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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Only Privileged White Gay Men Care About Marriage Equality

Posted by on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Some angry idiots have insisted that marriage equality isn't important to African American gays and lesbians and that "gay marriage is equality for wealthy (mostly) white gay men and women." Suck on this, Jasmyne:


Sinjoyla Townsend and Angelisa Young, partnered for 12 years, were the first couple to receive a same-sex marriage license [in Washington D.C.]. Young said that "It's like waking up Christmas morning."

Wealthy gay couples—whatever their color—can hire lawyers to draw up wills and powers of attorney and jerry-rig some of the protections of marriage. Full marriage equality will allow all gay couples—regardless of color, regardless of economic resources—to access all of the protections of marriage.

Marriage equality is a social justice issue.


Comments (59) RSS

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Cook 1
that blogger is so stupid, and i doubt this will convince her. she'll just say these black women are whitewashed or the exception or something dumb like that.
Posted by Cook on March 3, 2010 at 1:58 PM · Report this
hugop007 2
Well I would like to keep all the gays united regardless of their socioeconomic status. I am very open minded some might even say bi sexual....hehe. I am not white and independently wealthy and I also want marriage equality.
Posted by hugop007 on March 3, 2010 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Ness 3
What an "odd" (read: wrong) arguement.
I've got a lot of queer friends of all different races, elasticities, and economic backgrounds. Every single one of them is in favour of marriage equality. It's a human rights issue. I hate when people play the race card for EVERYTHING.

And um.. aren't the wealthy white senators and political leaders the ones who keep shutting down gay marriage?
Posted by Ness on March 3, 2010 at 2:03 PM · Report this
Ness 4
Wow, thank you firefox auto-correct.
They are not of all elasticities, they are of all ethnicities. Niiice.
Posted by Ness on March 3, 2010 at 2:05 PM · Report this
Enigma 5
That's just a great picture. I don't know how anyone can make the argument that being treated like a full citizen by being able to marry the one you love is a bad thing. There are always going to be fights for equality, this is one piece of it. When we don't have to defend our families, we can focus on fighting the bigots with more power.
Posted by Enigma on March 3, 2010 at 2:15 PM · Report this
Fnarf 6
@5, I know how someone can make that argument. That's your cue, Loveschild.

Congratulations, Sinjoyla and Angelisa. Your happiness is beautiful.
Posted by Fnarf on March 3, 2010 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Hyzenthlayk9 7
That picture just makes me smile.

As for the blogger's comments, well, they aren't worth squat.
Posted by Hyzenthlayk9 on March 3, 2010 at 2:32 PM · Report this
It's "jury-rig." A quick, unreliable solution in lieu of a slower, but more reliable solution is "jury-rigged." Something that is poorly manufactured is said to be "jerry-built," which (I believe) goes back to WWII.
Posted by Ben on March 3, 2010 at 2:38 PM · Report this
I just can't stand it when other gays or lesbians argue that the fight for marriage is not a civil rights issue. I know our nation still has a flood of race issues we are fighting through, and the gay community is a microcosm on problems of racial inequality.

Maybe the problem is just the word, "civil rights", you know? Like maybe if we had a movement with so many of the same goals and hopes as the Civil Rights movement, but just called it something else. Sort of like a "separate-but-equal" thing. Maybe Jasmyne would go for that.

Posted by Travis on March 3, 2010 at 2:41 PM · Report this
T 10
Hooray for the Olympics of Suffering™!!! Give Jasmyne the gold medal she so clearly deserves.
Posted by T on March 3, 2010 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Telsa Grills 11
Gosh, that certainly wasn't what you were crowing about, Dan, following passage of Prop. 8. Nice to see the radical sea change in you.

