With more money and political clout and media attention put behind same-sex marriage and other gay rights initiatives across the country—while issues like the skyrocketing rates for Black teen homicides and Black unemployment get far less attention—some are questioning if the Civil Rights Movement has pushed African-Americans to the back of the bus.
The bulk of the objections to equating Gay Rights with Civil Rights has come from conservative Black clergy members like former national Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie who notes that gay couples can own property together, go to school wherever they like, and work and recreate anywhere. All of these options were denied to African-Americans at one time.
But not all criticism of the comparison comes from Blacks. Gay journalist and author Charles Winecoff once wrote, “Newsflash: Blacks in America didn’t start out as hip-hop fashion designers; they were slaves. There’s a big difference between being able to enjoy a civil union with the same-sex partner of your choice—and not being able to drink out of a water fountain, eat at a lunch counter or use a restroom because you don’t have the right skin color.”