Will Obama Lose Black America’s Support If He Helps Repeal DOMA?


We haven’t a clue what the Black Coalition Against Gay Marriage is, but they have letterhead, apparently, and they are using it to write the president. And warn him of the dangers in supporting same-sex marriage.

Namely, that he’ll lose the support of African-Americans if he comes out swinging for homo marriage rights.

But you probably already beat us to this line: BCAGM is a coalition consisting of a number of religious groups. Of course. Relays EURweb: “The coalition, which includes the veteran civil rights the group Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Concerned African-American Pastors and other religious organizations, is particularly worried about Obama’s intentions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). … However, in its letter, the Black coalition asserts, ‘Changing the definition of marriage will have many unintended consequences which will hurt generations to come.’”

Except BCAGM and its members aren’t exactly powerful players these days in black civil liberties circles: “CORE, while a veteran group in the Civil Rights Movement, has become increasingly conservative in recent years and has largely been pushed to the fringes of the modern civil rights effort.”

And yet: They do have their supporters. CORE, now headed up by Roy Innis, has been around since the 1940s. They have generations of support, thanks to their noble role in fighting Jim Crow laws, the sit-ins, and freedom rides. And if their letter is to be believed, supporters’ religious convictions are what drives their decisions, not any affinity to Barack Obama because he’s also black.

Which brings us back to an earlier argument, one involving the NAACP: This is why you need to go on the record supporting same-sex marriage. Because while the NAACP remains officially neutral on the subject, plenty of folks in the black community are aligning themselves with organizations that preach acceptable hatred. And without the NAACP championing the plight of gay Americans, they allow their own audience to continue condemning our “lifestyle.”

How sad, then, that CORE is supporting this message to the president. After all, this is the same organization that says “membership in CORE is open to anyone who believes that ‘all people are created equal’ and is willing to work towards the ultimate goal of true equality throughout the world” … right?

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  • robert

    I doubt very much if it will affect his popularity. In fact, it could have the opposite effect, draw people in who were against marriage equality among his own ethnic group. Corretta Scott King was pro marriage equality and it didn’t alienate many in the black community from her.

  • Sug Night

    Won’t make a bit of difference with most Black voters; they’re behind their man a hundred percent.

  • J. Clarence

    That last bit about who is welcomed to their group was just precious.

    Still, just because another fringe group of Black folks say something on a certain issue means that the NAACP has to as well, though it would be a good counter force to this group.

    I don’t think it will effect Obama’s numbers that bad, if at all by any significant margin. He was more an fierce advocate when he was campaigning for the first time, so it is not as if conservative Black folks did not know what they were buying into.

  • Jimmy

    Let’s be honest, in the Black community, CORE is practically irrelevant. This will have no effect on Obama’s African American support. The majority of African Americans are more concerned about the economy, healthcare, jobs, the environment, etc. . .

  • Dennis

    Though even I, a ‘brainwashed Obot’, will admit that Obama has been a stronger ally to us in word than in deed, the fact remains that he has spoken out against discrimination and LGBT hatred on numerous occassions.

    These retrograde black Jeebus freaks will not sway his policies or actions at all. He has already stated that he doesn’t support DOMA or DADT, and that’s not changing…no matter what the skin color is of the asshats trying to tell him ‘how God works’…Obama has his own beliefs already sorted.

  • Rick

    Bigots come in all colors.

  • RainaWeather

    He won’t lose a damn thing except a bit of hypocrisy. As someone else said, he was an advocate when he was running and blacks voted for him, So I don’t see how he’ll lose support if he actually does what he promised,.

  • Dennis

    and if any of these black holy-rollers would actually support a white evangelical candidate over Obama, at least 90% of other African-Americans would consider them ‘traitors to the cause’…

  • Cam

    I would imagine that the black community would be much more interested in whether or not he will follow through with his promises to them made during the campaign. He spoke out against DOMA on the campaign, if the “Black Community” had a huge problem with that, I assume it would have come up before now.

  • InExile

    People voted for Obama because of his promises. Keeping the promises he has already made should not be a surprise to the black community, it should be what they expect.