Now could you at least apologize?
Posted by Telsa Grills on March 3, 2010 at 3:15 PM · Report this
If two black women got married then
That Just Proves It!!!!!
Posted by Life is Easy when You're Credulous... on March 3, 2010 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Anne in MA 13
You're right insofar as that particular post was absolutely ridiculous. I think the more legitimate point is that when a gay rights organization focuses *exclusively* on the (enormously important) marriage issue, that demonstrates an unwillingness to look toward those issues that don't have as much of an impact on wealthier gays and lesbians. (There were and still are similar issues with the feminist movement.) But to say that non-wealthy, non-white gays and lesbians don't care about gay marriage is misguided, stupid, and frankly insulting.
Posted by Anne in MA on March 3, 2010 at 3:17 PM · Report this
uh oh....
we have new winners in the
'Ugliest Lesbian Couple on the Net' contest...
Posted by Bert Parks on March 3, 2010 at 3:18 PM · Report this
venomlash 15
Excellent point, Dan. I must say, they make a beautiful couple.
Posted by venomlash on March 3, 2010 at 3:22 PM · Report this
darthvegan 16
Awesome picture. They need to frame that "1" pass, or make copies of it and use it as their Christmas cards.
Posted by darthvegan on March 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM · Report this
I think a lot of people forget that, i.e. marriage equality accomplishing the most for less privileged couples. Not everyone has the time, money, energy, information, and resources to go around fighting the powers-that-be all the time, which makes it that much more important for the people who can make that investment to do so.
Posted by amazonvera on March 3, 2010 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Oh Suzanna 18
(In case the link doesn't work, it is "jerry-rigged" at the dictionary)

Dan's usage was just fine. Rein in your eagerness to correct until there is a valid correction to be made!
Posted by Oh Suzanna on March 3, 2010 at 3:36 PM · Report this
jasonzenobia 19
Equality is for everyone. Congrats to all the happy couples. Sinjoyla and Angelisa are a beautiful, happy couple.

Too bad DOMA cost me and my husband an extra $7,000 this year. Victory in DC makes it sting a little less.

PS Some queer on the White House staff needs to get married and invite Obama. Force him to knock off this "separate but equal" crap.
Posted by jasonzenobia on March 3, 2010 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
@18, that entry is a corruption of "jury-rig", dated 1959; jury-rig dates from 1788 in the same dictionary.
Posted by Fnarf on March 3, 2010 at 3:42 PM · Report this
This article is from last year. Dan, come on...
Posted by MT3 on March 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM · Report this
In other news, I'm very happy for this couple. :-)
Posted by MT3 on March 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 23
Not only is marriage a social justice issue, it's a civil rights issue. Two issues at once! Oh those Gay people get so much done just like June Cleaver.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on March 3, 2010 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 24
@ 21, look at the other link. It has today's date.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 3, 2010 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Dingo 25
I thought for sure that "angry idiots" link was going to be to a post by Loveschild.
Posted by Dingo on March 3, 2010 at 5:08 PM · Report this
I think her argument is a little more nuanced than that, though I don't really agree with her conclusion. Marriage equality would mean more inclusion (at least theoretically) and I would be surprised if that doesn't mean more movement on all these other issues.

However, I do think she is right in that these other issues affect AA gays and lesbians more. I think you have to look at where someone is coming. That Dan and Jasmyne might prioritize differently isn't surprising.

"While I am not saying that marriage isn’t worth fighting for, I am questioning the constant use of the “equality” as a means by which to measure its worth in contemporary society. I also question marriage taking precedence over the issue of HIV/AIDS, homophobia, the ENDA, and hate crimes—all of which affect Black gays I on a daily basis way more than being denied the right to marry."
Posted by hal on March 3, 2010 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Paxlotl 27
True marriage equality won't happen until the government loses it's benefits over non married people. Why should married people get those benefits anyway? Marriage as a religious institution should have nothing to do with the state.
Posted by Paxlotl on March 3, 2010 at 5:15 PM · Report this
doesurmindglow 28
Wow, that argument - an charge of elitism against marriage equality - is really, really stupid. I mean,

I actually can't believe there's people reading this blog - or reading at all - who seriously would consider such a patently absurd notion as "only privileged gays want marriage equality." It's completely disingenuous and totally ridiculous.

It's even worse than the typical conservative hubris of the ol': "You latte-sipping liberals are totally out of touch with 'Real' America's common sense hatred of gays."

