300 Years, 30 Days – different battle, same war

1700: A census reports more than 27,000 enslaved people, mostly
Africans, in the English colonies in North America. The vast majority
of these bondspeople live in the Southern colonies.

1724: The Black Codes are enacted in New Orleans (French Territory), to control Blacks and banish Jews.

1741: South Carolina's colonial legislature banned the teaching of enslaved people to read and write.

1774: A group of Blacks petition the Massachusetts General Court, insisting that they too have a natural right to their freedom.

1780: Massachusetts abolished slavery and granted African Americans the right to vote.

March 6, 1857: The Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court denied the citizenship of Blacks in the United States.

January 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in states in rebellion against the Union.

December 18, 1865: Slavery was outlawed Congress' passing of the Thirteenth Amendment.

July 28, 1868: Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment, granting citizenship to Blacks.

May 18, 1896: The Supreme Court decision in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case established the concept of separate but equal, thereby legalizing segregation. This ruling paves the way for the Jim Crow laws, which  highly prohibit the rights of Blacks in Southern states.

May 17, 1954: The Supreme Court overturned de jure school segregation with the ruling on the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education case.

August 29, 1957: Blacks were given the right to vote with Congress' passing of the Voting Rights Bill of 1957.

1960 – This year marks the beginning of the era known as the Civil Rights Movement.

July 2, 1964: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed, which prohibits discrimination and segregation on the basis of race and gender. This act paved the way for equal opportunity employment.

October 29, 1969: The Supreme Court reinforced the  ending of segregated schools and mandated the creation of integrated educational settings.

1970 – present: With proper laws both established and enforced, African Americans continue growth as equal citizens within American society with all rightful liberties.

However…

It is appalling that certain rights, particularly the rights to wed and parent, are denied on the basis of love. Love is all you need, and if it's there, does who one chooses to love matter? In the case of single parenting by choice, should not the love for the child, even those who are still just dreams, enough? The love that a parent has for his or her child is pure, and if that love is there, then it does not matter if its source is from two mothers, two fathers, a single mother or father, or a traditional heterosexual couple.

Kati Blackmon, an adopted child and adoptive mother who opposes same-sex parenting: "The whole country's laws are set up for people who are a man and a woman in a married situation." 

Penny Gardener, C.A.R.E. Staffer and advocate of same-sex parenting rights: "Laws are dynamic and they represent the times in which we live…. What we're doing now is changing the law…so that people can be providers for children which they'll love."

The laws definitely need to change, because with legal discrimination on the basis of race largely an issue of the
past, it seems as though gays and lesbians have become the new
"niggers" on the block.

Calliope has further discussion about tonight's episode of 30 Days, which chronicled Kati's month-long stay with Tom and Dennis, a warm and compassionate gay couple who adopted four sons. I was largely disappointed and often enraged by Kati's defensiveness and inability to recognize and honor the love that Tom and Dennis, and so many other same-sex parents have for each other and their children.

13 Comments

  1. luna on June 25, 2008 at 2:11 am

    wonderful history lesson. yes, sometimes it seems that many derive power from disenfranchising others. incredible.
    wouldn’t it be nice if all you needed was love? turns out you need a whole lot more. thanks for this post.



  2. Nottoobig42 on June 25, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Skin color is different then sexual preferences, so comparing the two is ridiculous and insulting to the African-American community. The issue is having the right to raise children in a home with same sex parents, not slavery! It takes a village to raise a child, NOT THE VILLAGE PEOPLE!! LOL



  3. Moxie on June 25, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Nottoobig, there IS a difference between race and sexual orientation, but there is no difference between the discrimination. Black, White, gay, straight, single, couple – everyone is entitled to equal rights and the fact that there is a party who does not have those equal rights, well, that’s discrimination. Like I said – same war, different battle.



