Facts on Prop 8 Voters

Apparently, some people are blaming African-American voters in California (instead of the obvious culprit, the radical right fundamentalists) for the passing of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage. The progressive group People for the American Way (PFAW),which has done great work evaluating judicial nominees, says it's not true. From their Memorandum today:

Republicans and white churchgoers, among many other groups, voted for Prop. 8 at higher rates than African Americans. There are few African Americans in the inland counties that all voted overwhelmingly to strip marriage equality out of the California constitution. So why single out African Americans? Who’s really to blame? The Religious Right. Let’s start here:

  • Conservative evangelical leaders who are unremittingly hostile to the rights of gay people and who put Prop. 8 on the ballot and bombarded pastors, churchgoers, and the public with lies about gay people wanting to destroy their religious liberty and come for their children – even suggesting that Christians would be thrown in jail if Prop 8 passed.


  • Mormon Church leaders who turned Prop. 8 into a national religious crusade against gay couples, badgered Mormons nationwide to give heavily to the campaign, and recruited thousands of footsoldiers for door-to-door canvassing (special kudos to the courageous Mormons who challenged the Church leadership)
  • Conservative Catholic leaders who betrayed Catholic teaching about human dignity by enthusiastically joining forces with campaign organizers who portrayed supporters of gay equality as evil and satanic
  • “Yes on Prop 8” leaders whose view of the campaign as a battle between good and evil led to an “ends justifies the means” campaign that included grossly distorted ads, mailings, and robocalls directed at African Americans and falsely portrayed Barack Obama as a Prop 8 supporter.

Another fact:

On November 4 there was an anti-gay initiative on the ballot in Arkansas to prohibit unmarried couples from adopting or being foster parents. White voters supported that anti-gay initiative by a 16 percentage point margin, twice the margin for African Americans in the state. So it’s clearly not the case that African Americans are inherently more prone to supporting discrimination than white Americans.

What happened with Prop 8:

The far right has aggressively sought to use traditional religious beliefs about homosexuality as a wedge to separate African Americans from progressive allies and particularly from the LGBT rights movement.

What's needed instead:

Angrily blaming African Americans for the passage of Prop 8 is not going to help open doors for the kind of long-term conversations we need to have about homophobia and discrimination. It will, instead, further isolate and undermine courageous African American leaders who have taken a firm stand for equality.

In response, People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council has created an Equal Justice Task Force and made a commitment to a multi-year effort to take on homophobia in the black church and broader African American community.

PFAW conducted focus group testing of African American churchgoers in California in September. It found brought support for gay rights and civil unions but not as much for gay marriage.

PFAW also made a video:

People For the American Way Foundation created a video documenting right-wing efforts to co-opt the black church by embracing and lifting up the voices of anti-gay conservative black clergy. In that video, Rev. Samuel describes Religious Right leaders who believe welfare is satanic and the minimum wage and other worker protections are ungodly, and he asks, “what are the consequences of lending our voices, our moral and spiritual authority, to those who seek our support to deny the dignity, humanity, and equality of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters?”

The video ends with Samuel's statement:

I believe the Black Church loses a bit of its soul every time we sacrifice the well-being of our gay brothers and sisters – every time we make political alliances at their expense. I believe it is our calling to be a consistent voice for justice. And I do believe that “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The enemy is the radical right, not African-Americans:

The LGBT-equality movement needs to recognize that its real enemies are the Religious Right organizations and leaders who oppose gay and lesbian equality and who devise and fund strategies like Prop 8. And we must commit now to building long-term partnerships with equality-affirming African American clergy and community leaders that will allow us to advance the progressive values that we share.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I think this... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by DET103 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:10:40 PM EST
    ...was a very important post. Thank you.

    nice (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:46:53 PM EST

    try reading past the first paragraph (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by coigue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:18:31 PM EST
    it was hard for me to get past (1.00 / 0) (#7)
    by jes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:32:38 PM EST
    the second fact-free nonsense...

    There are few African Americans in the inland counties that all voted overwhelmingly to strip marriage equality out of the California constitution.

    Really? (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:34:33 PM EST
    Could you link to some statistics about the African-American population numbers in the inland counties, please, rather than just call it fact-free nonsense?

    no, there are very few, I believe. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:38:23 PM EST
    It isn't the inland vote the gay community is concerned about. The article, IMO, avoids the issue. Starting from the strawman first paragraph.

    Correct (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:40:17 PM EST
    but the post argues that the inland community is what the gay community SHOULD be concerned about, and not just the black voters who have been singled out for scorn.

