A new report is highlighting the plight of a population who always seem to be ignored when African-American leaders begin debating issues pertaining to the community.
Via Think Progress:
. . . a coalition of public policy and family advocacy organizations released "LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance," which sheds light on the disparate impact of outdated laws and family policies on LGBT families of color and their children. The publication explores the challenges that LGBT Families of color face on a daily basis and dispels the myth often perpetuated in the media that LGBT families are largely white and middle class.
According to "LGBT Families of Color," there are roughly 2 million children in the United States being raised in LGBT families and 41 percent of these families are people of color. Both black and Latino same-sex couples are more likely to raise children than white same -- sex couples. Black lesbians for example are twice as likely to be raising children as their white lesbian counterparts. The report also notes that:
Children of color, in particular, are more likely to be raised in diverse family configurations that include de facto parents and are more likely to be raised by LGBT parents. Therefore, antiquated laws have a disproportionately negative impact on children of color.
An alarming number of LGBT families of color are living in poverty. For example, 32 percent of children being raised by black same-sex couples are living in poverty compared to 7 percent of children raised by married heterosexual white parents. Yet many of these families, simply because they are LGBT, are denied access to safety net programs and federal and state tax benefits that would improve their economic situations.
The report gives a number of good solutions to this problem. I have a solution also.
How about the power brokers in the black community give this report some attention.
I'm talking to Roland Martin.
I'm talking to Tavis Smiley.
I'm talking to all of the black churches, particularly the ones rallying their congregations against the idea of marriage equality.
I'm talking to every organization claiming to speak for the black community, particularly those who publish annual "State of Black America" reports.
This is the time where we need true black leadership. These families need support but unfortunately they don't seem to get it.
What they do get are charlatans turning cute phrases against marriage equality in public while getting perhaps their palms and definitely their egos greased by mostly white-led religious right groups eager to make them forget that these families exist.
I get so tired of hearing about a coalition of black pastors standing at a press conference whining - at the behest of the National Organization of Marriage or what ever other religious right group - that one "can't equate sin with their skin" or "that homosexuality cannot be equated with being black."
It saddens me that these pastors are deliberately ignoring the fact that they know same-sex families of color who would benefit from their support. These families aren't going to disappear no matter how many Biblical verses are spoken.
It pains me that these supposed men and women of the cloth are fooling themselves into thinking that God somehow smiles upon them as they spew rhetoric which makes life difficult for these families and their children.
And it angers me that folks like Smiley, Martin, and many other black leaders will most likely cling to their Bibles as an excuse to ignore these families thereby using the word of God as an excuse to do the wrong thing rather than a reason to do the right thing.
These pastors and these leaders need to acknowledge same-sex families of color because until they do, they are stabbing their own people in the back.
If these leaders claim to represent the black community, then that means the entire black community.