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Gay rights advocates find support in religious, civil rights circles

Gay rights advocates find support in religious, civil rights circles

New research offers “a cautionary note for those who would try to fit members of different religious groups into monolithic boxes on gay and lesbian issues,” writes David Briggs of the Association of Religion Data Archives:

Overall, new research is providing a more nuanced understanding of how many people in various religious communities, far from being rigid ideologues on the issue, are struggling to find ways to move forward.

…as public opinion shifts to be more supportive of gay rights, and doctrinal mandates hold less sway over younger generations, a perceptible shift in attitudes also is occurring in religious communities, some researchers state.

See his column at the Huffington Post.

And the New York Times reports on the shifting dynamics between gay rights advocates and black leaders, noting that in the wake of the recent decision by the N.A.A.C.P. board to endorse same-sex marriage:

…representatives of several national gay rights organizations gathered at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, often described as the birthplace of their movement, to announce that they would march to protest the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practice, under which the police each year have been stopping hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, most of them black or Latino, in an effort to prevent crime.

Some of the gay rights leaders specifically cited support from the N.A.A.C.P. for same-sex marriage as a reason they decided to oppose the stop-and-frisk policy.

“We need to find ways to strengthen our alliances and really strengthen our commitment to one another,” said Jeffrey Campagna, a national gay rights organizer who is coordinating the involvement of gay rights groups in the march on June 17 against the stop-and-frisk practice.

Julian Bond, a former chairman of the N.A.A.C.P. and a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, said he saw the association’s support for same-sex marriage as a way to acknowledge the contributions of gay rights advocates — most had not come out publicly at the time — in the civil rights movement.

“I knew these people, whom I just assumed to be gay, and I knew what they were doing on my behalf — and I hoped on their behalf, too,” he said. “I was grateful for it, and when the chance came, I wanted to pay them back.”

Read the NY Times piece here.

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