The topic that Keith Boykin brings up is the issue that the Black community, black ministers and churches specifically, do not support same sex marriages. He addresses the hypocrisy he sees in this, as the black community was once the group fighting for equality. According to Boykin, blacks don't support gay marriage rights for two reasons. Blacks only see images and representations from the gay white community, so they don't feel like it involves them. There is not many people in the black community that are openly gay in their churches, so the community is lacking a face of their own to tie the issue to. They also don't support same sex marriages because they have been offended by gay white activists trying to correlate and compare the struggle blacks had during segregation to the present day gay rights struggle.
Boykin believes that if a gay or lesbian from their community addressed the fact that they are apart of both groups, then it could add compassion to the ministers that have many gay and lesbian members of their congregation. There is a bigger debate underlying Boykin's article, which seems to be the fact that there are many correlations and consequences to Blacks not supporting same sex marriages. If 48% of blacks support the Marriage Protection Initiative, then that means in November they will be voting for the Bush ticket on these initiatives, and the Democratic party will lose the support of several swinging states. The separation of opinion on this particular Initiative in the polls will make it hard for Kerry to win, thus making the issue on Gay rights overcast what may be more important to the Black community. This separation between supporters of Kerry will weaken his ticket, and allow Bush, and all of his other not so minority concerned bills, to win. The disagreement on this topic will exceed the fact that the Democratic Party is in their favor on issues that effect the entire community, proving that there is something greater at stake.
This article was written in the Village Voice, an alternative newspaper that is very free form, with a "no-holds barred" attitude towards journalism. It is has a liberal outlook on news and politics, and is read primarily in New York, but in many other states within the U. S and several countries including Australia and England. The call to write for this article seems to bring awareness to an issue that does not have much coverage.
Although the topic of gay marriages has been frequent this year, it is very rarely spoken about in conjunction with the Black community. It is almost as if the gay and lesbian black community is invisible in politics. Boykin was addressing the people that could have a positive effect on the voice of the gay and lesbian minority community. He was hoping to pinch a nerve with this group of people to let them know that they are being overlooked because they are not speaking up for themselves.
He did this by pointing out their "silenced religion" and tendency not to be true to themselves in their churches. He did this well using persuasive but not overbearing language, so that it inspired both compassion as well as shame. "While the Black church embraces single mothers, drug addicts, and ex-cons, it does not embrace black homosexuals... ." The only constraints he had was the fact that he didn't ask anyone in the black gay community why they weren't speaking up, or how they felt about the initiatives and the Black Church. This may make Boykin look like he was attacking the people he is attempting to help.