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Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Same-sex marriage isn't the threat to African American families

By Colbert King

President Obama is catching a fair amount of grief from theologically conservative African American pastors for his decision to no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans the recognition of same-sex marriage. "The president has harmed himself on this issue" said the Reverend Anthony Evans, who heads the National Black Church Initiative. "He has openly offended the black church, and he didn't need to do it."

The DOMA law, which Obama and the Justice Department contend is unconstitutional, declares that the nation has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of marriage because it has an interest in children, and that the way to protect marriage is by defining it only as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Same-sex marriage, DOMA argues, weakens the institution of marriage and, thus, poses a threat to responsible procreation and child rearing.

It's still beyond me how gay marriage affects the already married or heterosexuals who want to get married.

I understand even less, if that's possible, the concentration of conservative black pastors on gay marriage when the real and present danger is the decline of marriage among African Americans -- an ominous trend that has nothing to do with the desire of two people of the same sex to marry.

At least there are gays and lesbians who want to get married. Would that the same could be said of African Americans.

The Pew Research Center's November 2010 report on marriage and family contained findings based on a 2010 survey that should be the subject of Sunday morning sermons. Such as:

-in 1960, the black marriage rate was 61 percent. By 2008, only 32 percent of blacks were married.

-72 percent of black women giving birth were unmarried.

-52 percent of black children were being raised in single-parent homes. (Contrast that with 27 percent of Hispanic children and 18 percent of white children.)

-Only 32 percent of black children are being raised in a home with two married parents; 6 percent were living with unmarried partners, and 10 percent with no parents at all.

And these findings do not include the depressing data on the high rate of black teen pregnancies, the large number of black children ordered into foster care because of neglect and abuse, the absence of fathers or the disproportionate number of black men behind bars.

Gay, lesbian and transgender people and their desire to get married have nothing to do with the decline of marriage and family in the African American community.

What ails us comes from within and from societal conditions unrelated to same-sex marriage. If anyone should know that, it's the black preacher.

By Colbert King  | March 4, 2011; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  King  | Tags:  Colbert King  
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Comments

The reason for African-American homophobia may be beyond Mr. King; it's certainly beyond me. But wouldn't it have been more useful if he had investigated and attempted to explain why it is so, rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon to decry it?

Posted by: Itzajob | March 4, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"It's still beyond me how gay marriage affects the already married or heterosexuals who want to get married."

The plain and simple answer is: IT DOESN'T!

The DOMA is demonstrably UN-Constitutional. Not only does its Section 3 contravene the Equal Protections Clause (the one the DoJ is no longer willing to defend), it also contravenes the Full Faith & Credit Clause.

A little pointed-out fact is that the DOMA contains language that specifically EXEMPTS ITSELF from these provisions of the Constitution.

I wish someone - ANYONE - culd explain logically how any las that exempts itself from the Constitution could possibly be considered "Constitutional" in the first place.

Heck, even the original author of the DOMA (Bob Barr) says it should be repealed. On his website, he says it has created a "one-way Federalism" in that, while granting all States the right to decide for themselves (thus contravening the FF&CC), it forbids the Federal government from recognizing the legal marriages from those States (and D.C.) that HAVE decided to include ALL its citizens in the freedom to marry.

I'm very curious as to why some US citizens should be outside of the protections of the US Constitution.

Thanks for your reasoned column. We need more logic and reason in this country.

Posted by: Truthbetold3 | March 4, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

How are African-American clergy any more or less homophobic than say the Catholic church. He does not need to, nor should he, try to rationalize them out of their homophobia. He is absolutely correct in trying to get them to focus on what should be focused on by them in their roles as religious leaders in their communities.

Sadly, this just really shows that as with all organized religions they focus on issues only tangentially related to day-to-day living (unless you are a homosexual wishing to marry your partner) rather than on issues of substance to the community. This is why I left organized religion a decade ago.

Posted by: KarenLS | March 4, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Itzajob,

It's my educated guess that the "reason" (if we can even use that term) is the preponderance of homophobic religion in the A-A community.

I have yet to hear a 'reasoned reason' against treating gay citizens equally before the law that does not include 'religious' opinions. And this is particularly troubling in a land that prides itself on 'promising' freedom of religion to ALL its citizens.

