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Journo Explains Gay Marrieds Piece

benoit_photo2.jpg
Remember Benoit Denizet-Lewis’ lengthy exploration of young gay marrieds in Sunday’s New York Times?

Well, the journalist got flack for only profiling white, middle-class, educated men, which led some to wonder whether he simply chose to ignore people of color.

Tired of whispers and murmurs, Denizet-Lewis sent out an email earlier this afternoon and tried to clear things up.

He’s not a racist, you see, but simply couldn’t find any black people! In fact, there aren’t many black marrieds to be found, he says – after the jump, of course.

Some of you have questioned why I focused only on white couples in my story. I did so because I could not find a single married male couple of color in their twenties in Massachusetts to write about. I spent a month looking, and I was only able to find one couple of color (both men are Asian). But they were in a long-distance relationship (one lived in Boston, the other in California), and I was not able to spend time with them together before my deadline.

Am I claiming that there are no young gay married male couples of color living in Massachusetts? Absolutely not. There may be some (there certainly are plenty of gay male couples of color who aren’t married), but after a month of looking (calling gay organizations, sending out countless emails, asking every gay person I knew to ask every gay person they knew, etc.), I did not find any who were married. I knew I would be criticized for not including a young gay couple of color. But I could not write about something I could not find.

I do reference a study in my article that found that those who are choosing to register their relationships are “overwhelmingly European American.” (Other demographers and gay marriage experts seconded the findings of that study.) I have attached the complete study, but what follows is the relevant text. The entire study can be found in handy PDF form at the end of this posting.

We hoped that including two states with large ethnic-minority populations would increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our sample, yet the majority of same-sex couples who participated in our study identified as White.

One possibility involves a sampling bias—that people of color were less likely to complete the survey. However, it appears that couples who choose to legalize their same-sex relationships are overwhelmingly European American. Vermont is the only one of the three states in our study that asks about race and ethnicity on the civil union certificate.

In 2004, 92% of civil union participants identified as White, exactly the same as that of our Vermont sample (Richard McCoy, Vermont Department of Health, personal communication, April 21, 2006). Thus, we have reason to believe that our sample was comparable to the overall population of same-sex couples in legalized relationships in regard to race and ethnic composition.

In the Black Pride Survey (Battle et al., 2002), marriage and domestic partnerships were listed as one of three of the most important issues facing

Black LGBT people. Yet, only 6% of the sample was married to a same-sex partner; this finding corresponds to the results of our study for African American respondents.

Why are same-sex couples of color less likely to legalize their relationships?

It is possible that LGB people of color may be faced with the dilemma of choosing between the LGB communities and the communities of color (e.g., Greene, 1994, 1997, 2000; Walters, 1998). Greene (1994) has referred to lesbians of color as those who are facing a triple jeopardy based on minority gender, race, and sexual orientation—which would logically present gay men of color with a double jeopardy. Consider, for example, the following quote: “If I could take all my parts with me when I go somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, “No, you stay home tonight, you won’t be welcome,” because I’m going to an all-white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or, I’m going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are antihomosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have a revolution.” (Parker, as quoted in Battle et al., 2002, p. vi)

Thus, same-sex couples of color may prefer not to come out publicly (in the form of a legalized relationship that is a matter of public record) in order to stay close to their communities of origin. Bennett and Battle (2001) have described the role of homophobia in Black churches, for example.

Finally, marriage has been criticized by queer scholars of color. In the chapter “Is Gay Marriage Racist?” (Bailey, Kandaswamy, & Richardson, 2004), the authors state, “In the U.S., race is the strongest determinant of whether or not the state chooses to recognize your parental ties. Black families are the most likely of any racial group to be disrupted by Child Protection authorities, and 42 percent of all children in foster care in the U.S. are black. If being married doesn’t protect straight black families from having their children taken away, it’s unlikely that it will protect queer black families. It is incredibly important that we organize to have non-biological ties to children recognized and respected. While marriage might offer limited protections to some people, it will not change the racist and homophobic practices through which Child Protection Services determines who is fit or unfit to be a parent (89).”

I was also criticized by some for writing about upper-middle-class people. While several of the young men I profile are far from upper-middle-class (Brandon Andrew is a waiter and stuggles to pay his art school college tuition on his own; Vassili is also a waiter; Marc works as a manager of a dental office), demographers and those who have studied what kind of gay men register their relationships have found that the vast majority are a) college educated, b) well off financially. This is especially true in Massachusetts.

