CA Speaker Bass on Prop. 8: Gay Marriage Leaders ‘Bypassing Black LBGT Leadership”

This is why Speaker Bass rocks!

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass said today she is “appalled” at the hostility that has been directed at African-Americans since the passage of Proposition 8.

According to exit polls, 70 percent of black voters supported the gay marriage ban measure, which has caused friction between gays and blacks.

But during a meeting with The Bee’s Capitol bureau, Bass said that lost in the post-mortems over Proposition 8 is that black support for the measure was “a generational issue” that divided younger and older African-Americans.

The Los Angeles Democrat, who is California’s highest-ranking African-American elected official, said she was “really appalled at how quickly (the issue) was racialized, and it wasn’t even analyzed.”

“I have friends in Los Angeles, who are African-Americans in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, and they went out to protest the vote and had racial epithets hurled at them,” Bass said. “A couple of them were fearful and they left because they were threatened.”

Bass, who opposed Proposition 8, said she was “appalled at how quickly some members of the LBGT leadership went there, as opposed to saying, ‘what did we or didn’t we do in the campaign?'”

The No on 8 campaign, she said, failed to do enough campaigning in the black community “and the LBGT leadership is looking back at that.”

“I do think that people have pulled back a way from some of the hostility – I mean it got out of hand,” she said.

Bass said she was contacted by some LBGT “leaders who asked me if I would be helpful in terms of negotiating and mediating.”

“I declined because I felt that they were bypassing black LBGT leadership,” she said.

The speaker said “there’s a lot of healing that needs to take place.”

“But I think the first place that the healing needs to happen is in the LBGT community – white and black,” she said.

Bass said leaders in the gay community need to do a better job of outreach in the black community.

She said that while campaigning for an Assembly candidate in San Diego, she was surprised when a group of African-American ministers told her they supported Proposition 8 because of “liability” concerns.

The speakers said the ministers were worried they would be sued by gay church members if they declined to marry them.

But in a decision in May that sanctioned gay marriage in California – before it was repealed by the voters – the state Supreme Court ruled “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples.”

Source: Sacramento Bee

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Kelli Ann

    Wow, she told it like it really is, however, after all the hate and rage and more than a few racial slurs towards blacks, I for one don’t need nor want any healing from anyone in the white gay community. They can fight it on their own since we all know they won’t work with blakcs, other than those tokens.

  • There are still a lot of ignorant white people and some of color still blaming Blacks even after reading the voting results. It does make it harder to want to work with someone when they didn’t do anything to engage with you before the election and harbor bad feelings after. Until the Gay Rights Industrial Complex checks itself, its leadership and its message they should have to struggle through this. The Yes on 8 people had no such problem working with a cross-section of groups with divergent interests who found a common goal. Why can’t the GRIC?

  • Joe

    It’s obvious that their is alot of racial discrimination in the LGBT Community. Look at how they glorified the death of Matthew Shephard as opposed to the death of Sakia Gunn and other gay minorities who have been murdered. They have ignored us by overlooking our work and efforts for equality. With groups like GLAAD who glorify white gays but have a “minority” section, and HRC who is ran by rich white gay men. Not to mention all the film festivals that have a main section but the “people of color” section is segregated. My question is, why do we have segregation in the gay community? What is next, instead of MTV Logo, we will have MTV Black Logo, for minorities. Look at the magazine covers, nothing but white women or men, no minorities. I am gay and no longer support the gay community because their agenda doesnt involve “ALL” which means they dont represent “Equality”. I have experienced racism in the gay community, and it saddens me that people are turning a blind eye. I’d rather have a black president and prop 8 Yes passing, than Mccain in the white house and prop 8 No passing. I dont feel sorry for the white gays, it just goes to show you that regardless if your gay or straight and white, white people are still racist. They might as well throw on a Pink klu klux klan outfit and stop hiding behind their abercrombie and fitch too tight wearing shirts, and their blond highlights. I give up

  • Eric

    It’s the tired agenda of the white gay power elite to attempt to marginalize and brand the black community as anti-gay(this may come as a surprise to them, but the majority of the country doesn‘t think that‘s a bad thing). They accepted the widely cited CNN exit poll as gospel, largely due to the fact that it fit neatly within their “blacks are homo-haters” narrative. There was a similar exit poll which showed that Obama outperformed Kerry in every demographic group except seniors and gays.

