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.
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.