In countries and US States that do have same-gender marriage, not a single church/synagogue/temple/mosque (etc.) has been forced to perform any marriage that goes against its tenets. Meanwhile, those members of the several religions that do embrace and perform same-gender marriages have their rights actually curtailed by the homophobic 'majority'.*

* Recent polls show that now there's a slight majority of Americans in favor of same-gender marriage, so 'majority rules' can be a nebulous thing. And, thankfully, the Constitution is there to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. I can only hope the SCOTUS fulfills its role properly when this issue eventually gets to that court.

Posted by: Truthbetold3 | March 4, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe African American homophobia is an easy deflection from looking at their own low marriage rates. Gays are the last current refuge to blame and stigmatize for whatever you want to ignore that actually affects all of society and on a grander scale. Those gays: so powerful and omnipresent, diabolically involved in the destruction of the Western world. A kabal even. If only.....

Posted by: sellingpencils | March 4, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

It's time America. Onward to full marriage equality rights now.

Too bad that many folks confuse marriage in America, which is civil and contratural, with their religions and gods...

Cheers, Joe Mustich,
CT Justice of the Peace, USA.

So what's with Obama continuing Bush's wars..? What's that all about?

Posted by: cornetmustich | March 4, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Very good article and a great perspective...thanks for writing it so well.

Posted by: fairness3 | March 4, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

If DOMA is unconstitutional, that is for the Supreme Court to decide, not Obama and Holder. They are NOT free to ignore laws they disagree with.

The continued disparaging of religious people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman is offensive. Freedom of religion is a basic tenet of this country and the intolerance of some is shameful.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | March 4, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King is confused about why African-American preachers oppose this change?
I'll help out.
We have a template for what happens in societies that change what marriage is. Marriage rates don't improve, they drop, and it's because marriage becomes less relevant. When marriage becomes whatever people in love want it to be, it no longer has importance for many people.

These preachers are going to be against anything that further marginalizes marriage any further, and especially because they know what fatherlessness means.

Posted by: slatt321 | March 4, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

When marriage eventually means whatever you want it to mean, it means nothing.

When we enshrine this into law we won't see more marriage, or a celebration of the institution. We will see marriage rates plummet. That is the cultural precedent.

Mr. King, if anyone knows of the results of marginalizing marriage, it's African-American preachers.

Posted by: slatt321 | March 4, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

This is an easy answer. Obama knows african-americans will vote 90 plus percentage democratic. He also knows that if he doesn't console the gay advocacy groups, they may sitout the next election. So, he pushes on the gay agenda to get their votes and money, knowing he'll still get the african-american vote. He knows he wasn't getting the conservative christian vote, so this was a no braner.

Posted by: Marin823 | March 4, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

What is WP's obsession with Blacks and gays.
The fact is there are Blacks, Whites,Jews, Muslims,Christians, Hispanics,Asians,yes gays, for and against gay marriage.

Yes some gays are against legalizing marriage.

Posted by: uniteusnow | March 4, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

When marriage eventually means whatever you want it to mean, it means nothing.

Slatt, I guess this means that when you get home tonight, you're going to tell your spouse, "Gays can get married, so our marriage means nothing to me any more. I want a divorce."

Posted by: angelas1 | March 4, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

For Kitchendragon, who wrote:

If DOMA is unconstitutional, that is for the Supreme Court to decide, not Obama and Holder. They are NOT free to ignore laws they disagree with.

The continued disparaging of religious people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman is offensive. Freedom of religion is a basic tenet of this country and the intolerance of some is shameful.

- - - - -
a. Somehow you missed the news that MONTHS ago, Judge Tauro, a Nixon appointee, ruled that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional, for two separate reasons.

b. You are free to BELIEVE whatever you want. What the problem is, however, when people insist that their own religious beliefs should determine what CIVIL rights other people are able to enjoy.

Once again, if people have religious objections to same-sex marriage, they shouldn't marry someone of the same sex.

Posted by: edallan | March 4, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight: Black pastors ought to be more concerned that 72 percent of black women who procreate are not married and less concerned about defending a law that relates procreation to marriage? It seems to me that they are two sides of the same coin.