    The gay spin doctors were out in force, “he was only down 7 points”, “the polling data is flawed, the sample was too small”, “me and every gay person I know supported Obama, so that poll is wrong.” Interesting how the poll is ridiculously wrong in the exit polling done on gays, but stunningly accurate with regard to blacks. They accepted this 70 percent figure without question because they wanted it to be true. This way, they can hate blacks openly without shame or guilt. Because now they feel they have a legitimate reason to do so. You see, they hated blacks on November 3rd and made it clear to the world on November 5th. But as black gays, we’ve always known this to be the case, it’s no surprise to us.

    Now we have these fly-by-night white gay spokesman like Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan disparaging the entire black race, while attempting to preach tolerance in the most patronizing and denigrating ways that only a gay white man could. I’ve been reading about this issue on various blogs and I must admit I do get a kick out of some of the comments I’ve come across. I’ve read everything from the proverbial “blacks are filthy niggers” to, “I’ll never vote for Obama or any nigger again” to “I wash my hands with them”, to “I’ll never date another nigger.”

    First, what have white gays (collectively) done for blacks(collectively) that they feel gives them the right to demand anything from the black community specifically? Also, are they under the impression that blacks need them more than they need blacks? Especially, since our vote is apparently the end all be all in this country. So much so, that we are responsible for the fact that gay marriage is only valid in two states as opposed to every state in the union. Never mind the fact that the country is majority white, and the majority of people who voted in favor of Prop 8 were white. The people who put the initiative on the ballot were white. The people in the power structure to create anti gay marriage laws and discriminate against gays through legal channels are white.

    But all of that is a non-issue, since according to white gays, black people are not only the most homophobic group in the nation, but the most powerful group in the nation as well. I don’t know who or what is leading the white gay movement, but it is as clear as the day is long, that they are a bunch of anti-black clueless queens. Yes, keep railing against the all mighty black homophobes, I’m sure you’ll get your “marriage” that way.

    As I’ve stated before, black gays need to separate ourselves( not that we were ever really included) from the white gay agenda, which attempts to marginalize any group that disagrees with them, clearly that includes our own people. We need to become visible within our own communities and speak up and out about the rights that we seek. We need to develop an inclusive agenda which not only addresses gay rights, but includes issues that affect communities of color in general. Most importantly we need to support organizations whose purpose is to support us. Whether that be through volunteering, donating, joining etc… We need to strengthen our own organizations before we can truly have an impact on a broader scale. These Town Halls are definitely a start.

    I refuse to let some gay white man tell me, that I should hate my black mother, my black father, my black sister and brother, grandmother and grandfather, cousins and so on. I refuse to allow some gay white man to pit me against my own people, in an effort to tear the black community apart because the democratic process didn‘t go their way. You call my black brotha a nigger, well, you’re calling me one too and we are both a united force against you.

  • After being sexually harassed at Chase Manhattan Bank by three white Gay men and being fired for refusing their advances, I know oh too well about racism and sexual dominance based on race in the LBGT community. If you want to read my story:

    http://sexualharassment-alltruth.blogspot.com/2008/11/dear-scott-michael-mishkin-i-seriously.html

  • Waiyde Palmer

    Beyond the hypocrisy of the LGBQT community not being able to claim our own shortcomings and inadequacies is the real issue of self examination of the campaign itself. All this finger pointing has left me wondering who was running the campaign in the first place? Who did the directing, marketing, idea building and focus work of the No on 8 campaign? Surprisingly the main man in charge was a ‘straight’ white male. Trust the folks that oppress is always a great way to get the oppression to PRESS on. Under that groups leadership here are some of the realities of that campaign:

    Other than one person designated there was no real African American outreach, no bilingual phone banking, no bilingual posters, no faith based coalition building between ministers who agreed and those who didn’t, no public forums/town halls between communities.

    The list of what was lacking is massive. And the LGBQT community must check itself long before checking on others. When will it be able to own its own classist, racist, sexist parts and address it in a way that actually changes something for once? Until the white, male, gay community checks itself on its privileged and ongoing sense of entitlement there will always be trouble. Many times at activists functions I have looked around and wondered if many of the white men gathered there demanding their fare share had been born straight would they be Republicans?

    REGARDLESS of the hubris this is a wake up call for everyone none the less. No matter how you feel about the issue the TRUTH of it, from a legal stand point, is that anytime, anyone, can muster up enough signatures for the petition, money for a campaign and scare tactic propaganda to splash across the screen ANYONES rights, regardless of who you are, could be voted on by the majority and another minorities basic fundamental HUMAN guarantees could be removed.