What follows are two excerpts from the same study:

There was a significant interstate difference on level of education, with
couples in Massachusetts being more educated (having completed a college degree, on average) than those in California or Vermont (who had come close to a college degree, on average). There was also a significant interstate difference for income, with couples in Vermont earning lower incomes (by about $20,000 lower, on average) than those of couples in Massachusetts or California. Men also earned significantly higher incomes than did women.

There were few significant interstate differences, and some of them can be accounted for by the demographics of the state. Couples in Massachusetts were the most highly educated, possibly reflecting Massachusetts as a center of many colleges and universities.

In addition, our Massachusetts sample lived in Cambridge and Somerville, both suburbs of Boston with its high population of college students and faculty. However, couples in all three states had high mean levels of education, similar to other studies of LGBs (e.g., Rothblum, Balsam, & Mickey, 2004; Rothblum & Factor, 2001; Solomon et al., 2004), including studies of LGBs of color—for example, in the Black Pride Survey, over half the respondents had college degrees and an additional 29% had some college (Battle, Cohen,Warren, Fergerson, & Audam, 2002). As compared to couples in Vermont, twice as many couples in Massachusetts and California lived in large cities, probably reflecting the large urban centers in the latter two states. Even though the Vermont sample was more so a national sample, with only 24% of the sample residing in Vermont, many states are more rural than Massachusetts or California.

Should I have done more explaining in my story about why I focused on the couples I did? Perhaps. Should someone write an article looking at why it seems to be mostly white and financially well off gay men who are getting married? Absolutely. (I may even do it myself.) But I hope this email, and the text of the study I reference, will help explain where I was coming from.

Rothblum’s Study [PDF]

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           May 1, 2008
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

  • 33 Comments
    • marco
      marco

      does anyone else dislike the term, “people of color” ?

      I’m white (italian ancestry), and I’m darker than my friend max, who’s japanese! yet he’s as pale as a ghost, but “of color” – while I’m an olive/tanned colorless person? lol

      oy vey

      May 1, 2008 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris Evans
      Chris Evans

      ^Well what other way would you describe those who are non-white?

      May 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tb
      tb

      Even though a few of those profiled were less well off economically, he spent little time describing their lives. Instead he focused mostly on that Stepford Gay couple that posed for all of those 1950′s style photos (also an odd choice for a serious article). The first few pages of the piece read like WASP jerk off material: the NYT Weddings section.

      Mostly, the piece didn’t dig that deeply into these people’s lives, or those profiled were all hopelessly shallow and boring. I was left with the impression that young married gays in MA have a well honed preppy sense of style and make lovely interior design choices. Groundbreaking.

      May 1, 2008 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      The most obvious matter to factor in to the issue related to Afro -Americans is that Afro Americans are a marginalized group in the first place, for the most part. They are further marginalized socially by being gay; being unacceptable to most black people and by many gay white poeple who are racist.

      The prospect of becoming assimilated by becomeing married is a dubious proposition.
      White middle class queers would be more susceptable to the deliusion of being heteroacceptable by being married distancing themselves from the more of queers being promiscuous.

      May 1, 2008 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob Moore
      Rob Moore

      M Shane, are you saying that black Americans don’t marry because they don’t want to appear white?

      May 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marco
      marco

      @ CHRIS EVANS….

      non-whites ;)

      May 1, 2008 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      Rob Moore: Who knows what his trying to say..

      But it’s kinda exhausting in this day and age that a journalist has to write a frigging explanation for what was BLATANTLY obvious. Is it children that buy the NY Times?? Come on-as a journalist you should know people are gonna whine, whine, whine unless you fulfill their own agenda/crusade/ulterior motive..

      Thats what humans do Benoit-especially marginalized groups; your damned if you do and your damned if you don’t..

      May 1, 2008 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      Marco:

      But is your white your the ONLY/MAIN color! And if you’re not, you’re a ‘person of color’! Funny-I’m sure their are less WHITE people in the world then ‘people of color’….

      May 1, 2008 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hell's kitchen guy
      hell's kitchen guy

      o for chrissakes, he was writing an article about young homos in BOSTON getting married – of course it was going to be college-educated white boys. People are so touchy these days!

