Black Voices News: African Americans Attitudes on Freedom to Marry

Black Voices News

October 11, 2010

A comprehensive analysis of African Americans views on gay people and the freedom to marry examines polling by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Public Opinion Quarterly and state level polling. The analysis determines that African Americans are increasingly supportive of anti-gay discrimination laws and civil unions, rather than the freedom to marry. A 2009 Pew poll found that 57 percent of Americans, including 43 percent of black Protestants, favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil unions, up from 45 percent of all Americans in 2003. A 2010 Pew poll found that only 30 percent of African Americans supported the freedom to marry.

The author also examines one survey that finds nearly 50 percent of African-American churchgoers reported that their pastors regularly expressed negative view points toward gay people. The author also cites the 2009 Freedom to Marry/National Black Justice Coalition report that asserts that a wedge is created between African-American and gay communities because: “The ‘homosexuality is a choice’ rhetoric is also preached by African-American ministers in their churches. Arguing that as a result gays are not entitled to certain rights and protections in the same way African-Americans are.” [LINK]