(The Loop 21) — Last month, the Obama Administration announced that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court because it was unconstitutional. Progressives and gay activists rejoiced, of course. But not everyone in the Obama coalition was happy about the move. Church going African Americans, 68 percent of which are still against gay marriage, were not necessarily behind this new move towards equality for their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Polling suggests the struggle for marriage equality is not seen as the civil rights issue of our time by socially conservative African Americans although those numbers are shifting in favor of equality gradually.
A large swath of church-going types in the black community see gays as an abomination. On any given Sunday, you’ll find a black preacher blasting gay marriage, insisting that homosexuality is a choice, not genetic. It is also true that historically black people have voted for the Democratic Party despite their support for equal rights for gays because of the party’s support of civil rights for blacks, economic equality, and health care among other issues. Still, there is private irritation amongst black community leaders and others grumbling over yet another group co-opting a movement originally supporting black human rights. However, much of it has to do with longstanding social taboos, the inability of the African American community at-large to accept the modern social acceptance of gay existence.