The problem isn't that too few people marry; it is that too few people who procreate marry. I seriously doubt that establishing a regime where marriage and procreation are unrelated (same-sex marriage) will solve that problem.

I blog to defend traditional marriage at www.understandtheconsequences.com

Posted by: understandtheconsequences | March 4, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

This is another great example to stay away from the dysfunctional organized religions..

which is all of them

Posted by: RepublicanRedRash1 | March 5, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

No, what's threatening black families is illegal immigration. By the way, illegal immigration is hurting white families, hispanic families, you name it. Americans of every "stripe" don't just take care of their own families and communities -- they are forced to take care of the poor who come here illegally from Mexico and other Third World countries. Jobs go to illegal aliens, as do welfare and other social supports into which the illegals do not pay. That means fewer resources for American citizens. Close the border, enforce our immigration laws -- so that Americans can have a decent quality of life, and so that Mexico and other "people exporting" countries will be forced to make reforms for the benefit of their own citizens.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | March 5, 2011 12:11 AM | Report abuse

When you have government subsidizing blacks to have children why get married. It pays to make b#stard children. You get a place to live, free food, health care and even a cell phone!

There is a direct correlation with the great society programs and black out of wedlock births, decline of marriage, crime, death by violence and drug addiction. But no one wants to say it.

Posted by: Pilot1 | March 5, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Face it black folk, the democrat party has destroyed your community, and your people. Until you separate yourselves from those lying thieves, you're going nowhere fast. If they fail to keep you on the plantation, they're screwed..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 5, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King, you conveniently left out the elephant in the room -- the continued threat and tragedy of the Black Holocaust. The latest numbers show 480 abortions per 1,000 live birth among black women.

Posted by: TastesLikeChicken1 | March 5, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The black community, of all the "demographic groups" in America, are LEAST supportive of same-sex marriage, compared to all other "demographic groups". The notion that gays are "fighting for their civil rights" is insulting and belittling to black people, insinuating that the very REAL challenges of discrimination that black people have gone through, are IN ANY WAY comparable to the so-called "challenges" that gays face. Last I checked, gay people have the right to vote, they don't have to sit at the back of the bus, they aren't being lynched by lynch-mobs, they aren't hosed down and chased by dogs when they protest, and they were never slaves because of their homosexuality. If the homosexual community IN AMERICA is supposedly oppressed and lacking in civil rights, THEN they are THE MOST privileged and spoiled "oppressed" group ever found in the history of planet earth. The truth is that the "homosexual cause" is glorified and spoken too highly of. Nobody gave MLK the benefit of the doubt, or deferred to his opinion so as "not to insult him", the way that people nowadays defer to gay people and let them rant and rave, so as "not to insult them" and to show "tolerance". So much so that we are tolerant of practically blatant displays of pornography (such as at the Smithsonian) and honor it as "gay culture". Imagine black people "sharing their culture" by displaying rump-shaking music videos at a museum. And yet we tip-toe around the feelings of gay people so much, that we readily accept such displays of their culture from them. Have you seen gay parades? They're practically orgies on the street. Many ignorant accusers of "homophobia", don't realize that it is the blatant promiscuity and hyper-sexualized nature of their "gay culture", that many people oppose. If "gay culture" happened to be heterosexual in nature, yet just as promiscuous, I would oppose such a culture just as vehemently.

