Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign unveiled another video from its new series promoting same-sex marriage. This ones features that frequently outspoken defender of civil rights, Rev. Al Sharpton. It comes just days after the HRC released a video featuring chief executive of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Bankfein.
As the African-American community and religious leaders are frequently seen as roadblocks on the road to equality, Sharpton is inarguably a strategic voice to speak to both—and particularly to target their overlap. “As a Baptist minister, I don’t have the right to impose my beliefs on anyone else,” he says in the clip. “So if committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry, that’s their business. None of us should stand in their way.”
Though he has long been recognized as an advocate for the black community, Sharpton has become more vocal in his support for the LGBT community and his opposition to homophobia for several years. It’s a big change from the old Sharpton—the one who, in 1994, allegedly described “white folks” in Socrates’ time as “Greek homos,” and in the late 1980s angrily called an audience member on The Morton Downey Jr. Show a “punk faggot.”
Welcome to the fold, Rev. Al.
Wow I so disliked Al for a few decades now and I think I can actually warm up to him –
Previously at a black preacher’s event in Atlanta, he excoriated black preachers for the prejudice against gays.
He is loud and unambiguous in condemning prejudice against gays.
This is bullshit. So we are just to ignore all of his other stances (as on race) and get behind him because of this?
“As a Baptist minister, I don’t have the right to impose my beliefs on anyone else. So if committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry, that’s their business. None of us should stand in their way.”
That doesn’t sound like he really believes in marriage equality – he just doesn’t want to “impose his beliefs” on gays and lesbians. So what are his actual beliefs about gays?
@Isaac C: that is the whole point: he is free to HAVE whatever beliefs he cares to have, and he is intelligent enough to admit that his beliefs should not be used against others who don’t share them.
So in the end, who cares if his faith says about gays.
As long as he is not using that faith to actively work against equality for gays.
And from his words, he is actually actively working FOR equality.
I admire him for doing the RIGHT thing, even if it may conflict with his personal beliefs.
I’ve watched Sharpton for quite a while and his position on the LGBT community has always been consistent and fair.
Robert in NYC
Isaac C so if Obama who is currently “evolving” on the issue suddenly declared support, you mean you wouldn’t vote for him in November? What if he supports it after re-election? Will you be happy you sat home or voted for a republican who will NEVER do anything to advance equality? There isn’t one bill the GOP will introduce or the Civil Libertarians if either occupied the White House. At least Obama wouldn’t veto any equality bill, but the majority of republicans would. Only 8 of them supported repeal of DADT in the senate while all democrats supported it. I’d rather have an imperfect democrat in the White House than a backward, religion pandering republican who wants to ban abortion, birth control and invalidate same-sex marriages as well as overturn repeal of DADT.
@Robert in NYC: Trying to reason with the likes of Isaac C is like talking to a tree stump. He is on the right side of the ideological spectrum and has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to blacks and other minorities. There is no way he’ll vote for Obama, if either Romney, Santorum or Gingrich were to be the nominee he would gladly vote for them even though they hate his guts.
The more blacks and other racial minorities come out in favor for SSM, the more difficult it is for gay Republicans to demonize them.
Reverend Al? Nice. His opinion carries a lot of water in certain circles, and I appreciate his contribution.
Also, damn — he’s lost a lot of weight. Looking pretty sharp there, Reverend Sharpton!
Watch him on Politics Nation sometime. Lots of Baptists condemn him for his pro gay ways, but he really just does not care. Listen to him folks. Get out of the way. If a Baptist minister can recognize that what happens in my bedroom or at the courthouse is not his to legislate, anyone can. Believe me, I know. I grew up with Baptist bigots. Thanks, Al. Maybe you could come talk to my parents?
@MikeE: What he is giving is not even equal to support. It is shallow lipservice. If he really believed in gay equality, he wouldn’t have to qualify it by saying he’s a baptist minister with certain “beliefs” that he’s willing to put aside for the sake of principle. It’s like he’s saying he still thinks being gay is wrong and disgusting, but won’t let that stop him from throwing a few scraps to the fight for marriage equality. Maybe that’s good enough for you, but IMO it only reinforces the beliefs of the religious bigots while giving them the option of either supporting gay equality or denying it to us, which they already had in the first place. There is no actual condemnation of the religious beliefs/bigotry itself. That is the difference, and that is the problem.
@Robert in NYC: I’m not sure why you’re bringing up Obama and the election. They have nothing to do with my opinion on Sharpton.
The fact that liberals still find this racist clown relevant after the Tawana Brawley ordeal shows you just how blinded by skin color they really are.
I’m almost at the point where I don’t trust anyone with a title (like “Reverend”) anymore, though I’m not as bad as Shannon.. (hi Shannon !)
