A couple of years back on Real Time With Bill Maher, the ubiquitous Cornel West was asked if black folks were decidedly more homophobic than other groups. Parsing his words carefully, the ordained Baptist minister said, “I don’t think we are any more homophobic than anyone else.”
Maybe not, but certainly not any less. The question came amid the passage of Proposition 8 (Prop 8), a California ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage. It had passed, surprisingly to some, with staunch support from African Americans, particularly church- and religious-based groups.
Now that Prop 8 has been struck down by a federal judge, what will the response be in black communities? Will it be to finally see this particular “right” as part and parcel of an ever-evolving civil rights agenda? Or to hold firm to the view that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?