Guest Blogger

Gay, Straight, Black, White Marriage is a Civil Right

Filed By Guest Blogger | November 17, 2008 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Christian beliefs, gay civil rights, gay marriage, National Day of Protest, Prop 8 protests

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.

iPhone users: Click to watch

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.

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Justin I think you are a very courageous man- Your life struggles indicate that you are a fighter, and never theless for the greatest country in the whole world.

The one part you left out was that the marrieage was inter racial not same sex marriage (one black "woman" one white "man") and I do belive it was not right for the state of Virginia to act the way they did.

Since the begining of human history the act of marriage has been between a man and a woman, is not the majority who choose this it was established since man came to write about his own history, Egipt Farao and his princess, Greeks King and Queen, China Empeor and Emperess England King and Queen, what is the rigth you are claiming? the civil union gives you the same civil rights as a marriege between a man and a woman, have you checked out your rights under the civil union?

I have nothing against your lifestyle, is your right and it should be protected for you but it should not be imposed on anyone else. Now in regards to religious matters as you put it. This country was found under the grace of God. Is in all our currency "In God We Trust" and isn't our legal system based on Democracy? I think that's why we have the right to vote correct? where is the tolerance you were merely describing? If people voted shouldn't their decision be respected? you want others to respect your descision correct? why can you respect the descision of others? Now how does Prop. 8 affect you? how does it deminish you as a person?

You are being aknowledge, you are being heard, check out the civil union act, and compare it to prop. 8 and after you read them both tell me how much is being taking away from you. Prop. 8 is describing what has been established during human history that is all.

Thank you for fighting for my freedom! and my right to vote.