Can Marriage Equality Save the Black Family?

One writer says that both the LGBT community and African Americans need laws that recognize nontraditional relationships. 

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The Huffington Post's Maya Rupert has a warning: It's June. And with the confluence of Father's Day (prime time for lamenting the decline of the black family), Pride Month, Defense of Marriage Act challenges and New York's campaign for marriage equality, she's bracing for a public discussion about whether the needs of the LGBT community and the black community are inherently at odds.

Short answer: Not at all.

The narrative that working to advance marriage equality undermines the strength and security of the black family is damaging, she argues. Oh, and by the way, it's completely untrue.

From the Huffington Post:

... In fact, the fight for marriage equality works in tandem with the movement to strengthen the black family. Achieving marriage equality will actually help save the black family.

... The fight for marriage equality is about fighting for equal recognition of all families. It's about combating the assumption that someone else can tell us what our families should look like. And in the black community, that assumption is dangerous, because black families are becoming increasingly nontraditional. Black families are more likely to be headed by single mothers. However, many of those mothers live with another person who helps raise the children, regardless of whether they are biologically or legally recognized as a parent. Black families are also more likely to consist of multi-generational households. And the same policies that allow a same-sex couple to parent their children with access to all benefits they would otherwise receive grant those same benefits to aunts and uncles to raise their nieces and nephews and grandparents to raise their grandchildren. They are the same policies that allow a boyfriend to take time off work to care for his girlfriend's sick child even when there is no biological relationship. The principle that all families look different and all must be respected lies at the foundation of the struggle to strengthen the black family.

... Even if your family doesn't look like families in the LGBT community, if it doesn't look like families in the broader community either, you will be harmed by laws that aim to narrow the definition of family. Fighting for the recognition of all families is the only way to protect families in the black community.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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