Thursday, September 25, 2008

Intersectionality: African Americans, Religion and Marriage Rights for the LCBT Community in California

Intersectionality analysis serves as a reminder of complexity in even the most seemingly straightforward issues. This is particularly the case among communities that share a sense of oppression or subordination but perhaps little else. It is also a complicating factor when the issue involves communities that share some of the characteristics of subordinated and some of the characteristics of subordinated communities. That appears to be the case with respect to same sex marriage in California. A recent New York Times article highlighted the tension within two politically progressive communities joined in the struggle against subordination but separated by a difference in understanding of what ought to be privileged and what not in the greater struggle. See Jesse McKinley, Same Sex Marriage Ban is Tied to Obama Factor, New York Times, September 21, 2008, at A-18.. But the issue is complicated. While the African American community appears to be partial to a particular perspective in California, some leaders of the African American community in Georgia have seen things differently. See Andrew Jacobs, Black Legislators Stall Marriage Amendment in Georgia, New York Times, March 3, 2004. The politics of inrtersecitonality will find a valuable laboratory in the coming weeks in California.

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