Posted by: The-Capitalist | March 5, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore... to those who ignorantly attach the label of "homophobia" to anyone who opposes same-sex marriage...
Only a man and a woman can procreate, and they do so by "mating". ONLY a man and a woman can "mate" in the biological sense of the word. This "mating", may or may not result in a child. The government and our society, must have a structure to track and welcome new children into the society. When a baby's born, they need a social security number and an official "guardian"... hence the need for our government/society to step in and make sure that those things are provided. Official "mating" is the only way that these new lives can possibly come into the world. People may have all different types of relationships... they can love each other, live together, raise children together, but ONLY the "mating" process can possibly result in new children being born. This is the extent of society's concern on the matter... the new children. The government needs to involve itself in gay relationships, about as much as it needs to involve itself in regular friendships, which is to say, not at all. The gay couple will never have children, though a sterile/infertile heterosexual couple may very well be surprised and blessed with a child they never thought they'd have (it happens all the time, and has happened throughout history).
Here is an analogy which may clarify. I own dogs, both male and female, which are not spayed or neutered. If the dogs are the people, and I am the government, then I needn't concern myself if I leave my male dogs outside together. However, if my males and females are in the yard together, I need to be vigilant and constantly watch to make sure that they don't get pregnant. There is no need for such vigilance unless the possibility for "mating" is there.
With regards to "discrimination"... just because you cannot participate in a certain institution doesn't mean it discriminates against you. Does the military "discriminate" against flat-footed people? Does the NAACP "discriminate" against non-black people? Gay people can feel free to create whatever "label" they want to attach to their relationships... go ahead and call it "garriage" or something... but don't presume to force your notions on us about what "marriage" should be.
Also, with regards to "homophobia"... just because I don't agree with someone, either morally or in what they do, doesn't mean that I hate them or am scared of them. If my little sister goes out every night clubbing, drinking, doing drugs, and having one-night stands, and I say that she is engaged in morally wrong and self-destructive behavior, does it mean I'm little-sister-phobic? Does it mean that I am "intolerant" of young Cuban-American women? Homosexuality is immoral, just like pre-marital sex among heterosexuals is immoral.. but you ignorant "homophobic accusers" don't accuse us of being "straight-phobic" do you? Though based on the same moral conviction. Hypocrites

Posted by: The-Capitalist | March 5, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

kitchendragon wrote:
If DOMA is unconstitutional, that is for the Supreme Court to decide, not Obama and Holder. They are NOT free to ignore laws they disagree with.

The continued disparaging of religious people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman is offensive. Freedom of religion is a basic tenet of this country and the intolerance of some is shameful.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1) The Obama administration IS enforcing DOMA, which it is required to do, NOT ignoring it. The administration is not required to DEFEND the law's constitutionality in court; it has chosen not to do so. These are two different issues. Please try to wrap your brain around that.
2) The intolerance of certain religious persons against homosexuals is as, well, intolerable(!) to many folks as is the disparaging of some religious people that you find so (wait for it) intolerable.

For the record, I happen to be a religious person (a committed Christian). I'll confess that I don't like being called "delusional" or other things like that by non-religious persons who want to disparage me as a person of faith. And the behavior of SOME of these folks is not civil. But I am as equally distressed by intolerant behavior by SOME religious persons. I don't agree with certain religious persons' unconscionable treatment of homosexuals. I'll try to express that disagreement (and it's a profound one) in ways that are civil. But you shouldn't expect me to be silent.

You're right: freedom of religion is a constitutionally-guaranteed right. But that freedom does not extend to freedom from criticism.

Time to grow up.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | March 5, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Teen pregnancies, unwed mothers, the increasng out-of-wedlock birthrate, co-habitation, etc, etc, etc....THAT's what has ALREADY diminished marriage. The train left the station a long time ago on that one and the organized churches missed it... The same sex marriage "threat" is fictional. Better to have two same sex parents who love and care for a child than neglectful, abusive, underage, uneducated and/or drug addicted parent(s). Just another false hot button issue the right uses to inflame its supporters.

Posted by: Concerned58 | March 5, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King misses the key to the objection of people who have a problem with the establishment of gay rights as an individual civil right.

It is not the right of consenting adults to do as they wish - which every American supports. It is the requirement that the supporters of this idea also demand - an agreement that supporting this right means an agreement (not acceptance) that this this kind of behavior is appropriate.

To put it in the context of Freedom of Religion, it would mean that one had to accept as correct the religious beliefs of other faiths. That requirement is not part of this freedom. I only believe that every person can have whatever religious beliefs that they chose (including none), and unless/until a group of believers with a certain world view want to force others to agree and accept as true for them those beliefs if they did not chose to, I will kill anybody who wants to stop them from believing what they want.

As to same sex marriage, the belief in what a "marriage" is to those who have one in their eyes have the tradional one should not be re-defined for them by others with a different world view.

I have no objections to having a relationship between two consenting adults of the same gender to include legal elements that are the same as the traditional marriage between one man and one woman. But to call it the same, when whose with the traditional one have grave moral problems with some of the behaviors involved, is wrong.

