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Maryland marriage bill out of committee

Timothy Kincaid

February 14th, 2012

Reuters:

The House of Delegates’ Judiciary Committee and the Health and Government Operations Committee approved the measure 25-18 in a joint vote, a judiciary panel spokeswoman said. The measure is expected to go to the full House on Wednesday, she said.

Happy Valentines Day

I want to take a moment to thank Rev. Al Sharpton. On the issue of equality, Sharpton is not just saying the right words, he’s putting action behind them.

In Maryland, the factor holding back equality is race. Although Democrats control large majorities of both houses, there is a large black caucus. And in Maryland, black voters are not allies of the gay community and refuse to view disparities in treatment of citizens as discrimination or mistreatment under civil law as a civil rights matter unless the discrimination and mistreatment is directed towards racial minorities. The most vocal opponents of equality have been black ministers and there is about a 30 point polling difference between white Democrats and black Democrats on the issue.

Although the underpinnings of this hostility are old and have many complex contributors, anti-gay activists such as the National Organization for Marriage have deliberately played up and encouraged feelings of resentment. Falsely equating “civil rights” with “black rights”, they are deceptively seeking to suggest to black Marylanders that recognizing the equality of gay citizens is the same as unfairly grabbing what they have had to work so hard to achieve.

And the gay community is, like much of America, inadequately equipped to speak to the specific concerns of African Americans in an authentic voice. If we are to make inroads and find commonality and alliance with other communities, including the black community, we are stuck relying on the generosity of others.

And right now, Al Sharpton has stepped up and is using his voice and his reputation to lobby the Black Church and to speak to Maryland’s African American community. He is speaking not just as an activist, but as a civil rights advocate and, perhaps even more importantly, as a Baptist minister. Having someone of Sharpton’s status stand in for us may be the one ingredient that can make marriage a reality in Maryland.

I am very grateful.

Comments

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MattNYC
February 14th, 2012 | LINK

Did he bring blueberry pie for them? ;)

I love Reverend Al. And what’s probably even better is that I believe his positions on LGBT issues have evolved over time. I may be mistaken, but I am not sure he was always on our side.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Tony P
February 14th, 2012 | LINK

I should admit here, my SO is black. His family accepts the two of us as married already.

I mean his ENTIRE family. So this whole black people not realizing that civil rights belong to us all is patently false.

But NOM is trying to fan the flames.

Zach
February 15th, 2012 | LINK

Tony: in this case I am sad to say that an anecdote does not a generalization refute.

Priya Lynn
February 15th, 2012 | LINK

I love Al Sharpton. I often watch his MSNBC show Politicsnation even though I’m not an American. Such a powerful voice for rationality and fairness.

MattNYC
February 15th, 2012 | LINK

Priya,

“Powerful” or “loud”? LOL!

I agree he’s great, but one of the Progressive radio programs I listen to refer to his show as “Al Sharpton is Screaming at You.”

Priya Lynn
February 15th, 2012 | LINK

I don’t recall any screaming when I’ve watched him.

cd
February 16th, 2012 | LINK

I never figured you for an Al Sharpton fan, Tim. ;-D

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