Monday, August 21, 2006

Gay Rights=Civil Rights

Following up on the prior post about Black Leaders who support lgbt civil rights...Some African-Americans still do not accept the equation of "gay rights" and "civil rights." They assume that "civil rights" = BLACK civil rights. But as MLK made clear, "injustice against anyone is an injustice against all of us." MLK understood that civil rights are HUMAN rights, for everyone, not just one particular group or race.

Civil rights are not just based on racial or biological characteristics. That are based on social characteristics. Sociologically, social minorities have certain things in common: (a) there are singled out from a more powerul majority based on some distinguishing characteristic (e.g. race, religion, etc.) (b) based on this distinguishing characteristic, the group is the target of prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice against the group is used to justify unequal treatment (discrimination).

The debate over "gay rights" usually becomes a debate about WHY people are gay and whether people CHOOSE to be gay, etc. This whole debate is irrelevant. It doesn't matter WHY people are gay or if sexual orientation/preference is innate or learned (or both!)

Like other sociali minorities, gays and lesbians are oppressed by a powerful majority (heterosexuals) who use prejudice (homophobia and heterosexism) to disccriminae agasint them (treat them unequally).

The reason why CIVIL RIGHTS leaders support the CIVIL RIGHTS of gays and lesbians is because they understand this common theme of prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination and like MLK, they oppose the unequal treatment of people baed on prejudice. It's that simple.

Gay Rights=Civil Rights=Human Rights.


Evil said...


I agree and disagree. I would say civil rights apply to everyone. Not just gays, blacks, or some other minority. We all have the right to vote. We all have the right to travel. We all have our unalienable rights. That's the point. Now, you can say people in the majority don't have to fight for their rights, and I would agree, but my point is that there are no black civil rights or gay civil rights, there are only civil rights that every citizen (and if you believe the Declaration of Independence every human) has.

I agree with though that a lot of black leaders seem to think they own the term "civil rights". They don't. We all do.

Jim Maynard said...

Good poins Evil, I think that is similar to what I was trying to say.. its all about "HUMAN" rights..