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Are Gay Rights Civil Rights?” is the topic up for discussion this Saturday (November 22) at a town hall meeting being hosted by the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in light of the aftermath of the passing of Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, which banned same-sex marriages in California. Being held at Los Angeles Trade Tech College from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., the community will get a chance to weigh in and discuss whether the gay rights movements is the same as the 1960s Civil Rights Movement for Blacks. Also up for discussion will be whether Black America is more homophobic than other races and are Black voters to blame for the passing of Prop. 8.
“I felt it was important to host a meeting on this issue after seeing the troubling reports of Blacks being accosted in the streets of Westwood during a protest,” said Sentinel executive editor Danny Bakewell Jr. “Since the election there have been several reports of Blacks being called the n-word and harassed by gays upset over Prop. 8.”
Jasmyne Cannick, Sentinel columnist and author of “No-on-8’s white bias” which appeared on the Op-Ed page of the Los Angeles Times Saturday, Nov. 8 is a co-organizer and moderator of Saturday’s town hall meeting.
“I think that before African- Americans can address the issue of same-sex marriage, we need to have a family discussion around homophobia in our community,” commented Cannick. “Very little has been heard from the Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community on this issue and we need to come together as a family.”
Black Californians makeup 6 percent of California’s population. On Nov. 4, 10 percent of voters were African American and in the most recent exit poll date, voted 56 percent in favor of Proposition 8.
Participants in Saturday’s event will include elected officials, Black clergy, community activists, as well as the voices from the Black same gender loving community.
The town hall meeting will take place on Saturday, November 22, 2008 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Los Angeles Trade Tech College (400 West Washington Blvd.). This is a free event with first come first served seating. For more information, please call (323) 299-3800.