“The successful vote in Maryland for marriage equality,” writes Pastor Joseph Tolton in Ebony, “coupled with four years of an unrestrained President Obama, is a rare opportunity for Black America to have a new and powerful conversation about human sexuality.” Tolton shares how this conversation intersects with multiple areas of life in the Black community including heterosexual marriage, the injustice of mass incarceration, fair pay for Black women, and increased diversity in families and communities of faith.

As Black America wrestles with issues around relationships, the community will also focus on self-healing. As Black America talks about marriage equality, the community will find greater ease and success in addressing its unspoken heterosexual marriage crisis. As Black America focuses on its sons, the community will be forced to deal with the injustice of the penal system targeting them. As Black America affirms new formations of family, the community will come to fully validate the complex and beautiful diversity of our family structure. As Black America addresses the economic implications of marriage equality, the community will be more cognizant of the need for fair pay for Black women. As Black America accepts diversity in religious thought as part of our evolving social composition, we are drawn to explore the meaning of inclusion of all our differences, especially for our LGBT brothers and sisters…

The gay and lesbian community is rejoicing from the passing of marriage equality in Maryland. Yes, the truth of the matter is that Blacks in Maryland sent a resounding and affirming message for equality. The assumption fostered by the media and readily embraced by conservative Americans is that the Black community is blindly homophobic, but Maryland, with a high population voted in favor of marriage equality confirming that nothing could be further from the truth.

Read the full article at Ebony.

Watch Pastor Joseph Tolton at LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent

Pastor Tolton is the National Minister of Global Justice of the Fellowship of Affirming Minitries. Elder Tolton also serves as the Pastor for Social Justice at Rivers@Rehoboth Church in Harlem.

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