Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Black Fraternity Survey

I received these questions from Rashid Darden's Group. I have elected to post the questions along with my own responses. Hope you will reply to Dr. DeSantis with your own reflections.

1. Do you think openly gay men should be allowed to join your fraternity? Why or why not?
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Yes. Nowhere in our constitution and bylaws is there an indication that Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was established to promote any particular sexual preference. In fact, our Jewels bonded to survive in an otherwise unsupportive environment. Moreover, our fraternity ought not deny opportunities for individuals to contribute to the whole of society through our many talents. We are doctors, lawyers, athletes, family members, janitors, barbers, etc. The synergy of our skills, talents and abilities make for a stronger and vibrant society. We are a part of that culturally rich society and make a significant contribution.

2. Do you think down low (closet bisexual) men should be allowed to join your fraternity? Why or why not?

Whether or not one wishes to openly display or discuss one's sexual preference is a personal matter. Again, I would never support screening applicants based on sexual orientation. I would encourage responsible behavior for ALL members - gay, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transgender.

3. Do you think covertly gay (closet homosexual) men should be allowed to join your fraternity? Why or why not?

See # 2.

4. Do you think being gay is wrong (morally, socially, ethically, religiously)? Please elaborate.

No. Sexual preference is as broad across the spectrum as skin color, intelligence, aptitude, socioeconomic status and any other psycho/social descriptor. Behavior that injures others is wrong irrespective of the sector from which it originates - incest, rape, pedophilia, religious zealotry, theft, etc. Being gay is being the person you are meant to be - created in the image of God. Those who want to literally interpret the Bible as a basis for discrimination can find the scriptures to justify their beliefs. The pharisees tried the same thing with Christ, but he reminds us that he came to fulfill the law through the good news of the Gospels. But let us go one step further and remember that the Bible conveniently leaves out Gospels that the Church deemed inconsistent with the tenets it wished to enforce. Thus, the Gospel of Mary that gives women greater prominence is not there, nor is the Gospel of Thomas by Didymos Judas Thomas with other recorded saying from Jesus.

5. What are the national stereotypes of each NPHC fraternity? Do these notions influence membership?

The stereotypes are typically heterosexual men with varying degrees of macho characteristics. But they are just that, stereotypes. Yes, they definitely influence selection of members, but wrongly so.

6. Do you know of any openly gay members? How are they treated by other brothers?

Yes. The relationship has not been a positive one for a relative who is an openly gay member of another fraternity.

Here are the questions without my responses if you choose to cut/paste them into an email with your reply to Dr. DeSantis. Please email your comments (which will remain confidential) to .

1. Do you think openly gay men should be allowed to join your
fraternity? Why or why not?
2. Do you think down low (closet bisexual) men should be allowed
to join your fraternity? Why or why not?
3. Do you think covertly gay (closet homosexual) men should be
allowed to join your fraternity? Why or why not?
4. Do you think being gay is wrong (morally, socially, ethically, religiously)? Please elaborate. 5. What are the national stereotypes of each NPHC fraternity? Do
these notions influence membership?
6. Do you know of any openly gay members? How are they treated by
other brothers?


Shem hotep!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have ben a member of Phi Beta Sigma Since 1989. The bro's on my yard had a long standing policy that a man that lays with another man is not welcomed. I have no hate for anyone regarding race or sexual preference, but I will not pledge a gay or bi male. I am from the old school of pledging and forgive me for my beliefs but a man that lays with another man is "gay" period. That down low bullsh*t ain't going to cut it.

Jerry said...

Interesting. I had opted not to go Greek at all while in college, and I have Alpha all over my family (Miss Annie primary among them).