Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell… Until 2013
President Obama’s evolution on gay marriage has created a firestorm of outrage among many in the religious community. However, I wonder about organizations that are against marriage equality. Is their contempt for homosexuality based on morality or hypocrisy?
Growing up in the black church made me cynical when it comes to those who object to homosexuality based on their theology. Many pastors who condemn homosexuals from the pulpit have been caught with their pants down, and many politicians and moralists who condemn gays are later caught on K Street soliciting men for sex. I believe sexual morality based on religious principle is a safe haven for hypocrites. I could write a book on the many thugs I’ve met in shelters who profess their deep love for Christ and tell gay jokes, but then drop the soap behind closed doors.
I have sat through many sermons where pastors gave a fiery speech condemning homosexuality, then asked their congregation — even those everyone knows to be gay — for money. The Catholic Church is one of the most hypocritical places, where pastors dispute gay marriage and condemn contraception, and later we learn they have been caught in a scandal with a young boy or a pregnant parishioner. While religious organizations puritanically interpret the Bible quote from Deuteronomy regarding homosexuality, they never seem to get another important line in the scripture: “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”
I also struggle with gay marriage. I believe in traditional marriage, but I sympathize with advocates of marriage equality. Like Obama, my views on gay marriage are evolving. But as someone who is both black and Cherokee Indian, I understand how religion can be used to justify persecution and bigotry.
Discussing sex is a minefield. You need to tread lightly, or it will blow up in your face. My credo is, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Politically, I believe gays should be allowed to marry and have the same privileges as straight couples, like hospital visitation rights and adopting children. I disagree with religious groups who oppose this. There is no evidence that straight couples make better parents than gay couples. I am more comfortable with gay lefties parenting than I am with right-wing nut jobs procreating.
My struggle with homosexuality is with the movement. The movement can be just as extreme and single-issue focused as the right-wingers who resist it. My concern is that their agenda is sidetracking progress on other important issues like wages, jobs and social programs for the poor. I don’t care for black activists who inject race in every conversation, nor do I care for gay activists like Rachel Maddow who inject gay rights into everything.
One reason I am reluctant to campaign for President Obama is gay extremists like Lady Gaga and Elton John are turning the Democratic party into the Village People. I am not against gays; I just feel that the flamboyant ones are a little too much. I think the pressure they have put on our president for this is endangering his reelection effort.
I understand that gay Americans want full rights. But they shouldn’t push the envelope until Obama wins re-election. I fear this galvanized evangelicals and divided Obama’s supporters. We need him to win reelection for a variety of reasons, only one of which is gay rights.
I’m comfortable Obama supports gay marriage, but I wish he had kept that in the closet until after the election.