[The obvious arrogance of this implication: "Only conservative gay-haters are 'real Americans with common sense.' I am a conservative gay-hater, therefore I am better than you."]
Posted by doesurmindglow on March 3, 2010 at 5:16 PM · Report this
Last February, in Orlando, FL, I married a stranger for a marriage equality protest (using the rejected marriage license application of a long-term lesbian couple as my ring). Our local TV news stations cut our interviews to make us look like a joke and then put the kabosh on national TV exposure, booking--then cancelling--an interview and airing a filler segment on a wacky weatherman and a wacky bird instead. Our local newspapers all printed stories, but our daily paper, The Orlando Sentinel, removed the entire comment thread (including comments from supporters, detractors, and crazies) from its online cache! In spite of this, we received a great deal of support from strangers, neighbors, friends, and the Florida community at large. Which says to us that change is coming. And that not only priviledged white gay men care about marriage equality... straight people, bi people, trannies, dykes, homos of all stripes and shapes, dogs, cats, canaries, and weird guys in ski masks in the southernmost US states do, too.

More on what we did here:………

and here:…

and of course, the horribly awkward ceremony here:…
Posted by PerfectHannah on March 3, 2010 at 6:16 PM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 30
Jasmine Cannick has given me a headache for the last five years. Yes, there are many other pressing issues that affect the LGBT community -- the WHOLE LGBT community. And given my current dating status, it will be a long time before I'm ready to marry someone even if it was already legal. I also care about many other issues, including but not limited to marriage equality. That doesn't mean we have to ignore those other issues in order to tackle marriage equality, nor does it mean we have to ignore marriage equality to also tackle those other issues.

Also, the so-called "marriage tax penalty" only affects higher income couples where both have a good income. Poorer couples and couples with vastly disparate incomes are more likely to benefit from tax laws if they are married. So these "wealthy (mostly) white gay men and women" may well face a financial penalty if they marry ... yet they still want to. Shouldn't they be allowed to? And shouldn't the poorer couples of any race who will financially BENEFIT also be allowed to?
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on March 3, 2010 at 7:46 PM · Report this
Loveschild 31
No surprise here, the only type of black people that are deemed as okay by people like dan are those that are willing to put their face on 'his' concerns. So these two women are only valuable to him and those like him because of that, otherwise 'he' would be labeling them as idiots as he does not only with Ms. Cannick but the rest of the African American community, especially does of D.C to whom he has no problem in denying their right to vote.
Posted by Loveschild on March 3, 2010 at 7:46 PM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 32
@27: I sort of agree with you, to a point. Especially with regards to how tax returns are handled. Even though I've been fighting for marriage equality for over 20 years (I was even on CNN in 1989 leading a mock marriage protest), I've been single for long portions of my out life. And there are times when I feel frustrated that achieving marriage equality will further make me feel "lesser" for happening to be single.

But there are still many benefits that make a lot of sense for married couples. Using the marriage certificate as a de facto will or power of attorney in the absence of additional legal paperwork, for example. Veterans benefits that also extend to spouses. And many more.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on March 3, 2010 at 7:54 PM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 33
@31 -- I don't think it was DAN who denied the people of D.C. the "right" to vote on this issue. If you need to blame anyone, perhaps you should blame Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who ruled that the city of the District of Columbia did not violate any laws in determining that this ordinance was not eligible, procedurally, to be on the ballot.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on March 3, 2010 at 8:03 PM · Report this
This seems like an awfully nasty back-and-forth for what appears to be an honest disagreement over priorities. Weird.
Posted by CG on March 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM · Report this
SecretBYUBottomBoy 35
It's so nice to see love win out. congrats to the happy couple! and all the other lucky DC couples.
Posted by SecretBYUBottomBoy on March 3, 2010 at 9:14 PM · Report this
Andy Niable 36
OMG--Dan Savage discovers LGBT people of color!

Now, if he'll only interview some local Black Queers here in Seattle (like I challenged him to do when he was rattling off that "Blacks Passed Prop 8" nonsense over a year ago...)
Posted by Andy Niable on March 3, 2010 at 10:39 PM · Report this
My personal definition of four distinct facets of marriage:
Interpersonal commitment
Public statement of commitment
Legal contract (civil marriage)
Commitment before God (religious marriage)
This is very much a mix and match sort of thing. I've known couples who didn't believe in going beyond the interpersonal commitment. I've known couples, where the focus was entirely on the public statement ("wedding" as theater), and the interpersonal commitment seemed to have been left out. I've known couples who went quietly to city hall and never bothered to inform anyone they were legally married. Although ministers usually are empowered to witness the legal contract, the legal and the religious aspects of marriage are entirely separable.

