Word On the Street: Proposition 8

Word On the Street: Proposition 8 Splashing over headlines in recent news, Proposition 8, an initiative to ban gay marriage in California, has been overturned, now legalizing same sex marriage in the state. Following this controversial decision, we hit the pavement running in NYC and asked Black women out and about their opinions on the issue. Take a look at what they had to say when we asked: Do you still think marriage should be sanctioned only between a man and a woman? Or do you think the African-American community should be more supportive of gay marriage as a civil rights struggle?
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 09, 2010

1 of 11

Age: 34
Hometown: Alta Monte, FL
Occupation: Senior Logistics Analysts, Utility Industry

“I feel as though the African-American community needs to open their eyes when it comes to gay and lesbian unions. We have so many other issues within the African-American community. We got Black men beating our Black women, we got people on drugs, and we’re gonna brush all of that under the rug because we’re gay? If we could have two Black women or two Black men together and we could feel good, people wouldn’t be sleeping around as much. We can be together without making it seem like it’s evil. To all y’all African-Americans who think it’s wrong, it is not up to you guys. It is up to God. It’s up to God and the individual.”

2 of 11

Age: 49
Hometown: Valley Street, NY
Occupation: Real Estate Manager

“I think we should be more open and supportive. People are entitled to happiness in their union. I don’t want to hold them against it.”

3 of 11

Age: 49
Hometown: Queens Jamaica, NY
Occupation: Home Attendant

“God made woman and man and put them on the earth to produce. Not woman and woman and man and man.”

4 of 11

Age: 36
Hometown: New York, NY
Occupation: Investment Banking

“What we’re talking about is a civil issue not a religious issue. So, if we just keep it at that - we have a separation of church and state in our government — this is again a separation of church and state. So, if you don’t want a marriage in your church that’s completely different then a civilly sanctioned marriage that allows the financial privileges, and property rights, and things like that. I do support gay marriage, love is love; I don’t care.”

5 of 11

Age: 52
Hometown: Guyana, South America

“I think marriage should be just between a man and a woman because that is the law based on the word of God. If you can remember during the time in the Bible — God destroyed the city and that was because we had mixed marriages and men with men and women with women. We’ve got to live up to God’s standards and God’s laws.”

6 of 11

Age: 43
Hometown: New York, NY
Occupation: Investment Management

“Well, originally I do respect the standards that God created for us, but the world that we live in and the evolving changes that are taking place -— I think that there is some need to open up to the topic and I think there is a need to open up to the admittance that love is universal between men and women, women and women, and men and men -— I’m not going to deny that. So, I’m open to it, I’m kind of balanced to it, I still have old values, but I’m not totally left field with it.”

7 of 11

Age: 45
Hometown: Yonkers, NY
Occupation: Production Editor

“I think we should open it up. Not just between men and women, but consenting adults for sure. I support gay marriage -— sure I do.”

8 of 11

Age: 40
Hometown: West Orange, NJ
Occupation: Operations Manager

“We should be open. It’s a matter of somebody’s opinion —- what they like, what they don’t like —- we should be open. Once these folks do whatever they do, that’s about them. Whatever makes them happy. Absolutely, not a problem.”

9 of 11

Age: 46
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Executive Assistant

“I think we should be more supportive. I mean the world is made up of all kinds of people, all walks of life, all religions, and I think people should have freedom of expression and love whomever they please. I think love is the bottom line. If the person you love makes you happy and adds to your life and makes you a better person which in turn adds to the world, I say sure.”

10 of 11

Age: 41
Hometown: Newburgh, NY
Occupation: Legal Secretary

“Religiously, I feel like marriage should be between a man and a woman, however if two same-sex people want to get married, why not? Go ahead. I mean, they can be as miserable as the rest of us. I was at a couple of friends’ house recently and found out a couple of my friends were in that type of relationship. One of the girls, I just met and she’s very passionate about it, and she feels like what’s the big deal? They’re not really hurting anyone. And when I heard her explanation and everything, I was like you know what, you’re absolutely right. Whatever you choose, when judgment day comes, that’s between you and your God. That has nothing to do with me.”

11 of 11

Age: 44
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Customer Service Representative

“I think it should be open up. To each his own. If gay couples want to get married, I think that should be their right.”


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