Progressives, Blacks and Gays
Jeff Goldstein posits an inconvenient truth:
Progressives are loath to risk losing an important constituency by overplaying the gay rights angle within the black community. So while they give plenty of lip service to support of gay marriage, for instance, they consistently vote to defend 'traditional' marriage.
I disagree with Jeff that the right to a civil marriage license is not a civil rights issue. But I agree with him about the very awkward stance many mainstream Democrats have on the issue of marriage rights. It's nothing new. Progressives have long failed to confront the deadly homophobia in many black churches, for example, churches that have enabled the deaths of tens of thousands by their bigotry and silence on black homosexuality, HIV and AIDS. Even ACT-UP was too scared to tackle the bigotry of many African-American pastors - and the closet in the black church that sustains it. In general, gay groups like HRC go along with Democratic inconsistency as well. They are part of a Democratic coalition that requires acquiescence in some black anti-gay bigotry to endure. If they have to put gay issues on a back-burner to sit at the table, that's fine by them. And it's fine by the Democrats, as long as the gays keep sending in the money. Which they do.