    Agree or disagree with the argument, but I think it's rather disrespectful to our hostess to refer to a true statement as "fact-free nonsense."


    I was responding to the article and it's (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:45:16 PM EST
    unwillingness to face the apparent fact that 70% of African Americans voted to take away people's rights. The article is deflection. I said nothing about our host or anything SHE said.

    actually, I'm wrong (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:50:46 PM EST
    I did say the first paragraph was a strawman. I still think it is. If disagreement is disrespect, well so be it.

    Steve, I left you a reponse to your comment (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by coigue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:12:07 PM EST
    about Kerry getting 1% more of the women's vote.

    Look at the NY times link, go to the ruler on the left and oplay with it so you can see demographic results.

    The last  candidate to get 56% of the women's vote was Reagan.



    Roland Martin talked about this on CNN (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Teresa on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:51:17 PM EST
    last night. He seemed to put most of the responsibility on AA voters. The religious right aren't Democrats so we shouldn't expect them to vote the way we want them to.

    Mr. Martin says times are changing and they will get there but aren't yet. I don't think it's so much blame as just a fact of how things are.

    They are called wedge issues for a reason (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by ruffian on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:54:44 AM EST
    It is a fact that the Dem coalition does not agree on every issue,  and the right will do what it can to exploit every difference. This particular issue puts religious Dems of every race on one side of the wedge.

     It's not a an issue of blame, but one of recognizing the challenges inherent in the coalition.


    I agree. And it has to start with supporting (none / 0) (#98)
    by Joelarama on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 01:54:56 PM EST
    gays and lesbians in the African Americans, raising their visibility, and giving them the tools to educate in their community.

    Typo: "in the African American (none / 0) (#99)
    by Joelarama on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 01:55:46 PM EST

    the question shouldn't be (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by TimNCGuy on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:22:18 AM EST
    who voted FOR prop 8 while also voting for McCain, which would describe the religious right.

    We should be asking who voted FOR prop 8 while also voting for Obama.  Obama won the state easily.  If his voters had also voted AGAINST prop 8, it woul have faile easily.

    If you look at it this way I think you can justify putting the blame on the black Christian  supporters of Obama.  The same supporters who support the likes of Donnie McClurkin.

    If Obama and Biden had made an effort in CA to convince their supporters on this issue, it could have made the difference.  Instead the anti-gays used Obama's own words on gay marraige to help get prop 8 passed.


    There is a lot of blame to go around (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Richjo on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:52:34 PM EST
    and I agree that African Americans are not the enemy. But according to a very wise gay wizard- it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but an even greater deal to stand up to our friends. There is homophobia in the African American community and there needs to be a very strong effort to combat it. If African Americans are willing to discriminate and treat others as less than equal than the civil rights movement was failure and Dr. King's dream is left unfulfilled. It was not about just making things better for one group, it was about justice for all people. We certainly need to work to build bridges, but we also need to stand up to our friends and speak the truth. This is a moral imperative and if we don't stand strongly for it we are as bad as the people who tolerated segregation. We may be even worse because we have the advantage of having seen the example set by those who fought so bravely for the rights of our fellow citizens during the past. There example has shown us what is possible and if we choose to be small minded enough to ignore it then we deserve commendation and not understanding.

    just because white evanelicals & Mormons (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by SarahinCA on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:35:11 PM EST
    paid the money to persuade otherwise conventional democrats doesn't mean all the blame lies with the financiers of the operation.  

    People make their own choices at the ballot booth, and the simple fact is, AAs and hispanics chose Barack Obama overwhelmingly, and they chose Yes on 8 overwhelmingly.

    And might I say, it has enraged me to no end the constant "we'll get there someday" since Tuesday.  It's utter bullshi! and I'm still embarrassed people of my beloved state did this.

    Why does saying we'll get there someday... (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by Thanin on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 04:25:39 AM EST
    enrage you?

    beccause it's ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by SarahinCA on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:46:40 AM EST
    We shouldn't have to wait for this.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Thanin on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:32:50 AM EST
    thats kind of how I feel about the return of all the land that was stolen a few centuries ago from NAs...

    No, No, No, (2.00 / 1) (#22)
    by bocajeff on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:15:21 PM EST
    When people vote as you do then they are smart, well versed, compassionate and thoughtful. When they vote opposite of you then they are mean, dumb, lazy, too stupid to understand the advertising and can be bought or persuaded by evildoers...

    What's wrong with that? (none / 0) (#37)
    by coigue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:13:01 PM EST
    Hey, advertising works, buddy. And we didn't do enough.