      May 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      HK,

      :-) I’m not sure it’s about being touchy; however, it is rather common for gay political topics to be examined as if the “community,” such as it is, has only one color. That isn’t by it’s very nature racist, but it hurts no one to ask the question about. I will say he did answer the question himself by taking a line from that study.

      May 1, 2008 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • supertaxicab
      supertaxicab

      Not to get sidetracked, but I agree with #3: what irked me most at first reading was that it seemed to belong in the “vows” feature of the “Weddings and Celebrations.” Whether or not they had a lot of money, all of these guys had a certain air of entitlement (or simply youthful idealism) that might have rankled the struggling curmudgeons among us. I don’t understand why anybody of any orientation or legal status would want to be in that column, but everybody has his own tastes.

      It was useful to get the author’s perspective (and I think that the Brandons chimed in in some other forum). I do wish that more of that had gotten into the article itself. And I do credit hm for including the divorced guys.

      May 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JL
      JL

      There’s an additional problem with the article’s inclusivenesss– while he admits in the article that twice as many young women have gotten married in Massachussetts than have young men, he otherwise leaves them completely out of the article. I don’t think his excuse re: people of color will hold up in this case. I doubt he couldn’t find any married lesbian couples.

      May 1, 2008 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • johnosahon
      johnosahon

      this situation is NOT the first NOR will it be the last. Everything related to gay people is always with white gay men. NO one gives a fuck about non-whites.

      Was 100% not suprised when all the couples were white.

      May 1, 2008 at 6:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Puddy Katz
      Puddy Katz

      Personally I’m just glad the Eisenhower years are coming back, this time with open homos.

      May 1, 2008 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      Well, if he looked but couldn’t find anyone who was married then he cannot be faulted for it. I don’t know enough about the demographics to comment. He did write a story on the down low phenomenon, though, but I don’t think that is the image out gay men of color want projected in the NY Times magazine.

      What most puzzled me about the story (apart from the fact that it was written by a young, gay, French-American frat boy who usually, true to form, writes about sex and drug addiction) was that there was very little discussion about the significant legal changes that entering into marriage (or civil unions and domestic partnerships, here in CA) brings about. I understand that Mr. Denizet-Lewis is approaching this more from a sociology perspective, but were these guys really thinking it through? He does briefly mention an attorney that has consulted with young gay couples, but I really question the judgment of some of these guys (although one of the couples mentioned included a law student, who presumably knows what the hell he’s getting himself into). Maybe law school has hardened me a bit, but I think one should give a LOT of thought to entering into a relationship that significantly affects your rights and responsibilities down the line. I don’t see their heterosexual peers rushing to embrace marriage (thank God).

      May 1, 2008 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      James – I disagree. I think most gay publications extend themselves to include people of color.

      May 1, 2008 at 10:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Serbian-Canadian in China
      Serbian-Canadian in China

      Why are the young — and not so young — gay men and/or lesbians, of ANY colour from Aborigine ebony to North European pink-ish, wish to APE the heterosexual matrix of marriage of ONLY two individuals?

      Especially males, and especially filled with testosterone in their teens to early 20s are extremely promiscuopus, for purely biochemical reasons.

      Why would they be forced to accept “marriage”, a concept based in straight men’s mysoginy and straight women’s plot to have the man who copulates with them also raise their children?

      Why would ANYONE who enters such an arrangement have ANY privileges, especially automatic ones such as tax benefits over single people? Why would it be limited to two and not 5?

      Totally silly.

      May 1, 2008 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • I'm So Sure, Helen
      I'm So Sure, Helen

      It probably has something to do with thousands of years of evolution, survival of the species, and the eternal battle over who’s going to take out the garbage.

      May 2, 2008 at 6:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charley
      Charley

      NYT may be racist, but it is hard to say. The NYT did a magazine article about gay/bisexual blacks, on the “down low”. Maybe they thought they had the subject covered in view of the African American Church being so homophobic, not that marriage has anything to do with religion.

      May 2, 2008 at 7:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Edwin
      Edwin

      Benoit Denizet-Lewis wrote an article on the “down-low” that appeared in an 8-03 issue of the NY Times magazine. This article portrayed black gay/bisexual men in the worst possible light. According to Mr. Denizet-Lewis’ analysis, the irresponsible sex habits of black gay/bisexual men on the down-low are the cause of the increase in HIV/AIDS infections in black women. This is not true. Actually, drug abuse and unprotected sex with multiple partners is responsible for most HIV infections in black women. But black gay/bisexual men make easy scapegoats.

