WATCH: Doc Explores “The Black Vote For Gay Marriage” In Maryland

With Maryland’s landmark same-sex marriage referendum on the ballot in a matter of days, filmmaker Yoruba Richen shared this “Op-Doc,” The Black Vote for Gay Marriage, with The New York Times.

While the fight for marriage equality is a civil rights issue, many in the black community, particularly the black religious community, consider it a matter of faith.

Richen hopes to explore the disconnect between the black civil rights and gay civil rights movements:

I realized that the issue of gay rights in the black community is in many ways a fight over the African-American family, which has been a contested space since the time of slavery. So marriage is not just about marriage for black people — it’s also about how blacks have become accepted as legitimate participants in American society…the gay marriage question in the black community has forced a conversation, which is taking place in the pulpits and the pews, the hair salons and barbershops — and ultimately at the ballot box.

Recent polls suggest that opposition from black churches has caused support for gay marriage to wane, despite endorsements from President Obama, the NAACP and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Richen, a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, adapted this piece from a longer documentary she has been working on for the past three years, The New Black, scheduled to be released in early 2013.