  • M Shane

    I don’t think that there is much of any question that the black community leaders will in unison LOUDLY damn Obama. The problem is not with his black following ,but with his position with the liberal whites who supported him as a representative of the black community; A (token) BLACK PRESIDENT. If you look at the pronouncements of the Black churches, they have taken a unanimous stand against fgay marriage or even againt being gay as a mionority. The Black Southern Baptist church (huge) doesn’t even think we should have jobs. the NAACP is in most places made up of minidters.

    You can be sure that they wil make a lot of noise if they percieve that he is against their religious prioirities. Which may just completely ruin his validity for Whit liberals.

  • Chitown Kev

    @M Shane:
    actually I can name 10 black community leaders OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD that would support Obama. You also have black liberal leaders and intelligensia that would support Obama. As well as the Congressional Black Caucus.

  • emma

    Simple answers to stupid questions: No.

  • Chitown Kev

    Now, he might lose the support of black Americans over other issues (i.e. health care). But DOMA repeal, no.

  • Rob

    Oh, dear. Queerty writers’, I can see the flop sweat from the mental gymnastics as you try yet again to bring up the whole black vs. gay conversation again. It’s like Spencer and Heidi. Once you detect the desperation, any semblance of relevance falls down like a house of cards. Or, to put it more succinctly: FAIL.

  • Don

    He can loose my black support on how He handles Health care issues, but I will still support him if He repeals DOMA and DADT. On the other hand, white America supported Clinton even after He introduced DADT.

  • SteamPunk

    No, he won’t.

    I don’t think Black people are as homophobic as some would want you to believe.

  • boring


    the voting statistics for prop 8 in CA would say otherwise. the black community might receive an unfair portion of criticism for homophobia, but i don’t think there’s any conspiracy at work with regard to their opposition to our rights as an indication of prejudice.

  • Andrew

    Well i want to go on record as saying: I have been called the “f” word more than 20 times, I have been beat up twice and I have been heckled many times for being a flamboyant guy.I’m a 25 year old living in LA. All the people who did the above things happen to be from my own caucasian race. I rarely experience any homophobia from blacks or latinos. It’s always my own race! Therefore, IMO blacks are not the group of people I am afraid of.Pres. Obama might loose support from white Independents as well if He repeals DOMA! Who knows for sure what support he will loose by doing the right thing?Queerty keeps widening the divide between us and the AA community. Like it or not we might still need ethnic minority votes no matter how few to reverse prop 8 in my state. We need their vote , they need nothing from us. Thats the reality

  • Chitown Kev


    Uh, how many states have voted on banning SSM. Go back and look at those stats and then comeback and talk to me. Instead of basing all your opinions on just one state.

    The self-important arrogance of Californians…amazing

  • Kathy

    What are you talking about ? white people worshipped Clinton after He slapped us with DADT! So, No, I don’t think black people will disown Obama for fixing Clintons problem.

  • Chitown Kev

    Like I’ve said, I can see many other reasons why black people would not support in Obama. Hell, Obama never had much support from the bl;ack community here in Chicago. Then again he campaigned against DOMA when he ran for the state Senate in 1996 (and actually supported marriage equality) and won.

  • Antonio

    @Andrew: I have to agree with some of what you say. Right now we may still need the black vote, no matter how small a percentage.The truth is that black people, like latinos, asians and caucasians don’t need anything from us LGBT’S, they owe us nothing. So, constantly writing articles that bash black people(the author might call it calling them out)is not what I consider reaching out.I don’t think we are building any bridges with this group of people. I think black people have been put down for centuries and being put down by yet another group namely LGBT’s won’t tear them down. They are used to this shit.

  • Chitown Kev


    See, now I’m all for calling individual black people and black organizations out out homophobia; I get very very angry about homophobia as it manifests itself in the black community and I get very angry about black gay people who enable homophobia and throw the race card. It gets the to be those “all black people” are such and such (and I’m black) as if we all think alike and the racial slurs that frequent this blog that gets me upset.

    Oh, and I can’t stand to hear about gay white racism from black straight people either…if most black straight people were, by and large, more supportive of black gay people then they would have a leg to stand on in regards to that.