      Mr. Denizet-Lewis’ article in the NYT magazine helped bury black gay/bisexual men under an avalanche of down low stereotypes. Denizet-Lewis returns in 4-08 with another article in the NY Times magazine, this one about young white gay men wanting to marry and adopt/raise children. But he could not find any black gay men for this article.

      Mr. Denizet-Lewis articles fuel an untrue message: Young white gay men are marriage minded and want to establish “traditional” families like in the 1950s but black gay/bisexual men are hell bent on unprotected, down-low sex and infecting each other and unsuspecting black women with the HIV/AIDS virus.

      After what Mr. Denizet-Lewis did (whether intentionally or not) to the image of black gay/bisexual men in his 8-03 article, he should have gone out of his way to find a committed black gay male couple to interview. Shame on him for not doing this after his 8-03 article, which in my view was slanderous (and inaccurate).

      May 2, 2008 at 8:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • todd
      todd

      Of course white upper class whites would be the first to hop on the marriage band wagon and all it’s stifling bougie bougie confines.

      May 2, 2008 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      I dislike the term “people of color” because it implies that people of European descent are colorless. And why is hair color ignored in this thinking? European-Americans have just as much beautiful color as African-Americans do. And they’re no more “white” than African-Americans are “black.”

      May 2, 2008 at 10:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      “After what Mr. Denizet-Lewis did (whether intentionally or not) to the image of black gay/bisexual men in his 8-03 article, he should have gone out of his way to find a committed black gay male couple to interview.”
      And this probably from someone who thinks he’s in favor of objective journalism – it’s not objective when you seek out, say, one of the two couples among 800 that are not white.

      As for the term African-American instead of “black,” I never got that. Charlize Theron is more of an African-American than a black person born in the United States.

      May 2, 2008 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      August 2003 article? give ME a break. Newspapers as well as everyone else are downsizing, writers have incredible difficult deadlines on a DAILY basis – unless you can prove to me this guy is a racist pig (and he may well be) you can’t expect him to remember an article he wrote almost FIVE years ago. Puhleeeze.

      May 2, 2008 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      wait a minute – my computer skipped a page. I just read the whole response- seems to me like he did a more than reasonable job to find a Black/people of color MARRIED couple.

      May 2, 2008 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Edwin
      Edwin

      re #23: What’s your point? Denizet-Lewis’ 8-03 article about black gay/bisexual men was not “objective journalism”. It was a misrepresentation of what most black gay/bisexual men are.

      A white gay male writer shows young white gay men (in a magazine that goes all over the world) as “nice” but black gay men (in his 8-03 article) as “disease spreading down-low whores”. I guess that’s ok with you. It’s not ok with me.

      I don’t have a problem with Denizet-Lewis writing exclusively about white gay men if that’s what he wants to do. I have a problem with him spreading half-truths and lies about black gay men.

      Does Denizet-Lewis care about what he did to black gay men with his 8-03 article? The stereotypes he gleefully promoted about us with that article. What will he (or anyone) do about it?

      May 2, 2008 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      I actually thought the Down Low piece was done well. While many other stories about the down low just criticized black men who were part of that subculture, Benoit’s piece actually let guys on the Down Low tell their stories, and he tried to explain why it’s so hard for many black gay men to come out. It was done respectively–but honestly. He even spent a whole section talking about how these guys were being unfairly scapegoated by people who don’t understand the social pressures that would lead some black men to choose the Down Low over coming out.

      May 2, 2008 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Konrad
      Konrad

      “those profiled were all hopelessly shallow and boring. ”

      But young, gay, married guys ARE hopelessly shallow and boring. They are also rich, white, and college educated (and usually at elite colleges).

      While, like the rest of us gay guys, they haven’t really figured out what acutal utility marriage offers, they — for some reason — still go ahead and get married.

      May 2, 2008 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ML
      ML

      Did anyone happen to consider that Boston, and Massachusetts in general has a relatively low black population (6.9% per US Census statewide)?

      As noted by M SHANE, this of course greatly decreases the chance that blacks and/or “non-whites” are gay. Even less are the chances that they are gay, AND MARRIED!

      Perhaps there will be a stunning article in the NYT in 5-10 years when all the U.S. states, including those with a greater or predominantly “non-white” population, allow LGBT couples to be married with the same benefits as the straight world.

