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Homophobia in the Black Community

By Kathy Henry

The Black community is filled with hypocrisy.  Recently, I had a raging debate about gay marriage with a friend of mine who is a Christian and “holier than thou”. He feels that gay people  should be put on an island somewhere away from the God-fearing, good, self-righteous heterosexuals. He compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia, which is the silliest sh*t ever since it is illegal to have sex with children and animals.  He also called me a bleeding heart liberal and suggested that I am going to hell unless I repent from my evil, wicked ways .

My counter argument was that marriage is a basic civil right that should not be denied based on sexual orientation and that Blacks who are homophobic need to be ashamed for aligning themselves with bigotry. I also reminded him that, according to the bible,  I was already doomed for hell since my mother was not married when she gave birth to me. “A bastard shall not enter in to the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 23:2

Naturally, he took offense at my words and hung up the phone.  However, that backwards, overtly religious thinking about homosexuality in the African American community is one of our many problems.  Many Black people become automatic Christians when it comes to equal rights for gays while ignoring the many social ills that are plaguing our people.

The Black church has jumped on the homophobia bandwagon full throttle. It is always nice to have someone to feel superior to, especially if you are not that superior yourself. And it is certainly a great way to get into the power and money racket—”gay people are gonna get you and destroy everything you love”—the same rhetoric that White conservati­ve Christians have been using for decades. Why should only White people get to tap into that? Eddie Long, anyone?

And it is certainly a great deal easier to rage against the gay community than doing something about the fact that in the African American community approximately 70% of children are born out of wedlock. Our children are growing up without fathers and running amok without any guidance but the Black church does not want to talk about that.  Our communities are plagued with rampant unemployme­nt, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and poverty but these issues are ignored because it is so much easier for all concerned to beat up on gay people.

What is truly sad is that marriage equality could totally benefit the Black family. Stable gay couples could get married and hopefully adopt Black children, considered the least desirable in the adoption world. The same children who linger in the foster care system until they age out because of the sexual irresponsibility of Black heterosexuals could benefit from gay marriage. There could be fewer men on the down low trying to prove they are not gay by fathering children they have no interest in raising or financially supporting. God help my people because it is a sad day in Black history when it is more acceptable for a man to have ten children by ten different women than it is for him to be gay.

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