President Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus are not in step with the majority of African-Americans who don’t equate gay rights with civil rights, former Rep. Artur Davis said in a recent interview.
“When you say to African-Americans, ‘the gay struggle is the Black struggle,’ they don’t buy it,” Davis explained.
Davis, a former Democrat from Alabama, cited the prejudices that Blacks dealt with as evidence: exclusion from the voting booth, job opportunities and colleges; and the threat of violence against them.
“African-Americans were completely, in every sense of the word, marginalized,” he said. “They were also the poorest group in the United States. With all due respect to gay Americans, that’s not the condition of the gay community today.”
Davis described how Obama”s announcement of support for gay marriage made many people uneasy in the Black community, although a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll claimed that support for gay marriage jumped to 59 percent among Blacks.
“Many African-Americans think there’s a virtue in men marrying women because it means mothers and fathers, frankly. That’s their real stake in the issue,” he said. “There’s no question that the African-American community is a monolithic liberal community on economic issues, but it is a much more conflicted community on social issues.”
He explained that while Blacks may agree with Republicans on some social issues, the GOP has a long way to go in proving that free-market ideas are good for minorities.