  • Antonio

    @Chitown Kev: I’m also for calling out homophobes in my commUnity too. Most of my hispanic brothers and sisters use religion to practice homophobia, even in my own immediate family. but it’s not fair to make a sweeping generalization that all hispanics are homophobic. There are many who are supportive of equal rights for all.In my state, we may need the votes of these latinos again to reverse prop 8. I think it’s very unfair that majority has to vote on our basic human rights, but that’s the ugly reality for us right now. We need to reach out to these minorities, they unfortunately don’t really need to reach out to us, because we don’t have to vote for their rights. These whole system is screwed up IMO.

  • Chitown Kev


    We are in complete agreement.

  • Bill Perdue

    @M Shane First I want to say that it’s very unlikely that Obama would fight for repeal of DOMA or even sign a repeal bill if it got to his desk. He was very successful in stealing christer bigot votes away from the Republicans (most of them Euroamerican, not African American or Latino). It’s even less likely that the mostly Euroamerican bigots and bigot panderers of both congressional parties would pass it in the first place.

    The question is irrelevant.

    Many religious and political leaders from all ethnicities support us. It’s simply not true to say or imply that most Blacks are against us. Sharpton, Bond, Lewis and others are examples of longstanding, good allies even if they’re ultimately ineffective because they’re Democrats. (The contrast between the number of former SNCC leaders who kept their principles whole and a few leaders of CORE and SCLC who abandoned them or never had them is striking.)

    The solution is not to yell about the artificial divisions of American society. It lies in running left feints around bigots like Obama, Dubois, Kaine, Daughtry, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the religious right, undercutting their influence. The way to do that is to do much more to build alliances with other communities. HRC’s trip to Jena LA, opposed by rabid racists in our own ranks was a good try but a rare one. It’s far more productive to build mutually beneficial political relationships based on equal rights and against hate crimes and leave the religious bigots in the dust. Out flanking them is easy but we’ll never convince them because religion and religious people are inherently irrational.

    Obama’s problem with the African American, Latino and immigrant communities and working people in general has nothing to do with same sex marriage. He’s never had anything of substance about ending the poverty and social dislocations caused exclusively by racism. He’s not for a crash program to create good jobs for workers, subsidized housing, good transportation, free education in universities, a massive educational effort about HIV/AIDS or socialized medicine. He never will. Those measures are all urgently needed, particularly in Black, Latino and immigrant communities (as they are for all workers). Especially since Clinton’s recession is on the verge of becoming a depression. Depressions are not self-correcting; they just get worse and worse.

    And Obama’s response?

    He’s doing all he can to break the UAW and affiliated unions that provided the largest base of jobs with fair pay and good benefits jobs for African Americans (and everyone else) in the Midwest and the on the west coast. He’s not looking to make friends and he won’t get any doing that.

    GLBT folks are not the only ones hes betraying.

    Support the March on Washington.


  • Chitown Kev

    “He’s not for a crash program to create good jobs for workers, subsidized housing, good transportation, free education in universities, a massive educational effort about HIV/AIDS or socialized medicine.”

    So far, you are correct. Obama not only has failed to deliver on his campaign promise to fund needle exchange programs (needed in the black community), he also cut ~$75 million in aid to Historically Black Colleges. Those college president’s didn’t say a peep. And now he’s failing on health care…

  • Bill Perdue

    @Chitown Kev: Well maybe some day he’ll click his heels like Glinda the good witch, wave his magic wand and do something substantive and make me a liar.

    But I doubt it.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Bill Perdue:

    You are probably familiar with this, but there is at least one progressive black blog that is so anti-Obama, it would shock most of these Queerty commenters.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Chitown Kev: You must mean the Black Agenda Report at http://www.blackagendareport.com/

    They’re great. They have a solid no-nonsense working class, nationalist approach to politics and that’s why they can’t stand hustling opportunists like Obama. Too bad Democrats and Obots are afraid to go there – they might learn a lot. They might not have voted for hopey changey. People like that are stuck in a dream world of accommodation and compromise. In the end they can’t be bothered to be upset by Obama and Congresses’ open hostility but they have hissy fits when honest activists are critical of the Obus.

    Here’s a quick sample from BAR:

    The shrunken and eviscerated public option in the Obama health care plan may now be discarded in favor of something called a health co-op. The mounting toll of concessions to drug companies and bailouts of private insurers contained in the Obama plan have transformed it, according to Rep. John Conyers, into “crap,” and threaten to make Obama a one-term president.

