Friday, May 29, 2009

Russell Simmons Standing Up For Gay Rights?

Despite hip hop's brutally obvious aversion to homosexuality, one of the game's biggest players, Russell Simmons, is going against the grain to lobby for gay rights.

Simmons put on his activist hat and took to a blog on (which was subsequently republished by The Huffington Post) to voice his opinion on the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8, a change to the state constitution that says only marriages between opposite sex couples will be recognized as valid.

"If President Johnson had to take a vote, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have passed," Simmons wrote. "If Congress took a vote in 1920, women may still not have the right to vote today. And if President Lincoln went to the polls, blacks would definitely have endured many more years of slavery. We trusted our government to make the right decision and protect the minority, and yesterday we, as a nation, failed."

Simmons went on to compare the struggles of gay Americans to that of the civil rights movement and challenge African Americans to the similarities themselves.

"As an African-American, I urge my own people to take a deep look at our own struggles and not wish them upon anyone else," he wrote. "Simply, civil rights for all is about being connected as humans, united, tolerant, loving and brave."

Simmons concluded his statement on an optimistic note, however, saying that he ultimately has "faith in people and our government" that the "right thing" will be done.

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