The legal contract that is civil marriage puts in place a huge number of protections and privileges, and these are applicable to any two individuals. Personally, I don't care if it's called being "civilized," "unionized," (civil union) "domesticated," "partnered" (domestic partners) or "legalized." I'm happy to yield the term "marriage" to religious institutions, as long as it is done consistently for all couples.
Posted by knitpicker on March 4, 2010 at 5:48 AM · Report this
Tomec 38
To me this is non-news. Most have seen so many videos (or first hand) gay marriages around world. We already know it's not just affluent whites.

But I said that, so I could say this... #35, I love your name .. LOL SecretBYUBottomBoy
Posted by Tomec on March 4, 2010 at 5:48 AM · Report this
@ Loveschild, as a DC resident, when you are concerned about our Voting Rights in Congress, I'll lead the charge to let you worry about DC voting on my upcoming big ole gay wedding. Until then, keep your sad opinions. Oh and for the record, we did our homework, 65 percent of DC residents support gay marriage in three different polls.

Mkay Thanks Bye
Posted by ScottnDC on March 4, 2010 at 7:53 AM · Report this
Loveschild 40
@39 "Oh and for the record, we did our homework, 65 percent of DC residents support gay marriage in three different polls."

And that's why the gay lobby and their allies in the City Council did not allow a vote from the public. Your full of it ScottnDC, enjoy your imposition while it lasts, cause the injustice of denying the DC residents their say will not stand.

Posted by Loveschild on March 4, 2010 at 9:21 AM · Report this
samktg 41
LC, were you fond of separate but equal laws? Sometimes the courts do things whether the majority of people agree with their actions or not. Certainly the majority of people in the south were very unhappy with the order to desegregate.

Frankly whether the majority of people do or do not believe in marriage equality's validity does not matter, as gays are human and entitled to the rights all other humans receive under the law. No matter. States are starting to legalize gay marriage, and legislation for it all over the nation is gaining traction, and eventually there will be marriage equality. The bigoted stance is going the way of the dodo.
Posted by samktg on March 4, 2010 at 9:43 AM · Report this
samktg 42
Well at least the bigoted stance is being castrated. It's hard to really completely eliminate bigotry.
Posted by samktg on March 4, 2010 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Loveschild 43
@41 samktg, my side is not the one denying the right to vote to a majority African American population, your side is.
Posted by Loveschild on March 4, 2010 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Loveschild 44
Concerning your idea that somehow the Supreme court has always possessed a greater moral insight to dictate what's just or appropiate for the people, let me remind you of this:…
Posted by Loveschild on March 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM · Report this
venomlash 45
@43: They have the right to vote. They vote for people who they believe will best represent their interests, and those representatives FAIRLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE then make the laws. That's how a democratic republic like ours works.
Every registered voter has the right to vote. For the most part, though, you need to get elected if you want to make any actual laws.
And you know what? If the people really don't want to let gays get married, then they'll kick out those politicians who supported it at the next election cycle. Let's see what actually happens, you fascist cow.
Posted by venomlash on March 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 46
Loveschild, thank you for citing Dred Scott. I'm sure you can also look at Brown v. Board of Education as an example of the very judicial activism you claim is so horrible. Like most other things, clearly "judicial activism" is something you despise when it doesn't go the way you want and something you love when it does. It's all about convenience for you, isn't it?
Posted by Southern Gentleman on March 4, 2010 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Dingo 47
my side is not the one denying the right to vote to a majority African American population, your side is.

Oh, so it's a black thing.
Posted by Dingo on March 4, 2010 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Loveschild 48
@46 No dear, is about not placing absolute credence ( as you seem to do ) to the idea that the Courts are always the absolute and best qualified bodies in this nation to dictate what's morally right because that's been proven false many times.
Posted by Loveschild on March 4, 2010 at 11:01 AM · Report this
samktg 49
LC, of course the courts aren't perfect. Plessy vs. Ferguson is another decision you would be valid to cite. However, when they come down on the side of basic human equality, I am a firm supporter.
Posted by samktg on March 4, 2010 at 11:13 AM · Report this
samktg 50
The people certainly aren't necessarily the absolute and best qualified to decide or dictate what is morally right. The people of the United States have shown time and time again that they don't feel people of the wrong skin color or gender deserve the same rights as themselves. The courts have been handy in telling We The People otherwise.
Posted by samktg on March 4, 2010 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 51
@48 Loveschild, once again you're putting words in my mouth and misreading what I've said. I don't place absolute faith in the courts. I try to look at the facts in each specific case. Maybe you should try doing the same for a change.

