Black Christian Voters: Get Over It

Are we really willing to let what people do in their bedrooms influence what we do at the polls?

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I can break it down for you. Black people have much, much bigger fish to fry than what two adults do in their own private time or how they choose to spend their lives. Up to 10 percent of young blacks drop out of high school, rendering them largely unable to take advantage of a skilled-worker- and technology-oriented U.S. job market. Meanwhile, black males have a 1-in-3 chance of doing prison time at some point during their lives.

At the same time, we have disproportionately high numbers in far too many negative health statistics, ranging from diabetes to HIV/AIDS to heart disease to gunshots (pdf), which remain the leading cause of death among black adolescents.

So after all this, are we willing to let what people do in their bedrooms influence what we do at the polls? Whatever issue we may have concerning homosexuality is something for us to get over. We should focus instead on the healing that our communities desperately need.

Preventing gay people from getting married is not going to keep a kid in school. It is not going to stop people from using emergency rooms as clinics. It is not going to prevent two young rivals from shooting each other over a dirty look.

President Obama, in essence, has sent this message to African Americans. We can devote our energies to what churches have been preaching about same-sex marriage, or we can focus on solutions. I think Bayard Rustin would partner with Martin Luther King on the solutions part. But that's what they would have done 50 years ago. The choice today is yours.

Madison Gray is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-writer and Web journalist. Follow him on Twitter.

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