Editors' Note: Justin B. Smith is a 28 year old Air Force veteran and gay and AIDS activist from Baltimore, MD. He writes Justin's HIV Journal.
I first decided to record my life with HIV using live video feeds because of the lack of representation that we as African American men have when it comes to documentation of this disease. With all the recent strides the United States has been going through such as the first Black President and Gay Marriage being legalized in Connecticut, I felt it only right for me to take my watchers and readers to the Protest on Proposition 8 held in Washington, DC in response to the constitutional vote in California banning same sex marriage.
This recent vote is but one example of when a majority has institutionalized discrimination. People have to know that banning anyone from having a legal marriage is discrimination. Let's look at it from both a Civil Rights and Religious stand point.
In the case of Loving vs. the Commonwealth of Virginia, two people who loved and were devoted to each other decided to get married. Mildred Loving, a woman of African and Native American descent and Richard Perry Loving, a Caucasian man. Both were residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia. They were arrested and charged with miscegenation, which in this instance banned inter-racial marriages.
On January 6, 1959, the both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that they leave the state of Virginia. The trial judge in the case, Leon Bazile, repeated Johann Friedrich Blumenbach's 18th-century interpretation of race, proclaiming that
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and He placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.
History has shown us that people have been using God and the Bible as their platform for discrimination. The Bible has been used and misinterpreted to justify discrimination against blacks and others, in defining marriage as in the case of Loving fight and now against gay marriage.
Many "Christians" use it to impose their moral stance. When Christianity and Catholicism were introduced and forced on African and South American nations, they were told that homosexuality, amongst other things, was wrong, when it was already a part of everyday life even if it was unspoken.
Those cultures were required to accept the Christian and Catholic beliefs and forced to disregard their own. Has history taught us nothing?
Hopefully, history will repeat itself and will use the case of Loving vs the Commonwealth of Virginia to overturn this ban on gay marriage. If Christians want to talk to moralization tell them to look at their own history books for the truth about homosexuality, and make sure it's NOT the bible.