THE BLOG
12/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Why We Feel Betrayed

With regard to African American voters, 70 per cent of your community sided with the same kind of bigots who supported slavery, who fought against interracial marriage, who vote to send your people who are addicted to prison instead of rehabilitation centers, and who vote to cut off aid to your families, saying that it is a 'moral' issue because 70 per cent of your children are born out of wedlock, and therefore, you should be responsible. These are the bigots with whom you sided! You got in bed with your enemies, the very people who have f----d African Americans again and again, in the name of 'morality' and their religious beliefs.

But I want to say that despite my overwhelming sense of betrayal, I am, as our community is, still firmly committed to continuing our fight against racism. Because, as Dr. King said, "injustice against one is injustice against all."

The California Supreme court struck down the ban on Inter-racial marriage in 1948, (Perez v Sharp), and thanks to the landmark Federal Supreme Court ruling in the case of 'Loving v Virginia', all state miscegenation laws were struck down in 1967.

And yet it wasn't until 1991, 24 years later, that interracial marriage was supported by a majority of Americans. Had the Caucasian people who supported "Yes" on Prop 8 been voting on your right to interracial marriage, until 1991, just 17 years ago, you would have lost. And as I sat in the California Supreme Court on March 4, 2008, the bigots used the same argument against us that they used against you. " It was 'tradition.'" And the justices answered, "so was slavery." And the bigots argued, "God doesn't want interracial marriage which is why he put the races on different continents." And in 2008, California Supreme Court justices ruled, "It is illegal to hide discrimination behind religious beliefs.

That is why we have a court system. That is why the United States constitution says that 'the rights of a Minority may not be denied by the Majority.' That is why Proposition 8 is Illegal. This is not just about marriage equality. This is about civil rights, which Dr. King said is for everyone. Bayard Rustin, the great African American leader who was gay, who called for and organized the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., turned over in his grave Nov. 4, 2008.

This is not an issue for only 'rich white gays.' Black male same-sex couples in the U.S. are almost twice as likely to be living with a child as a white same-sex couple. Black female same-sex couples in the U.S. are just as likely to be living with an adopted or foster child as a black married opposite-sex couple. Many of these African American couples want to get access to marriage so they can provide a more secure future for their children.

And Barack Obama, I voted for you -- even though you said your Christian religion would not allow you to support same-sex marriage. Well, I did not vote for you to be my Christian president. I voted for you to be my president.

You said you were going to be the president of all the people. You even mentioned the word "gay" in your election-night speech. Well, how can you be the president of all of us when LGBT Americans do not have one civil right on a Federal Level?

The gay community wants total and equal rights with the straight community, including marriage. Offering gays only domestic unions and civil partnerships are separate and not equal. When African Americans had to drink from separate water fountains, it was called segregation. It meant they were not good enough to drink from white water fountains, that somehow, they would 'taint' the water, because they were 'less.' To ask us to accept only domestic unions and civil partnerships are marriage segregation. It means that you consider our relationships to be less than yours, that somehow we will destroy the 'sanctity' of marriage. How has my marriage affected yours?

Fifty per cent of heterosexual marriages end in divorce. Eighty per cent of people ordered to pay child support, most of them men, do not pay it. Three out of every four children are sexually abused. And speaking of sexual abuse, the Mormons campaigned against us and for limiting marriage to one man and one woman. These are people, who, despite their denials, have not even begun to prosecute the polygamous marriages in which child sexual abuse is rampant. And they call us immoral.

We must not make this a fight with the African American community, or we will all slide to the bottom. That is what the right wing wants. We need to reach out and to keep educating minority communities. And we need to remember the numerous churches and religious Individuals and the 250 California rabbis who sided with us.

But, our passivity has ended. Tens of thousands of lesbians and gays will continue to Protest all over the USA, and we should not get off the streets. We must finally see ourselves as a civil rights movement, and act accordingly. Power is never given, it has to be taken.

What do we want? Equal Rights! When do we want them? Now!

Robin Tyler was the original plaintiff, along with Diane Olson, in Tyler vs. the County of Los Angeles, which gave lesbians and gays the right to marry in California when the state Supreme Court ruled in their favor. On June 16, 2008, they became the first and only gay couple to wed in Los Angeles County. Rallies are being organized all over the USA for Saturday, Nov. 15, in front of City Halls. robintyler@robintyler.com