Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Civil rights, sex and race

Tomorrow our guest will be LaDoris H. Cordell, a retired California Superior Court judge who believes that Proposition 8 will be overturned by the courts. Click here to read her San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece, in which she also spoke about her experience as a lesbian in the black church and her disappointment that many people are unable to connect their belief in civil rights for ethnic and racial minorities to a broader belief in civil rights for all. We'll be talking to Cordell about prospects for marriage equality in California and the role that race did and didn't play in Proposition 8.

There's been a lot of hoopla around exit polls that showed 70% of black voters in California voted in favor of Prop 8, but as Cordell points out in her article, these votes were not enough to determine Prop 8's fate. Even if the percentages had matched those of the rest of the population, Prop 8 still would have passed. But a lot of people are acting like the fate of gay Americans is hanging in church-going black voters' hands. We'll talk to Cordell about why she thinks this issue has become such a big deal in the post-Prop 8 landscape.

Last Friday, several civil rights groups -- including the California NAACP,the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund -- filed a petition in California court last stop the enactment of Proposition 8* because it mandates discrimination against a minority group. You can see the the press release here and the petition here. "We cannot become a society that picks and chooses who is entitled to equal rights," said Alice A. Huffman, president of the California State NAACP.

In our own backyard, The Daily Cardinal ran an opinion piece about civil rights and Prop 8.

On a gossipy note (nod to Drew), you all probably know by now that comedienne Wanda Sykes came out and she is pissed. (Thank goodness for blogging; I'd never be allowed to say the p-word on the radio.) BlackVoices.com has an article that talks about Wanda Sykes and the reticence of black celebrities to come out. You can read it here.
Of course, before Sykes came out, I'd never even heard of her or her TV show. But be confident that your other Queery hosts watch television and know what's going on in the world.

*The wording is a little confusing, because clerks throughout California have enacted Prop 8 by refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In effect, a successful petition would require government officials to cease enforcing Prop 8.

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