prop 8 town hall: phill wilson speaks

images-2Phill WIlson, the founder of the Black AIDS Institute and the former AIDS Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles, is always an interesting guy to hear speak on any subject that bisects race, sexuality and the struggle to live life with HIV.

He was all fired up at the African-American Town Hall on Proposition 8 on Nov. 22, and had some choice words on what exactly happened Election Day. Wilson noted he is a homeowner, has raised two kids and is in a relationship even though he sees no need for him and his partner to get married. Here’s just part of what he had to say:

The reason why Proposition 8 passed was because the Yes on 8 folks did a better job of communicating their message than the No on 8 folks. We need to get away from the issue, quite frankly, of marriage at all. What this is about is, what kind of civil society do we all want to live in? Do we want to live in a civil society where all of us have equal access to the law? That’s the fundamental question, and we need to communicate that. Within the black community, we need to have conversations about where do we stand on our interests…is it really in our interest to further marginalize a portion of our community? I submit it is not. Is it in our interest to ally with those who are against us? I submit it is not. I think within the LGBT community, we actually have to be clear about what we want…

… While you can’t legislate love, you also can’t legislate approval. The reason we came here today because we’re hurt because the message from Yes on 8 was disapproval. We can’t get that at the Supreme Court or the ballot box. We have to do the hard work of approval ourselves. and the black LGBT folk are the only ones who can do that if we want approval.


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