Words have meaning and have matter.

Posted by: GHF_LRLTD | March 5, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Dear The-Capitalist,
You would be horribly mistaken that gays have basically not suffered enough simply because they can vote. They have been lynched, beaten, shot, drug behind cars, attacked in school, fired from their jobs, denied housing and something as simple as the right to visit a partner in the hospital just because they " aren't like the rest of us". It is high time you got off your high horse. There were Jews and Homosexuals who were fighting for the civil rights of African Americans and now it is time for Americans, African or otherwise to stand up and once and for all make sure that our lawmakers take the 14th amendment at face value- No Discrimination Period. I know it's hard the thought of not having an unpopular group to pick on to make yourself feel better, but you'll survive. My Dad was such a jerk when I was little that I was ashamed to be his daughter, but he has finally gotten over himself and I don't hear the hate or see the racism spewing from him anymore.
Now it's your turn to get over yourself and be a real Christian if that is what you claim to be. You can't hide behind the Old Testament-Christians are supposed to emulate Jesus and only what He said can teach you to do that. Not once does he disparage homosexuals, not once does he speak with hate for anyone. Even his anger at the money changers was obviously mere frustration. So it's time to knock off the religious arguments against full equality for everyone. The biological ones don't work either as we let old people and infertile couples marry-we even let 1st cousins marry as long as the woman is not able to bear children.
Isn't it time we had more love in the world rather than less? Some of these couples have been together for over a decade and if we're smart enough to pay attention we might actually learn something about commitment. These couples hang on to the love they have for each other despite the adversity that we have created for them and in spite of all of the hate swirling around them. If we all had love that strong we could move mountains, end hunger, create jobs, new forms of energy, fix our education system etc. And before you do something stupid like call me a socialist-you'd be very mistaken. I THINK therefore I am an Independent and if you think you're smart enough to handle it I'd be happy to see you join me. The old way of doing things, seeing things and believing things is broken so it doesn't work anymore. It's time to throw out that stuff and work together to find something that truly works.

Posted by: legalhound13 | March 5, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Someone please inform the Pastors and Bishops that the best way to shore up the institution of marriage is to spend generous amounts of time with their congregations and couples who are considering marriage and not be MIA (missing in action) because they are down at the courthouse protesting. Rather, teaching couples how to be good husbands and wives and how to walk in love and integrity from the Word of God. Jesus said that what convinces the world more than anything that we are His disciples is that we walk in love and live lives of integrity before people, not misappropriate $45 million fighting a proposition that will ultimately be overturned, which by the way, had it passed, would have generated countless millions of much needed revenue over the next ten years into California’s impoverished economy. Wisdom would surely encourage our spiritual leaders to readjust their priorities and start addressing the real issues that plague their congregations and communities and to stop being remiss in their responsibilities as leaders and shepherds.

By Terry Angel Mason, Author
Love Won’t Let Me Be Silent &
They Say That I Am Broken
WWW.TERRYANGELMASON.COM

Posted by: GLOBALAUTHOR | March 6, 2011 4:16 AM | Report abuse

Since the days of slavery, blacks have been duped by the empty promises of religion, mainly Christianity, which claims to offer eternal, and better, life. So it's no surprise that blacks still consider the "teachings" of jesus and god to be sacrosanct, including the institution of marriage as ordered by "the church."

Hypocrites that they are, like white Christians, blacks have no use for Homo sapiens that include non-heterosexual people. This despite the long and cruel history of Christian slave owners who for centuries legally considered their property to be less than fully human.

As King calmly states here, as he has many times, "Gay, lesbian and transgender people and their desire to get married have nothing to do with the decline of marriage and family in the African American community."

This state of affairs, rather, has everything to do with education and common sense -- factors which the majority of religionists possess in miniscule amounts.


Posted by: slipuvalad | March 6, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The socialistic, welfare state instituted by Democrats, in the mid-sixties is directly responsible for the destruction of the African American, family structure. Look at the timeline. It's obvious.

The welfare society started by Lyndon Johnson made poor blacks, vitual wards of the state and started the vicious cycle of welfare moms and delinquent dads.

