Sunday, March 4, 2012

Good News Weekend for Out Black Gay Folks, Past and Present

After a rather trying week (a long story that I don't want to go into), I was glad to find a couple of things in the news that made me smile.  The first was an article about the Chester County (PA) Historical Society honoring Bayard Rustin in his centennial year with an exhibit highlighting Rustin's "local roots" (he was born in West Chester, PA).  The second was a Washington Post column by Jonathan Capehart explaining precisely why the Gay Right Movement and the Civil Rights Movement are related.  In many ways, Rustin represents exactly how the two movements are linked, whether folks like it or not.  He was a Black man dealing with the legal imposition of second class citizenship, while simultaneously dealing with the homophobia that was within the Civil Rights Movement.  For me, that fact lends even more credence to Capehart's column, as the new marriage equality state of Maryland faces a potential ballot initiative, and many Black pastors in the state (among others, of course) are poised to seek marriage equality's repeal.  Should marriage equality not survive the ballot initiative, it will be in part because a strong contingent within the Black community will have voted to deny a different class of people civil rights. 

How ironic, and how sad?