    Especially the advertising... (1.00 / 0) (#48)
    by lambert on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:55:05 PM EST
    ... that uses Obama's image and quotes, without comment from the Obama campaign. Just saying.

    That is not true lambert. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:58:15 PM EST

    You can say it's weak or fabulous or whatever.  But they did respond.


    Thanks. (none / 0) (#111)
    by lambert on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 06:16:07 PM EST
    And it is weak. Pathetically weak. It's a sternly worded press release. What they should have done was sued to get it off the air.

    NP (none / 0) (#112)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:30:47 PM EST
    At this point, we can see that Prop 8 is more than Prop 8.  It has become a huge moment for the gay community.  Protests all over the country.  

    It seems like there were a million factors in Prop 8 passing.  And there are a million questions we must ask.  Though Obama hardly led, this is so much bigger than him.


    PFAW Political Correctness (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by jerry on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:07:25 PM EST
    I tend to agree with PFAW and find their work admirable, but I think the facts are the facts.  As others have said there is plenty of blame to go around, and there are ways to understand the AA vote.  But to pretend the AA vote was something it was not helps no one.

    I think the history of racism and bigotry (sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, etc.) in the US is such that it is helped by discussing the issues and not by ducking the issue.

    I think it's reasonable and productive to ask questions  -- how is it that the AA community sensitive to their own oppression and the bigotry against them was not able to support the gay community?

    I do not think a fealty to political correctness does much but get sand in our ears.

    People For - no denial, engagement (none / 0) (#109)
    by petemont on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:29:20 AM EST
    People For is not denying that there's work to do in the African American community. It's why, if you read the full memo, you'll see that it's invested in a multi-year project through black clergy to challenge homophobia in the black church -- religion is central to this question - and a lot of people believed the lies they were told about gay rights advocates wanting to throw their pastors in jail for preaching against homosexuality or refusing to marry gay couples. Big Lies have big consequences -- and big problems require big commitment of time and resources.

    There is definitely (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by indy in sc on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:38:40 PM EST
    an issue of homophobia within black and hispanic communities.  It's even more rampant among black immigrant communities (carribean and african) and frankly most non-white immigrant communities.  

    I think one way to improve this is for the GLBT community to do a better job of reaching out to these groups and educating them about why this is a civil rights issue that should resonate with them.  They should seek to forge alliances with high profile minority celebrities, producers, directors, etc.  It would be great if someone like Beyonce or Shakira would sing a song of tolerance.  A PSA campaign directed towards minorities on channels like BET or Univision would also be helpful.  

    Someone needs to explain clearly to these communities why civil unions are not sufficient.  I heard someone on tv today say that the civil unions concept is like separate but equal and separate is inherently unequal.  This is a phrase that black people know well and will help turn on the lightbulb about why Prop 8 was wrong.

    I don't mean to take the onus off of the minority communities themselves, but I think the homophobia is rooted in ignorance about gay rights issues and the only way to battle ignorance is with education.

    Language matters (none / 0) (#66)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:03:08 AM EST
    One of the problems is that the AA community deeply resents attempts to draw a parallel between the Civil Rights struggle and gay rights, and pounding on that parallel, obvious as it may be to those of us not personally affected by either struggle, only seems to harden the hostility in the black community.  Advocates and educators need to find other angles than making that direct comparison.

    Seriously (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by boredmpa on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:40:01 PM EST

    "some people"?

    How about "some of our readers"

    The increased conservative AA vote and mobilization functioned as a Nader effect for gay rights.  And discussing it is imho far more legitimate than the Nader scapegoating ever was, and highly appropriate considering all the "historic" talk and "unity" talk and "working together" talk here and in the MSM.  Not to mention all the working together talk in the activist community.

    Whether we look at numbers for increased turnout of approx 440,000 AAs, disproportionate homophobia, or the poor leadership of barack obama on the issue, there is and will continue to be a sense of betrayal and disgust with both the media and the minority communities.  What percentage of irregular AA voters showed up to vote for historic BO and against historic gay marriage? 350k?  What multiplier effect did they have?  And how do we fix it if we can't talk about it.

    "Yes we can" did not have many chanters and quickly died out at the anti-prop 8 march tonight.    On multiple occasions.  The dems let us down, the "historic" AA voters rolled us, and bloggers and MSM think we're ruining the celebration of people who thought "this wouldn't happen in my lifetime."  I can't get married and people are all waaaa that I'm holding another minority accountable with nothing but words.