@JayKay: The fact that you have to go back over 20 years ago to stand in your own way now based on the skin color of the man helping you shows just how much of an idiot you really are.
@CBRad: LOL. I will say this…
A message like this coming from a Baptist minister is fucking HUGE. For real. You all know I despise religion, but having grown up with people with really asinine beliefs regarding homosexuality, people of Rev Sharpton’s same belief system, I know what it must have taken for him to come away and support our rights and put his own beliefs aside. I don’t give a damn what his personal beliefs are; that’s his business. Just like he knows he can’t force them on us, I can’t force mine on him. To do so would be hypocrisy. I can’t help but really give the man a standing O for this one. Doesn’t matter if he still privately disapproves. That’s for him to decide. What matters is that he came out in support of us and total equality because it’s what’s right.
His speech is amazing, it reflects the real situation, I agree with Al..wise words
I am interested to note that the general tone towards Sharpton is one of forgiveness for past homophic statements, to say nothing of being a member of a group that believes homophobia to be a sin, yet when it comes to politicians, you are almost universally unforgiving of their past and cynical about any change of tone.
Personally, I see religious leaders and politicians in exactly the same light, and I mistrust them equally.
Thank you Al, Thank you!!! I could care less what his personal and/or religous opinions are about marriage equality but I do care about his actions and his actions have always played in our favor. For you crazy queens out there who are hanging on to the Tawana Brawley bullshit(which has absolutely nothing to do GLBT rights) back from 20 plus years ago, you may be surprised to know that Al has always supported us and at many times has stood alone as someone from the uber-homophobic black church. He “gets” what real equality means and its sad that some of us can’t even recognize when we have a genuine ally in our corner and not just someone who gives lip service.
“As a White Supremacist, I don’t have the right to impose my beliefs on anyone else,” some enlightened racist could have also said that in the same vein as ol’ Al Sharpton. “So if a committed black and white couple want to marry, that’s their business. None of us should stand in their way (even though my belief-system regards blacks as inferior to whites).”
hmmmm…not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it?
If you can’t change some of your beliefs when some of them are wrong, then how you ask others to do so? But rather, you ask them just to look the other way and continue to view others as less moral and less respectable than you? Seems a rather smug and arrogant way of approaching the issue of discrimination.
No one is asking him to through rice at our weddings, but telling others to step around us like we are shit on the sidewalk in not entirely helpful either. The term “Just as Good as You” is too often missing in these endorsements.
Turning a “blind eye” is not the same thing as asking for a “change of heart”.
Correction (should read): “No one is asking him to throw rice at our weddings, but telling others to step around us like we are shit on the sidewalk in not entirely helpful either. The term “Just as Good as You” is too often missing in these endorsements.”
@FYI: THANK YOU! Finally someone gets it.
@FYI: You’re an idiot.
What I meant to say was that I am an asshole and a racist pig. Sorry about the confusion earlier. My mother forgot to loosen the umbilical cord around my neck when she aborted me in that back alley behind the whorehouse forty years ago — that is where my brain-damage first occurred.
Just ignore me from now on when I’m off my meds. OK?
@FYI: He framed it in terms of being a baptist minister because the opposition to SSM is framed that way, not because of some subliminal slip. Don’t be disingenuous and claim you don’t understand why he led with that statement. He is certainly a flawed individual but he has been on the front lines of equal rights for all for a long time and has risked his life for that fight. Your comparison doesn’t work because he would have gladly accepted the position of the white supremacy in your comment. All the civil rights movement asked for was equal protection, not power to deny others their beliefs. He’s continuing that fight for your benefit and your to self righteous to accept it. Get off your high horse.
@FYI: TES, of course he framed it in terms of being a baptist minister and a bigot because pseudo-christianity’s opposition to SSM is framed that way, not because of some subliminal slip of the truth. I didn’t mean to be disingenuous and claim that you didn’t understand why he lied with that statement. He is certainly a very flawed individual. Remember Tawana Brawley and how he tried to ruin the lives of innocent white men while playing the race card for a pathological liar and for attention?
But he has been on the front lines of equal rights for himself for a long time and has risked his life for that fight. Your comparison does work because he would have gladly accepted the position of the black supremacy in your comment. All the civil rights movement asked for was equal protection, not power to deny others their beliefs — but too many minorities when they are in position of power then shit on those who are not, ie the GLBT community being dumped on during Prop 8 by blacks and hispanics. I can’t imagine Gay people doing that to blacks or any other minority at the polls.
Al is continuing is just a publicity whore who is throwing a few crumbs to the Gay community to keep himself looking relevant since he landed his new gig on MSNBC. And you are right to question his integrity. Sorry I was on my high horse earlier, it was just that time of the month — bleeding hemorhoids you know.
Al sharpton is not a leader in the black community. He is mostly. Seen as a joke and ambulance chased. I don’t know if this will help or hurt.
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