People who think African Americans don't support gays haven't met many of our church choir directors.;-)
But the truth is, African Americans are evolving right along with the rest of us on this issue. Here's a statistic that might surprise those who peddle the myth that they're not.
The most recent Pew poll taken this past April showed only 47 percent of African Americans oppose gay marriage today, nearly 20 percentage points lower than in 2008.That change is happening for the same reason its happening to the rest of the country. Here's 67 year-old Lamont Jacob's story about that.
“My grandson is gay and of course me and my wife love him to death, but it was hard to accept at first,’’ says the Long Beach, Calif., native, while getting his hair cut in South Central Los Angeles. “I didn’t understand why he wanted to be with or marry another man. I just didn’t. I told him that wasn’t a real marriage. But over time, my wife and I learned to accept it and be at peace with it. Who are we to deny him happiness? President Obama just came to that same decision, and I respect him for it.’’But here's the really cool story. Rather than African Americans abandoning their support for President Obama over this, perhaps he just made a contribution to their evolution.
Annie May Johnson grew up next to the tobacco field her parents worked in Lillington, North Carolina. At 75 years old, Johnson long held the belief that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman, no matter the times. That’s what her parents taught her years ago, and it’s what the good Rev. Mosley preached each Sunday morning at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church during her childhood.That story totally made my day! So thanks Ms. Johnson and President Obama. Is this a great country or what?
Johnson never believed her view on the issue would waver. But that all changed on Wednesday, when President Obama announced publicly that he was in favor of same-sex marriage, a change from his 2008 campaign stand. Saying his beliefs had evolved from his support of civil unions instead of same-sex marriages, Obama sent ripples through the country and caused Annie May Johnson to take a second look at an issue she thought she’d decided on long ago.
“I always saw marriage as a man and a woman being together for a lifetime,’’ says Johnson, on the phone from her North Carolina home. “That’s all I ever saw growing up, and that is all my parents saw in their day. But when Obama said he now was in favor of it, I thought maybe I’ve been too pigheaded about this thing for too long.’’