Disrupted Over Prop 8
The last time I saw the Rev. Amos C. Brown, head of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, was back in September when I was counter-protesting a demonstration at City Hall by Christian anti-gay zealots voicing opposition to the Folsom Street Fair and gay marriage. Click here to see the pics.
Brown, who is heterosexual, pro-gay, black and conservative, stopped by the dueling protests to give the zealots a piece of his mind. He was so forcefully defending gay marriage to a Christian protester that a cop had to tell him to cool his hot head.
Not only is Brown pro-gay marriage, he opposed Prop 8, but, big surprise here, the No on 8 leadership didn't recruit him to help defeat the ballot measure. I didn't see any No materials with him and all his associations from the black community, touting his opposition. Were the No leaders unaware of his position, or, did they not now how to work with Brown to persuade other blacks to voters to say No?
My mind imagines the free publicity and education the No side would have generated if this pillar of the black and religious communities had used his clout and booming, prophetic orating style at a debate with the Yes forces. Oh, what I would have given to witness, on television, Rev. Amos C. Brown challenging the lies of the Yes folks!
But as we all know, the scaredy-cats running the No show, didn't seek out debates with our opposition, and when the Yes side asked us to debate the final weekend before the election, our side snidely passed on the invitation.
Okay, I've digressed enough. The point of this posting is an item from this morning's political gossip column in the San Francisco Chronicle, showing Brown, yet again, going to great lengths for gay marriage:
Just last Sunday, Third Baptist Church minister and former San Francisco Supervisor Rev. Amos Brown - a veteran of the civil rights battles of the 1960s - launched into a sermon about the need to protect the rights of gays.
Suddenly, a young associate minister seated in the front row stormed the pulpit, grabbed a microphone and began lecturing Brown about the need to "just preach the Gospel and leave that other stuff alone."
Brown snatched the microphone from the man, who was quickly escorted out.
"There are African Americans who ... feel the white gays haven't stood with them on issues like social justice, education and housing," Brown said.
On the other hand, Brown also knows the black community was slow to offer support to gays at the outset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
Brown warned the ugliness will continue if cooler heads don't prevail.
"What this man did storming the church pulpit was just the tip of the iceberg," he said.
I'm being mild here in saying, interesting that the disruption came not from a gay protester after we lost, but that it came from another religious figure within Brown's church.
One day soon, I want the No leaders to answer this question: Why didn't you collaborate with Brown?
It is downright criminal that such a straight black religious leader was not a visible and loud member of the No coalition that brought us defeat on Tuesday. Then again, I must remember how the only reason why the No side ever got around to using Obama's image and opposition to Prop 8, three days before November 4, was because the Yes side beat them at being the first to use the popular candidate to garner votes.
I'll be snail mailing a thank you note to the Rev. Amos C. Brown on Monday. Sure, too little, too late, to defeat Prop 8, but at least he'll hear a small dose of gratitude expressed for his support for gays this election season from at least one white gay voter.