Like Samktq I'm a supporter of court decisions that favor equality for all people. While you're looking at the facts maybe you should stop to consider why there's a need for courts. Based on your arguments you seem to think we should abolish courts and let the majority's opinion rule. Courts sometimes make mistakes, but more often majorities do. That's why there needs to be a check on majority rule.
Posted by Southern Gentleman on March 4, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Yeah, Scott is full of hot air...or maybe a ballot initiative was not permitted because it would VIOLATE THE DC HUMAN RIGHTS ACT. Which you would do well to remember ALSO protects women and minorities from capricious, hate-based discrimination on all fronts.
Posted by Ms. D on March 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Of course issues like employment and discrimination are important, but I, too, am sick of these GLBTs who think that gay marriage somehow has nothing to do with them and that we should drop it to address issues of concern to them. Add to my shit list Jasmyne Cannick and Yasmin Nair, an idiot blogger and self-proclaimed "queer lesbian who loves cock" at The Bilerico Project.
Posted by AJD on March 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Is it just me, or does it smell like troll in here?
Posted by Your Mother on March 4, 2010 at 10:37 PM · Report this
As just another straight, married, white guy "Marriage equality is a social justice issue." is my new go-to phrase for the idiots I come across.
Posted by MediaFiend on March 5, 2010 at 1:39 PM · Report this
No, it's you.
Time to change your Depends.
Posted by Your Daughter on March 6, 2010 at 4:35 AM · Report this
Just for clarification: The United States is a constitutional democracy, not a majoritarian democracy. That means that there are certain constitutional rights that the majority cannot vote away from the minority. In the DC case, priviledged black heterosexuals (who are in the majority) can't vote for or against the marriage rights of the homosexual minority.
Posted by jk105 on March 7, 2010 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Sandiai 58
Such a cute picture of Sinjoyla and Angelisa on their special day. Look at them, Lovechild. Study their joyous faces. They want to be happy, just like you. Why do you get to be happy and not them? What makes you so special anyway?

BTW, DC is extremely liberal, even among Blacks. Every person of color that I know here is a liberal Democrat, and were before Obama hit the scene. So, if put to a vote, marriage equality would pass. But you're missing the point, as usual. The judiciary serves by protecting ALL people from civil rights violations. Do you not think that is a worthy goal? Is it only important for non-sinners? How about sinful people who are otherwise straight?

What IS wrong with your compassion gene? I really don't get you.

Posted by Sandiai on January 25, 2011 at 1:01 AM · Report this
Gay whites males acting racist?! What the hell else is knew?! I thought it was common knowledge the gay community was not only filled with anti-black snottiness coming from predominately gay white men, but also that it's a community wholly geared towards the gay white male community; that is, the fight for equal rights for gays is a fight solely for the gay white men. Anytime the gay black community comes up as the topic, it's not about the fact that we are the most disadvantaged but rather something like "We gays have had it just as hard, if not harder, than blacks" or "Most homophobia against gays is coming from blacks. It's the black community that's the problem. How dare they whimper about discrimination when homophobia is their fault." Gay white males, of course, neglect the fact that they are mixing apples and oranges as there are gay blacks and not only that but gay blacks that lived during the five-century-long era of socially acceptable anti-black persecution that ended 35 years ago.

All the gay white male I have dated HAVE to bring up race and usually in an offensive way. One gay dude I dated is like "I usually don't date black men because they're so much drama. And it's true: they are so much drama. I also don't like blacks that are really dark. And I can't stand afros! As long as you're none of these things, we're good" Another dude is like "Let's just meet up as friends. There's no way I could bring a black dude to my parents. They'd hate that. It's just that there's a type of black person that's lazy and on welfare!" It be nice not to have to date gay white males at all but they make up most of the gay community and because a lot of blacks are on the down low because of their struggles and culture brought on by racial discrimination, it's hard for middle-class blacks like me to find other middle-class gay black men. Not to mention, only 6% of the country is black male and not all of them are gay. Whites make up 74% of the damn country and 80% if Hispanic whites are included
Posted by Tonetare on March 25, 2011 at 9:47 PM · Report this

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