      Let’s concentrate on fair and equal rights for all LGBT persons before we get into the race discussion, which is apparently based on the information in a single article wherein the journalist clearly did his homework in anticipation of such an issue. Why split hairs when gay black men in other states do not have the right to marriage or a union at all

      May 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      People read too much into the racial imbalance (if it even exists, which given the demographics provided above, suggests it is not intentional, just a result of the story being about married young gay men, as opposed to those who do not seek marriage or governmentally sanctioned relationship recognition). If it was racism, it was a pretty bland variety of it and he went to great pains to note how white they were. The only possible criticism you could have is that he didn’t do a good enough job seeking out other couples, but he documented why that was difficult/impossible.

      I also think, all things being equal, he was far more fair in the ’03 article to down low guys than were, say, Oprah enthusiasts. He presented his subjects as very human and empathetic. Like I said, is it a positive image? Well, not to a reader who is already disgusted by male homosexuality, but to a thoughtful audience, yeah.

      These kinds of debates are really distractions, because there is far more vehement and nasty material out there, racist and homophobic. FOX news replays the Rev. Wright over and over again for a reason. A year and a half of working for public defender offices illustrates real racism in this country. And just a couple of days ago I read a Ninth Circuit decision describing how a 26 year-old guy pimped out a 14 year-old he met at a gay and lesbian support group. I couldn’t dream of worse press for gay men. Nor is the down-low phenomenon limited to minority groups; there are many Senator Craigs (and Congressman Foleys) among us.

      I thought the article was pretty balanced, in light of the limitations the author faced. I for one would expect well-off white New Englanders to take advantage of marriage well before anyone else. For highly-educated men they make absurdly bad and impulsive decisions. Oh wait: in the modern era we call it romance. And that is what he was trying to sell with this article.

      May 2, 2008 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • neroX2
      neroX2

      As a gay man of South Asian origin, I wasn’t offended by the lack of color in your article. Without any diversity,however, it was hard for me to relate to it at all. I assumed that reading an article about gay marriage would hit close to home, but I was surprised because I like I didn’t belong with the group of people being studied at all.

      May 3, 2008 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Puddy Katz
      Puddy Katz

      A Hillary Presidency will be Eisenhower in drag!
      Vote Hillberry, you will only throw up in your mouth a little when you do it!

      May 3, 2008 at 10:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • R.J.
      R.J.

      And then there’s thisbanal tidbit from Alex Blaze at Bilerico where he criticizes the recent article in the New York Times about married gay couples–or more precisely, a bunch of rich white gay men playing house:

      “It’s hard to see much of a point to Benoit Denizet-Lewis’s profiling of these couples other than to present an image of gay marriage that’s

      rich,
      white, and, without question,
      the best goddamned thing ever.”

      Most of the couples interviewed by Denizet-Lewis at least present the signs of excessive affluence (monogrammed slippers, antique furniture from all over the world, catered sushi parties, jobs at law firms, and degrees from MIT)…what sticks out is how sickeningly sweet the couples in this article are…I’m sure even normal human beings would want to tell these kids to take a step back from the edge.”

      Yes, please step back from the edge, Mr. Blaze.

      And while he makes valid points about how skewed the article is and the

      “…standard right-wing attack against same-sex marriage and sexual orientation based job protections, that gays are so rich that they don’t need the rights associated with it,”

      and the safe, homogenized, one-size-should-fit-all images we’re being fed and choked on, and while this is an astute critique of (gay)marriage and the racial bias of the survey,there’s something disingenuous about a middle-class boy who spends weekends in Paris and just returned from his trip to Lisbon with his, apparently, rich boyfriend now criticizing The Dollar Purple.

      It’s like sitting in quicksand and complaining that you’re sinking.

      The undertone here reeks of classic middle-class guilt and plain old-fashioned envy.

      Don’t worry, Mr. Blaze. Someday you’ll be a rich gay white boy too. And, no doubt, like a lot of middle and upper class gay white males, you’ll bitch and moan about your “oppression” the whole time.

      It’s easy to find fault in others. It’s a lot more challenging to take a good hard look at yourself.

