In his article, "No Comparison Between Gay Agenda and Civil
Rights Movement", Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II of Solid Rock
Church of God in Christ addresses the "travesty that denies
morality" when talking about the brewing controversy surrounding
the issue of gay marriage being compared to the civil rights
movement. He also addresses the recent ruling of the Massachusetts
Supreme Court that the state's constitution guarantees gay
couples the right to marry.
He says the comparison and the Supreme Court's ruling was
"offensive and insidious". And sited that "the ruling threatens
the sanctity of the God-given institution of marriage ". He
is very passionate and eloquent in use of words, yet in my
opinion is unlearned and prejudiced. How is it that a black
man (who can identify discrimination) could support discrimination
against an entire group of people? People who just like African-Americans
have their own common history, vocabulary, culture, institutions,
churches, social organizations, heroes, political leaders,
scholars, values, and the ability to recognize each other
though submerged a dominant culture not their own? The answer….
STUPIDITY! We can't plead "ignorance" here, because ignorance
simply means, "I don't know." But "stupidity" says, "I don't
know, and I don't care to find out even though the information
to negate my ignorance is available to me."
Pastor Swan makes a very convincing argument when he tries
to point out differences in the Civil Rights Movement and
what he calls "The Gay Agenda". But, in his trying to paint
them as two different pictures altogether, he's missing the
thing that makes them the same…. DISCRIMINATION! When it is
legal to deny tax paying citizens of this country the same
rights that everyone else enjoys its discrimination. The issue
at hand is NOT a "Gay Agenda" but EQUAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW!
Let's check out some of his statements, shall we?
"The homosexual movement is quick to compare their plight
to the holocaust and the civil rights struggle in an attempt
to exploit moral capital earned by others."
How is saying, "discrimination against gays is like discrimination
against blacks, or against women, or against ANYBODY" exploitation
of moral capital? Before the Civil Rights Movement, Women
started fighting for the right to vote (amongst other things)
and weren't granted that right until 1920. Society at large
said it was wrong for women to be denied the right to vote
based on their gender after women lifted their voices. When
one detail of a person's humanity like gender, race, handicap,
religion, or sexual orientation is used to deny what our constitution
says are "basic unalienable rights", then we must recognize
that the denial of said rights is WRONG! That's what the Civil
Rights Movement said. That's what the Same Gender Loving community
is saying today. And by the way, isn't discrimination IMMORAL?
What moral capital does ANYBODY have to discriminate against
He goes on to say, "Blacks have endured the horrible
crucible of slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, lynching,
and continued oppression. What rights have gays been denied?
How long were they in bondage? How many of them died attempting
to vote? How many of them are profiled on a daily basis for
being gay? Are they disproportionately locked in prison? Do
they endure harsher sentencing than heterosexuals? Are they
disproportionately poor? Are they the last hired and first
fired? Are they shot down like dogs for 'fitting the description'?"
He says, "gay voices weren't heard, nor resources used
when other injustices were done to blacks recently. If the
answer to any of these questions is 'yes' it's not because
of sexuality, but because of race".
Let me first say, that the "gay lobby" hasn't traditionally
addressed the concerns of African-Americans because sexuality
transcends race. Everyone has SOME kind of sexuality. But
neither has the black church stepped to the plate when SGL
people (black or white) have faced injustice or were killed.
On a couple of these issues, he might have a point. But this
argument doesn't hold water on most of them. What rights
have gays been denied? The right to adopt until recently.
The right to have consensual sex in the privacy of our own
homes until recently. The right to have our life partners
listed as beneficiaries on our insurance policies. The right
to get the same tax breaks that "straight couples" with children
do. Shall I go on?
How many of them died attempting to vote? Check the
Women's Suffrage Movement. I'm sure some of those ladies were
lesbian and died for the right to vote and to be seen as more
than domestic property.
How many of them are profiled on a daily basis for being
gay? If we're talking about being needlessly harassed
and picked on by authority figures…try ALL OF US…EVERY DAY!
Being harassed and persecuted on the job, at church, in society
at large, and by law enforcement, if we don't visually present
what is considered "normal".
Are they the last hired and first fired? Uh…YEAH!
I was fired from a job where my boss was a black woman, and
the bulk of the staff was black. I was fired because I "created
a hostile work environment" because I didn't deny I am a same
gender loving man when I was asked. Not to mention the THOUSANDS
of SGL people are denied jobs because they don't fit the "company
He asks, "Where were the gay voices and resources when
Abner Louima was sodomized or when Diallo was shot down like
a dog in the streets of New York? Where were the voices and
resources when other injustices against African-Americans
were being done?"
Got a couple for you Pastor…Where was the church when
James Byrd and Matthew Sheppard (white boys) were killed?
Where was the church when Keith Fenrich, a teenager
was killed by his white stepfather who dismembered him, burned
the skin off his head with acid and scrawled racist and antigay
epithets on the bleached skull?
Where was the church when Nathaniel "Troy" Hayden
was stabbed and killed in his Harlem, New York apartment?
Where was the church when Tyra (Tyrone) Hunter, transgender
hairstylist was left to die following an automobile accident
in 1995? Upon discovering that Hunter was anatomically male,
the EMS squad member stopped treating her and laughed out
loud. Hunter was pronounced dead at DC General Hospital.
Where was the church when Amanda (Damon Lee Dyer)
Milan, transgender designer was attacked and stabbed in the
neck in front of the Port Authority bus terminal in New York
where police later found her?
Where was the church when Arthur "J.R." Warren died
after being beaten and run over by a car so that it appeared
he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident? Three white teen-agers
confessed to the hate crime in West Virginia.
Where was the church when Ernest Watts was stabbed
and killed in his New York apartment? …The list goes on and
on. And NOWHERE did the black church stand up and express
outrage when these hate crimes were committed against these
same gender loving people who just so happened to be black.
Pastor Swan goes on and on and on with this kind of diatribe.
And to refute him point by point is not only tedious, but
also pointless. He whines about the "gay lobby continuing
to contradict itself by encouraging others preach tolerance
while being intolerant of anyone who dares to oppose it."
This is all because he received some hot emails and threats
after being quoted in an Associated Press article on FOXnews.com.
Though I don't believe in or endorse threatening ANYONE for
expressing himself or herself I will say, "you reap what you
sow." When you spout discrimination and hate, you can't have
your little feelings hurt and whine about it when it comes
back to you. Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II is no doubt a smart
man. He's a college graduate. He's authored several books.
He is active in his community, and he founded the Springfield
Christian Leadership Council. I have no doubt that he knows
how to study the scripture. But I question, why won't he do
an in-depth study of the scriptures that supposedly condemn
homosexuals just like he did when he studied the scriptures
to write his book to rid the church of racism? Ignorance?
No, I don't think so. Stupidity? Maybe so. The information
needed to rid himself of the ignorance he quotes and is proud
to print is most definitely available. But will he take hold
of it? Only time will tell.
To voice your concerns, comments, or questions to Pastor
Swan, he can be contacted by using the information listed
above. You can view his article on the church's website.