African American voices are being drowned out of the gay marriage debate


In the weeks following Pope Benedict’s decision to abdicate the papacy, the American media made sure to provide a platform to Catholics who disagree with Church leaders on issues like women’s ordination and gay marriage.

Networks like CNNPBS and ABC gave ample time to representatives from the aging LCWR and the left-leaning NC Reporter yet largely ignored the more conservative voices at the National Catholic Register and the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.

To be sure, outlets like HuffPost Live and NBC did a great job covering the pope’s resignation. And for that they deserve praise.

Nevertheless, the behavior of the majority of news outlets was atrocious.

Maybe it’s just the inability of reporters to recognize their own biases, but reporting the news in an objective way seems to be an increasingly difficult task for most journalists. If it were easy, I suppose, there would be a lot more reputable reporters out there. As it stands today, I see no more than a half dozen journalists worth their salt. Most are out to promote an agenda.

But enough with the past. Let’s talk about the present.

Even though polls show most Americans think abortion is morally wrong, and have supported placing restrictions on it for decades, the mainstream media rarely asks if Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

One would be hard pressed, however, not to notice how infatuated the media has become with polls that indicate a majority of Americans (and by majority we’re talking one to three percent) are, for the first time ever, in favor of redefining marriage so to include same-sex couples.

While it may be the case that over the past twenty years gay activists have put forth a more compelling argument for redefining marriage than defenders of traditional marriage have made for upholding marriage as the union of one man and one woman, it’s absurd to conclude that supporters of the traditional definition of marriage are “on the wrong side of history.” Or that gay marriage is a divisive issue only within the Republican Party.

The media has conveniently ignored the fact that African Americans, the most loyal base of the Democratic Party, continue to part ways with Democratic leadership when it comes to gay marriage. In a new Zogby poll, African Americans thoroughly rejected the claim that gay marriage is a “civil rights” issue. That same poll found most African Americans think black ministers who voice their opposition to same-sex marriage are right to do so.

CNA / Addie Mena

CNA / Addie Mena

The recent March for Marriage in Washington D.C. also highlighted the fact that defending the traditional definition of marriage is an important issue to Hispanics, women, young adults and African Americans. Indeed, in a recent column for the Huffington Post, Earl Ofari Hutchinson – an African American author and political analyst – begrudgingly admits most African Americans are still opposed to redefining marriage, and that Dr. Ben Carson – a neurosurgeon who recently came under fire for mentioning homosexuality and bestiality in the same breath – speaks “for many blacks [when it comes to]gay marriage.”

Moreover, 62% of black Protestants oppose gay marriage. And exit polls show when Californians voted on Proposition 8 in 2008, 70% of African Americans supported it while only half of white voters, 49% of Asians and 53% of Latinos voted for it.

Given these statistics, don’t you think it’s odd that after Pope Benedict’s resignation the mainstream media actively sought out Catholics who disagree with the Church hierarchy on social issues but now does everything in its power to drown out the voices of African Americans who disagree with the Democratic Party on gay marriage? I certainly do.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

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