying that we should accept each other as equals. Additionally, no variations of the words “gay” or ”homosexuality” are ever mentioned in the Bible.
Interracial marriage in this country wasn’t even legal until 1967, when it was federally legalized. Had it been lefl to the states to vote on, interracial marriage may very well be illegal in certain areas. This is why it’s important for gay marriage to also be recognized at a federal level.
Fellow minorities opposed to gay equality not only hurt our movement, but are also a detriment to those civil rights leaders who fought tirelessly to ensure that EVERY American be treated equally. Coretta Scott King, the late wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., has publicly stated that her husband was in favor of equality for all human beings, including the LGBT community, and has called the criticism she received from I African-American pastors “misinformed.” To fellow minorities who are anti-gay, I would leave you with a quote from Mrs. King:
“I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people, but I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”