    Welcome to minority politics eyeroll

    So whats your solution? (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by Thanin on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 04:32:15 AM EST
    that 70% (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by rrp on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:42:01 PM EST
    That 70 percent that has been making the rounds has its origin in a CNN exit poll on election night.  I'm not going to make the argument that African Americans didn't vote for 8, but the African American community is not a monolith and there was a lot of support (like from the California NAACP) against the measure.

    The issue is religion, not race.

    The analogies that lgbt people have made with the African American civil rights movement have led people into thinking that oppression should build common interests.  But there's no reason for that to be true.  How often are people able to see past their own self interest? ANd why should African Americans be different?

    There are African Americans committed to lgbt equality, and we're going to be committed to a range of other progressive issues too.  But that commitment comes from an ideological, principled position, not an accident of history.

    You don't believe that exit poll? (none / 0) (#47)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:44:36 PM EST
    I can show you other polls that show essentially the same thing. I mean really, come on.

    no I don't believe that poll (none / 0) (#49)
    by rrp on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:55:36 PM EST
    so give me the link.

    Florida (none / 0) (#51)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:07:01 PM EST
    the same CNN? oh please (none / 0) (#55)
    by rrp on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:19:10 PM EST
    You know that's an exit poll.  You should also know that it's nowhere near a random sample and not statistically valid.

    I said why I think African Americans voted for 8. I also said that it's a mistake to ignore the African Americans who went against 8.  

    I'm intensely suspicious of this eagerness to put the onus for 8 on African Americans, especially considering how problematic the issue of diversity has been for many mainstream lgbt groups.


    Oh seriously (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:21:57 PM EST
    It's from edison-mitofsky, VIA CNN. And both in Florida and California, the exit poll supplements exit interviews with a large number of phone calls, as a traditional poll would.

    You can choose not to believe the lopsided nature of the numbers, but there is no inherent reason to be suspicious of them.


    you'll notice that on the CNN site (none / 0) (#59)
    by rrp on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:34:44 PM EST
    They say nothing about follow up calls for these polls.  And these numbers were up there on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning because I was up following the 8 results until 2:30 in the morning.

    So no, I have a couple of reasons to be suspicious of the polling.  First, if you look at the 8 exit poll, African Americans are given 70% yes overall; African American women went for the proposition by 75%, but there's no entry for men. Nothing. So where did that 70% come from?

    There's also no breakout for African Americans by age.

    The data are incomplete and contradictory.  This is why I don't trust it.  And I am more than a little suspicious about how easily this folds into an unproductive narrative about African Americans and lgbt people that erases black queers pretty effectively.


    They are not contradictory, and you have (none / 0) (#61)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:37:33 PM EST
    no evidence that the data are inaccurate. The phone polls are done in the days before and the day of the election. Seriously, do the research.

    I've done the research (none / 0) (#62)
    by rrp on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:42:19 PM EST
    And I'm doing CNN the courtesy of assuming that they're telling the truth about how those data were collected.

    If there's not a problem with it, you explain how you go from recording 75% yes vote for African American women, no record for African American men and end up with a 70% Yes from African Americans.

    You're hugging this dubious stat, why?  

    Especially since I'm not trying to pretend that there was solid anti-8 support across the AA community.


    Suppose it was only 65% (none / 0) (#64)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:52:26 PM EST
    is that any less concerning?

    Really, go read Mark Blumenthal. For states that do substantial early voting, there is a phone poll.


    my personal opinion is (none / 0) (#104)
    by TimNCGuy on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 04:21:40 PM EST
    that we need to work much harder to DISCONNECT civil marriage from religious marriage.  They are not and never have been the same thing.  But, many don't seem to be able to grasp that point.

    On NPR today I once again heard a religious man say he voted FOR prop 8 because he feared that someday churches would be FORCED to perform weddings for gay couples.  Why don't he and others like him understand that NO CHURCH can be forced to perform a wedding for anyone that they don't want to?  Not even for their own members.  And why would a gay couple want to be a memeber of HIS church if it doesn't value their relationship?  Do these church goers think that gays couples will just come in off the street and demand a church to perform their wedding if they aren't even a member of the church?  Don't they understand that gay couples can join a church that does value them and is willing to perform their wedding?


    Really Jeralyn (5.00 / 6) (#46)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:43:49 PM EST
    <quote>Apparently, some people are blaming African-American voters in California (instead of the obvious culprit, the radical right fundamentalists) for the passing of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.</quote>I don't know anyone who's blaming African Americans. Rather, our concern is that there is no other group that expressed such lopsided support for the measure.