      On the other hand (and here I’m taking my own advice), I understand his frustration. By nature I’m a monogamous person. I like commitment. I need stability. I’m a one man guy (to quote Rufus Wainwright). So I get angry, frustrated and bitter with gay men who, more often than not, are not interested or not capable of monogamy or commitment and it’s hard for me that this attitude and lifestyle are supported by a majority of our community as just “That’s the way it is.” Consequently, because of this prevalent acceptance, I often settle for much less that what I want or deserve. It’s my own fault but it still makes me angry. Clearly, the freedom and openness of gay life is something Mr. Blaze cherishes because he writes,

      “…I had hopes that queers would be better at relationship realism because of our outsider status with respect to many of the pressures that push straight couples towards marriage-with-unrealistic-expectations.”

      I understand the frustration of not wanting a certain lifestyle for yourself and being told, “But that’s the way it should be.”

      In a perfect world we would live and let live. Too bad it’s not a perfect world.

      UPDATE: In a comment to Mr. Blaze’s follow-up,Denizet-Lewis had this to say in his defense:

      “Same-Sex Couples of Color
      We hoped that including two states with large ethnic-minority populations
      would increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our sample, yet the
      majority of same-sex couples who participated in our study identified as
      White. One possibility involves a sampling bias—that people of color were
      less likely to complete the survey. However, it appears that couples who
      choose to legalize their same-sex relationships are overwhelmingly
      European American. Vermont is the only one of the three states in our study
      that asks about race and ethnicity on the civil union certificate. In 2004,
      92% of civil union participants identified as White, exactly the same as that
      of our Vermont sample (Richard McCoy, Vermont Department of Health,
      personal communication, April 21, 2006). Thus, we have reason to believe
      that our sample was comparable to the overall population of same-sex couples
      in legalized relationships in regard to race and ethnic composition.
      In the Black Pride Survey (Battle et al., 2002), marriage and domestic
      partnerships were listed as one of three of the most important issues facing
      Black LGBT people. Yet, only 6% of the sample was married to a same-sex
      partner; this finding corresponds to the results of our study for African
      American respondents.”

      Mr. Blaze, uncharacteristically, apologized,

      “Thanks for pointing that out, Benoit, and I’m embarrassed and sorry I didn’t notice you were quoting from page 27 instead of page 9.

      It’s been updated.”

      Observe, however, that the part in question is merely crossed out but remains. Mr. Blaze explains/defends his editorial decision:

      “[Update: I fucked up. He was quoting another part of the report that uses the phrase "overwhelmingly European American," not the one that I quoted above. Furthermore, he obviously wasn't paraphrasing because it was in the quotation marks (you'd think an English teacher/former copy editor would notice something like that). The first quotation is still important to the bigger question of racial demographics, so it's staying up there, but as for Denizet-Lewis, his quotation is accurate. I apologize.]“

      It should be noted and corrected also that Mr. Blaze is not an English teacher, as he claims: A teacher is a professional with a degree in education or an advanced degree (PhD) in some other field; teachers need a license or certification to teach. Mr. Blaze is, in fact, a part-time “language assistant.” For Mr. “Blaze” to insist that he is a teacher is insulting to the professionals who have earned their degrees, have their certification and put in hours of professional development each year.

      The truth may be relative but the facts are not. And bullshit is bullshit, not McDonald’s secret sauce.

      Further, Denizet-Lewis had this to offer:

      “It is possible that LGB people of color may be faced with the
      dilemma of choosing between the LGB communities and the communities
      of color (e.g., Greene, 1994, 1997, 2000; Walters, 1998). Greene (1994) has
      referred to lesbians of color as those who are facing a triple jeopardy based
      on minority gender, race, and sexual orientation—which would logically
      present gay men of color with a double jeopardy…marriage has been criticized by queer scholars of color. In the
      chapter “Is Gay Marriage Racist?” (Bailey, Kandaswamy, & Richardson,
      2004), the authors state,
      In the U.S., race is the strongest determinant of whether or not the state
      chooses to recognize your parental ties. Black families are the most likely of
      any racial group to be disrupted by Child Protection authorities, and 42 percent
      of all children in foster care in the U.S. are black. If being married doesn’t
      protect straight black families from having their children taken away, it’s
      unlikely that it will protect queer black families. It is incredibly important
      that we organize to have non-biological ties to children recognized and
      respected. While marriage might offer limited protections to some people, it
      will not change the racist and homophobic practices through which Child
      Protection Services determines who is fit or unfit to be a parent. (p. 89).”

      Maybe same-sex marriage is just for (rich)white people (note sarcasm of this writer).

      May 8, 2008 at 2:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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