Liberal Democrats are the worst enemies black folks ever had and most of them do not even realize it.

They are still on the Democrat plantation and seem to appreciate it.

Go figure!

Now the liberals want what's left of the black family to be homosexualized compliments of brother Obama.

It boggles the mind!

Posted by: battleground51 | March 6, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

It seems that when American society lifted the walls of rigid segregation and our politicians and academics introduced social programs (welfare, etc.) the black community disintegrated. Maybe it's something inherent in these people - look at the way they live in Africa and throughout the Caribbean. The red herring arguments blaming slavery and racial discrimination don’t cut it any longer. If blacks in America can’t make it today with all the advantages we’ve afforded them – from endless patronizing to charter schools to affirmative action (aka quotas) programs – perhaps it’s time to – sorry - let them drift. Or, maybe they’ll all get hired by the federal government. Anyway, we’ve got many important priorities to spend our taxes and borrowed money on. Let’s stop wasting it on hopeless and fruitless endeavors.

Posted by: sero11 | March 6, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy of this, is the number of gay hating black preachers, who are gay. They hate themselves, and what they are. The biggest problem facing the black community, is not gay marriage. The biggest problems are crime, drugs, poverty, illegitimacy, aids, ignorance, I could go on, forever. Gay marriage is an emotional issue, and people get worked up, about it. This is used a wedge issue, because the black church is either unable or unwilling, to tackle real problems. Their solution is prayer, but that's not working. The churches in America have failed, in addressing social issues.

Posted by: 46theud | March 6, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Colby King sez: "Why do these Christians believe in the Bible!" "Hey, I don't believe in the Bible, so why should anybody else?" and "I'm Colby King!" "I just don't get it, so the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, so they believe that?" How dare they? Why can't they just um, you know, think like we do. We should enforce our beliefs on these Christians! That oughta show 'em! Why don't you just go dig a big hole and dive head first into it? Same end result. Go against God, go against whats good for society. Destroy the family, destroy society. Well done!

Posted by: shred11 | March 6, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It is well known that African-Americans dislike the homosexual agenda and "lifestyle". It's less known that Hispanics/Latinos, etc. also frown on the antics of homosexuals and their ilk.

America's two biggest minorities and two of the favorite minorities of the liberal, Democrat party.

This sets the stage for a real conflict of interests, in the near future, as blacks and hispanics begin to take over the Democrat party, as they surely will.

It bodes ill for the homosexual agenda, long term. Homosexuals and other sexually disoriented types may be forced to form their own, political party.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 6, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

--"Gay, lesbian and transgender people and their desire to get married have nothing to do with the decline of marriage and family in the African American community. What ails us comes from within and from societal conditions unrelated to same-sex marriage. If anyone should know that, it's the black preacher."--
Thank you, Mr. King. Very well said. Level-headed common sense is a welcome relief.

Posted by: jaynashvil | March 6, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King and Jay N., not it's not the "same" thing. No way, no how, should people who've transgendered themselves be allowed to adopt. That would bring great harm to any child in their custody. Same applies for those in homosexual relationships.

Posted by: TastesLikeChicken1 | March 6, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

When preachers--Black, Caucasion or other--stop sleeping with young males, or with their parishioners' wives, and when they give up the porn sites, then maybe they have a right to criticize gay marriage. It seems strange to me that while many preachers engage in sleazy behavior, they feel they have a right to enter into moral debates. Some of them need to clean up their own acts first.

Posted by: CatLady5 | March 6, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Mr. Colbert King, what you wrote is spot on.

Posted by: CatLady5 | March 6, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

CatLady5, glad you agree that preachers-Black, Caucasian, or other, who don't sleep with young males or their parishioner's wives, and don't look at porn have the right to criticize gay marriage. You are right, many are hypocrites; however, most are consistent, faithfully lead their congregations towards God, and don't engage in these immoral behaviors. One thing though, have you ever told someone it is important to be nice? Have you yourself ever not been nice? Does that make you a hypocrite? Yes, it does. But does that mean you don't have the right or responsibility to continue to teach others that they should be nice?

Posted by: TastesLikeChicken1 | March 6, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Does the name Mildred Loving mean anything to you?

(From Wikipedia...)

