Here's an article by another black lesbian on Prop 8. Read it! It's different.
The court will overturn Prop. 8
LaDoris H. Cordell
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Shameful is the only word to describe the vote on Proposition 8, which amended California's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. In the blink of an eye, marriage for same-sex couples has gone from legal to illegal, leaving 18,000 same-sex couples in marriage limbo. What just happened? We now know that 52 percent of the electorate supported the ban on same-sex marriage, and that men and women supported it in equal numbers. Because of our small numbers - African Americans accounted for 9 percent of the yes on Prop. 8 vote, and 4 percent of the no on Prop. 8 vote - we did not determine the Prop. 8 outcome. The shocker was that a whopping 70 percent of African American voters and 53 percent of Latinos threw their support to the ban.
As an African American lesbian who has devoted her life to advocating for the civil rights of all, and especially for the black community, I am angry, and I feel betrayed. Given African Americans' long and tortured history of fighting against discrimination and exclusion, it never occurred to me that black folks might vote to oppress others in exactly the same way. But that's just what they did. And with that vote, African Americans have now placed the issue of black homophobia, long an elephant in the room, front and center. Yet, for me, this blacklash is old news.
I have been witness to sermons in which black ministers have preached about the ravages wrought by homosexuality. And I have sat with black congregants who prayed for the deliverance of homosexuals from their perverse affliction. For these black churchgoers, homosexuality is not a civil-rights issue; to the contrary, for them, homosexuality is all about behavior - sinful sexual behavior in which people like me choose to engage.
Actually, I did not engage in this behavior for many years. Growing up, I attended public schools, where I excelled, earning straight A's and lots of awards. I went to college, then to law school, opened a law practice in a black community, became a law school administrator, and then went on to a successful career on the bench. Along the way, I got married and had two wonderful daughters. I was perfect. And then one fine day, as these black voters would have it, I chose to simply throw it all away - to become an Untouchable? Ridiculous. I did not choose to be gay anymore than I chose to be black.
In the arena of civil rights, the black church has always been a beacon of enlightenment. On Nov. 4, 2008, some black churches became bastions of benightedness. I am convinced that no amount of talking, explaining or pleading - and no amount of money - will ever persuade those African Americans, and others similarly minded who opposed same-sex marriage on religious grounds, to change their views. Reason in the face of religious bigotry is impotent. Although some may disagree, I believe that the No on Prop. 8 campaign could not have done anything more to reach those voters.
That said, I am entirely convinced that same-sex marriage will again be legalized in California, the 52 percent vote notwithstanding. Just as the courts overrode the will of the majority in ordering desegregation of public schools and public accommodations, and just as the courts ignored the demands of the electorate by opening voting to people of color and the right to marry to mixed-race couples, so, too, will the courts, in defiance of the majority, however slim, reopen the doors of marriage to the gay community. The Sturm und Drang with which society greeted these courageous and controversial court rulings was ultimately replaced by acceptance. I predict that same-sex marriage will follow the same path. After all, 18,000 couples already have wed and the world has not stopped turning. On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court boldly bestowed upon gay couples the right to marry. I have no doubt that these brave justices will do it again.
Walter White, past executive secretary of the NAACP, a black man who was so light- skinned that he was always mistaken for white, famously wrote, "I am white and I am black, and know that there is no difference. Each casts a shadow, and all shadows are black." I am black and I am gay, and I know the same.
LaDoris H. Cordell, a retired Superior Court judge, is a special counselor for campus relations to the president of Stanford University.