African-American church leaders, the foundation of the black civil rights movement, have been overwhelmingly and stridently opposed to equality for gay people, which has contributed mightily to black opposition to same-sex marriage. The Washington Post reported that in North Carolina last week, many black precincts voted 2-1 for the ballot measure to ban gay marriage and domestic partnerships. Moreover, the paper reports that:
African-Americans have historically been more hostile to gays and lesbians than other racial and ethnic groups. Only 39 percent of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47 percent of white Americans, according to a Pew poll conducted this April.
So it’s a good thing that Obama’s personal endorsement of marriage equality at least has them discussing the issue as a point to debate, as reports USA Today. Still, it may be a long time until the views of most black pastors evolve.
More. From John McWhorter, “President Obama’s New Role in the Fight Against Black Homophobia.”