On June 12, 2007, Mildred Loving issued a rare public statement, which commented on same-sex marriage, prepared for delivery on the fortieth anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision of the US Supreme Court. [which overturned Virginia's miscegenation law...] The concluding paragraphs of her statement read as follows:

“Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."

Posted by: A_Reader | March 6, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Marriage was "invented" pre-DNA so a father could be legally identified. Isn't naming relationships “married” actually a step backwards? Shouldn’t government get out of the relationship business completely and stick to protecting the basic interests of children.

Posted by: allsides | March 7, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It's the hyphenated Africansists agenda that is a threat to blacks and black families, not same-sex marriage. The common law and "jump the broom" mindset is ingrained more deeply than most can imagine. Many consider themselves "married" no matter if 'same' or not. The basic issue evolved over rights, etc. It really is a non issue to many.

Posted by: lltroy | March 7, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

For the pastors who believe that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are morally wrong, I believe they could easily answer the question of the negative impact on the institution of marriage and families in general by allowing same-sex marriage. Perhaps, the author should try talking to one of them, so he's not so puzzled. Further, there's a huge difference between being homophobic and having a moral or religious belief that homosexuality is wrong. You shouldn't be so quick to label someone until you've talked with him and tried to understand his perspective.

Posted by: anonymous114 | March 7, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Distorted values is the threat to African American families. To that extent, distorting "marriage" is another nail in the coffin.

Posted by: topcopy | March 7, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Why does the state not set terms for our ordinary friendships?
Why does it not create civil causes of action for neglecting or even
betraying our friends? Why are there no civil ceremonies for
forming friendships or legal obstacles to ending them? It is simply
because ordinary friendships do not affect the political common
good in structured ways that justify or warrant legal regulation.

Marriages, in contrast, are a matter of urgent public interest,
as the record of almost every culture attests—worth legally recognizing
and regulating. Societies rely on families, built on
strong marriages, to produce what they need but cannot form on
their own: upright, decent people who make for reasonably conscientious, law abiding citizens.
As they mature, children benefit
from the love and care of both mother and father, and from the
committed and exclusive love of their parents for each other.
Although some libertarians propose to “privatize” marriage,
treating marriages the way we treat baptisms and bar mitzvahs,
supporters of limited government should recognize that marriage
privatization would be a catastrophe for limited government.
In
the absence of a flourishing marriage culture, families often fail to
form, or to achieve and maintain stability. As absentee fathers and
out of wedlock births become common, a train of social pathologies
follows. Naturally, the demand for governmental policing
and social services grows. According to a Brookings Institute
study, $229 billion in welfare expenditures between 1970 and 1996
can be attributed to the breakdown of the marriage culture and
the resulting exacerbation of social ills: teen pregnancy, poverty,
crime, drug abuse, and health problems.
This is why the state has an interest in marriages that is deeper
than any interest it could have in ordinary friendships!
breakdown of traditional family structures which lend stability.

Posted by: lyn3 | March 7, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Same sex marriage could reasonably be no more of an impediment to minorities than the rate of homosexuality to heterosexual unions in Ancient Greece. It didn't affect the Anciet Greek culture in the least--it only became so engrained that there were no (heterosexual) marriagable women in Ancient Greece, and heterosexual men routinely went to Egypt to find wives--naah not a problem-can't be,

Posted by: lilian10101 | March 7, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

With marriage severely damaged already by fallout from the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce, and myriad other factors, it makes no sense to dilute marriage into meaninglessness by using law to redefine biology. Marriage is a unique relationship between a man and a woman--it is the only human relationship that can accidentally or intentionally create human life, and that is why it is recognized, benefitted, and burdened under the law. As to same-sex "marriage" being harmless, the Scandanavian countries that have the longest track record with formal recognition of same-sex unions have consistently shown the same impacts: all relationships, marriage and otherwise become more volatile, and more children across the board are born to unwed mothers. The Black community is already suffering from volatile relationships, children born into non-existent families, and all that goes with it. Why use the force of law to make things worse for marriage? Heck, the government can't even balance it's own budget, and we think it can fix broken families by fabricating "marriage" or same-sex couples?

Posted by: RangerG | March 7, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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