This month, a new documentary exploring the American black community and their views on the freedom to marry, debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The documentary, The New Black, was directed by award-winning filmmaker and journalist Yoruba Richen, and it hones in on the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples in Maryland.
The documentary examines the debate within the black community about same-sex couples and the freedom to marry, exploring the histories of the gay and black communities. The film depicts many black churches in Maryland where leadership spoke out against the freedom to marry - and it also highlights the strong, robust support for Question 6 - the ballot initiatve to uphold the freedom to marry in Maryland - in other black-led churches.
During last year's campaign to pass Question 6, support from the black community was of utmost importance in achieving a victory. From black churches to NAACP organizations, the community largely banded together in support of marriage for same-sex couples. Many of these leaders referenced the so-called National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay group that admitted to working hard to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks."
The successful passage of Question 6 marked one of the latest examples of the growing support for the freedom to marry in the black community nationwide. In a May 2012 poll, respondents who identified as "non-white" supported marriage by a 59%-39% margin.