  • tjr101

    The answer is simple…NO! The black community is not a monolith. Many in the African American community support equal rights for the LGBT community. In case you don’t know, there are black gay people in this country. And many turned out on November 4th and they will in the next three and a half years because Republicans always provides a far worst option.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Bill Perdue:
    Of course, I love blackagenda report.

    And most of their posts tend to be pro-marriage equality as well (though not all of them). And they are very hard on the homo-hating black churches. And they have been hammering Obama daily (and rightly), it seems, on health care.

  • Bill Perdue

    @tjr101: “Republicans always provides a far worst option”

    Worse than Clinton’s DADT and DOMA? Worse than ‘gawd’s in the mix.? Worse than trading ‘faith based’ bribes to get cult leaders to oppose same sex marriage? Worse than NAFTA, union busting and Obama’s open contempt for us? Worse than Barney Frank gutting ENDA? Worse than giving a pig like Rick Warren a chance to speak to billions?

    You’ve got to be kidding.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Chitown Kev:
    I have a longtime gay friend on the SF Central Labor Council and several more among radical Teamsters and railroaders in LA.

    They and I are in agreement that the same kind of violent social dislocations that followed the huge loss of good jobs when the Alameda and Van Nuys auto plants closed in the 1980’s are likely to be revisited on the Midwest where the UAW has been reduced to a feeble caricature of itself and where good jobs with fair pay and good benefits are a thing of the past.

    The UAW, at Obama’s insistence, have given up all the gains they won since the strike wave after World War two. At a time when state governments, who aren’t part of the bailout of the looter rich, are floundering and unable to provide welfare, medical care and unemployment benefits the ‘shadow’ welfare system based on strong union contracts will be sorely missed.

    It looks as if we’re in for a very rough time. It took 4 years from 1929 until the heavy infantry of social change, the unions, began to counter attack with sucessful General Strikes in Toledo, San Francisco and Minneapolis. They so terrified FDR that he immedialty made huge concessions. I hope we don’t have to wait that long this time.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Bill Perdue:

    And one of Obama’s most solid bases of support is the Midwest (stretching from Iowa to Ohio)

  • Bill Perdue

    @Chitown Kev: If Black Agenda Report is right it’s one of his former solid bases of support.

    I rely on the pragmatic approach most people have to keeping their wallets full of money to offset tes any illusions or assumptions they might have projected onto Obama.

  • boring

    @Chitown Kev:

    I don’t live in CA, I live in NY. And I assume you point out other states anti-gay referendums to indicate homophobia in other ethnic groups? If so, sure; there are tons of white, Hispanic, and Asian homophobes. I just thought the previous comment was implying that people were ginning up the idea that homophobia is an issue within the black community, and I think that’s silly.

  • Chitown Kev

    I gotcha you on that point but generally, commenters on queerty ONLY point to the Prop 8 CNN poll (which was a badly conducted poll) as proof of said increased homophobia in the black community. As if California was the only place where a referendum was conducted.

    Now if the black community were voting against gay marriage to a greater degree than whites in all states where a referendum was conducted, then they would have a point. But that is not the case. (FYI, folks can still find the CNN exit polls from the 2004 anti-gay refendums online.)

  • me

    second term guys
    concentrate clinching that and it will be our time to shine

  • InExile

    @me: Forget a second term if he ignores his promises for this term. Fool me once…………

  • Bill Perdue

    @InExile: “Fool me once…” Good advice, but not from someone permanently bamboozled, confused, befuddled, flummoxed and bewildered and fooled by Hillary Clinton.

    Tell us.

    Do you like her because she pigheadedly opposes DOMA, which automatically makes her a bigot?

    Do you approve of her demand that Iraqis surrender their oil industry to control by US companies?

    Do you approve of the fact that she’s a tool of big business and against socialized medicine?

    Do you admire her because she learned how to screw unions and defraud consumers from the acknowledged experts in field during her half a decade or so squatting on the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart?

    Do you think highly of her racist comment that “I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on…” Clinton cited an Associated Press article that in her words “found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

    What do you think about Rupert Murdoch, who owns Faux News. He held a fund raiser for Hillary Clinton at Fox News in NYC and gave her a big fat check for $100.000.00 (through his family and friends of course) during the primaries.