  4. tash on June 25, 2008 at 8:12 am

    (American Historian picking scab: Beautiful, lovely timeline, Moxie. I might only add, because it’s relevant, the Slave Codes of the 1660s. When slaves arrived here, there were actually no words on records to define the relationships between them and the rest of the population. In the 1660s the colonies with slaves began putting the circumstances into law, including “the child will follow the condition of the mother.”)
    I’m also a military historian, and have come to see that when a population can prove themselves in wartime, they are often more warmly accepted as citizens worthy of inclusion on the other side. Makes me wonder what would happen if we ditched “Don’t Ask,” allowed gays/lesbians in to prove they were “Americans” willing to risk their lives. Maybe nothing. But it worked in the past.
    Off to read Cali and get upset, I suppose. Sigh. Thanks for writing on this.



  5. Calliope on June 25, 2008 at 10:16 am

    great timeline. Great and incredibly sad.



  6. Jennifer on June 25, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I have never thought that biology makes someone a good parent. The capacity for love, support, and committment is much more important than sexual orientation. It’s about time discrimination of any kind is abolished and I certainly don’t think the government should dictate who can and can’t be parents or spouses.



  7. Amy Y on June 25, 2008 at 11:00 am

    I have that episode Tivo’d and will be watching it tonight. The comment the lady made on the preview, asking the men if they were “raising their kids to be gay” was about enough to make me vomit.
    It is ridiculous that we have not evolved enough to get past discrimination of any sort… But where children are involved, it gets me more fired up. There are many people out there that are abusive to their children in lots of ways and no one tells them they can’t be parents.
    But when you have a loving person or couple ready, willing and able to properly and non~abusively parent children that are denied on the basis of marital status or sexuality… well there is just no excuse for that. It’s abhorable.



  8. Ann on June 25, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I love this post and your statement “Love is all you need, and if it’s there, does who one chooses to love matter?” really rings true. I didn’t watch the episode, I’m sad to hear that she remained so closed-minded. It just does not make any sense to me at all.



  9. sara on June 25, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Awesome job Moxie. The timeline was really informative and what you said is so true. You always have such a thoughtful thing to say and is so well written. I read your post and go wow…that is so well put. Anyways, I feel that it is so sad that we even have to discuss such a topic. How in the world does things like this still exist? We as modern people walk around all proud of ourselves for our forward thinking as a society and living in such a modern country. But we have to realize that we are living in the dark ages when it comes to allowing everyone the rights that they deserve. No one should be denied the right to be a parent if it is done for love – sexual orientation shouldn’t be an excuse to deny someone this. It’s just absurd and out of the stone age. It makes no sense at all.



  10. Io on June 26, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Man, I totally missed the show, although from what I’ve heard of this woman, it might be for the best.
    When Al and I got married we had a dear friend of ours perform the ceremony and in part of it, he talked about how not that long ago, Al and I could not have gotten married. Then he talked about the fact that for gays and lesbians, that still exists.
    Nottoobig42 may not see the connection between slavery and homophobia, but maybe it’s easier to see it when we talk about anti-miscegenation laws. In our parents lifetime, black and whites were denied the right to marry and raise their families. And all the same arguments that are now used for gays were used for interracial couples then. It was discriminatory then, and it still is now.



  11. Martha on June 26, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Thank you, Moxie! I am so glad and proud to live in the Great State of California where Baby Me Sex marriage is Now Legal!! I think we will look back on this twenty years from now and think, “What took so long?” BTW, The sun is still rising in the East and my friends and colleagues are saying “About time”. Think I’m a typical, suburban, soccer mom (Mommy/child RN too, who drives a minivan and lives north of Los Angeles. Best to you and the family.



  12. Carrie27 on June 26, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Beyond irritating for many reasons. A man and woman married does not necessarily mean that they can love a child more or even the same as a same sex couple. Love is the most important factor when raising a child, no matter what.



  13. […] is bigger than marriage rights; this is a civil rights issue. LGBTQ is the new Black. Mr. & Mrs. Loving, an interracial couple, were given the right to wed in 1967. The same […]