    Abraham Lincoln, the last honest US president, said “you can fool some of the people all the time”. He meant you. And don’t say it.

    Both Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama are bad for LGBT folks, bad for world peace and bad for workers for the same reason – they’re Democrats, Republicans in drag, and right centrists moving right.

  • tjr101

    @Bill Perdue: Bill if you knew a bit of history you would know that DADT and DOMA were unfortunate compromises to head off a bigot of a Republican Congress intent on amending the constitution and continuing a witch hunt for gays in the military. It’s fine if your a Log Cabiner but don’t try to twist history and make as if the GOP is any bit gay friendly.

  • Brian

    If Obama does the right thing – the RELIGIOUS Blacks will disown him.

    Religion hates homosexuals, not blacks. But, Blacks with religion – hate the homosexuals.

    Religion hates us – stop supporting the enemy.

  • getreal

    If Barak Obama does the right thing and gives gay people full equality religious blacks will get with the program and rethink their views. Many of them are doing it already (looking at the polling data from three years ago versus today)homophobic black people won’t abandon him for supporting justice because who are they going to go to? The republican party? Not a chance this is just another race baiting article from Queerty whose editor clearly has serious problems with black men I think he hates them. He ignores black men doing anything good and either sexualizes or demonizes them. I don’t remember near this many anti-president articles when we had a homophobe in the white house do you? At least Obama is making steps to include lgbt people and says he has a plan to deal with unjust legislation. Bush didn’t even think gay people deserved rights but then again he was the right complexion.

  • Bill Perdue

    @tjr101: Don’t be daft. The Republicans are just as bad as he Democrats. Only an idiot or a DNC employee equates criticism of the Democrats with being a Republican. Which category do you fall into? One of the reasons I’m a hard left socialist is that both parties are run by bigots like Obama and McCain, who are bigots by virtue of their pigheaded opposition to same sex marriage and their constant pandering to christer bigots.

    DADT was the responsibility of the Democrats and of Bill Clinton. And no on else. DADT was passed – overwhelmingly – by a Democrat Congress. The Republicans were happy about it but they were just along for the ride, as they were in 2007 when Barney Frank gutted ENDA and he, Pelosi, Reid and Kennedy buried the hate crimes bill.

    AS for your lie about the FMA, (Federal Marriage Amendment), the Constitutional version of DOMA, it was first proposed in the 107th Congress by Democratic (sic) Representative Ronnie Shows (D-MS) with 22 cosponsors. That was in 2002, six years after Clinton championed the first version because he was then and is now a homohating bigot who panders to other bigot. He bought radio ads on christer cracker stations boasting that he’d signed it.

    Anyone who claims, as you do that he was trying to save us from a Republican fate worse than death is simply a liar, or someone repeating lies.

    So tell us, TJR101, which is it. Are you a liar or are you a gullible chucklehead who repeats DNC lies?

  • Chitown Kev

    @Rick Garner:

    Take your anti-gay bullshit and shove it your ass, please.

  • MPG

    Three new rules:

    First, no more journalism that ends with a question mark. News doesn’t happen in the future; it happened in the past. Articulate speculation is not investigation.

    The second rule is a specific formulation of the first: Retire the term Black America. It’s really just a shortcut that applies a false uniformity to black people’s thoughts and decisions. To make assumptions based on religion or based on the stance of a couple of organizations is pure laziness. Do we ever get subjected to such speculation about whites? Not unless they are marked as unusual in some way — evangelicals, rural, working-class. It’s lazy journalism.

    Finally, rather than speculate, go out and talk to people — even people who disagree with you. Go to these churches. But not just to talk about gay marriage. Find out what kinds of issues they face and show your support for them. Most people will reciprocate. But when white glbt folks say they don’t hold racist attitudes themselves and act as if that’s enough, then they can’t be surprised that they are viewed with suspicion when they show up claiming kinship. It’s absolutely wrong–from a moral and constitutional standpoint–to oppose equality for all citizens. However, this is politics, and people don’t always act on principle. So, white queers, take an active, public role in opposing racism (which, by the way, often comes in the form of accusations of sexual deviance familiar to lgbt folks). Then, you’ll find yourself in a coalition where mutual support is the rule.

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