    Good, basic point. The argument does rather (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Joelarama on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:08:58 PM EST
    start with a straw man.  

    Who's anyone? (none / 0) (#53)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:13:50 PM EST
    Pam's House Blend documents some of the hate that has been going on.  I don't think Jeralyn is wrong in starting off that way.

    well, anyone who claims that (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:19:49 PM EST
    is simply being inaccurate. And anyway, as I've said, the important and depressing point is the lopsided nature of the black vote. So much for equality, it seems.

    What do you mean by inaccurate? (none / 0) (#58)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:27:52 PM EST
    That people have witnessed gay hate and blame towards blacks in the past few days is undeniable.  See here.  

    I don't think there's anything wrong with drawing attention to the % of the black vote that supported Prop 8, but some people have totally gone over the line with their emotional reactions.


    Well, I won't defend racist attacks (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:36:16 PM EST
    but the overwhelming majority of african americans in california and elsewhere voted for a hate amendment. There's just no getting around that.

    Ridiculous (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:20:14 AM EST
    Shame on PFAW.

    Why shame? (none / 0) (#110)
    by petemont on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:32:27 AM EST
    People For's African American Ministers Leadership Council is doing the hard person-to-person work needed to address and challenge homophobia in the Black Church and broader community. We're trying to solve the problem, not deny it. But we're also saying emphatically that racist name-calling is not going to help open doors to constructive conversation.

    THANK YOU for this post (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by s5 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:28:35 AM EST
    I hope this "blame the black voter" meme dies out quickly. It truly turns my stomach.

    The biggest problem, unfortunately, was the poor performance of the No on 8 campaign that I witnessed firsthand. I would be happy to go into detail, but I think that would be beyond the scope of this comment box. :)

    I just go back from the Prop H8 protest march in San Francisco, and the gay rights movement is fully energized, and finally awake from years of slumber and complacency. The people who were on the streets tonight are fired up, ready to go, and ready to do whatever it takes to advance civil rights. It's an exciting time. Sometimes it takes a stunning loss to bring about real and lasting change.

    Poor proformance (none / 0) (#90)
    by DaleA on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:22:18 AM EST
    is puting it nicely. The whole campaign was a mess. Can add first hand observations also.

    Thank you for your post. (none / 0) (#92)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:26:24 AM EST
    I have my own below addressing this, and I too hope the "blame the black voter" meme dies out quickly. It's a bit relieving to know that not everyone is jumping on that band-wagon.

    Riiiight (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Patrick on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 03:55:16 AM EST
    some people are blaming African-American voters in California (instead of the obvious culprit, the radical right fundamentalists) for the passing of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.

    Of course, because California is the heart of Radical Righties......Not.  

    Dumb political correctness (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by TheRealFrank on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:19:35 AM EST
    AA voters are, of course, not solely to blame for the passage of prop 8. The people who started prop 8, and everybody who voted for it, are.

    However, it is clear that AA voters opposed gay marriage by a big margin. That is something that should be addressed, not swept under the rug in a wave of political correctness.

    Reality (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by jarober on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:57:27 AM EST
    At some point, you're going to have to face the simple reality: tons of voters pulled the lever for Obama and for prop 8.  Those people are the ones who gave that proposition the float, and they weren't Mormons, fundamentalists, et. al.  

    They were people who voted left on most matters other than prop 8.  That's how it is, and it's something you're simply going to have to face up to if you want to overcome it.

    IMHO, people generally dislike having courts tell them how things should be - had the California legislature had the guts to deal with this issue legislatively, I don't think you would be here.  But they didn't - like legislatures all over, they would much rather kick the can on hard issues and let judges take the pummeling.  Sometimes, that backfires.

    Untrue (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by DaleA on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:24:43 AM EST
    The legislature has twice passed same sex marriage. Each time Ahnold veto'd it, saying he prefered that the supreme court rule on the issue. There was no lack of courage from our elected reps.

    Sounds to me (none / 0) (#95)
    by Amiss on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:52:31 AM EST
    like, the people of California have a choice if they want their legislation to pass, get rid of Arnold.

    Some are angry that Obama's words were used in the (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by jawbone on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 02:06:14 PM EST
    Prop 8 support ads to persuade Obama voters that he wanted the proposition to pass. That he approved of it. (I would have put quotes around "some" in the subject line, but then the line gets cut short for some reason.)

    And Obama, per what I've read, did nothing to disabuse his supporters of that notion.

    Which "some" support as the right thing to do politically. When there's a wedge issue, try to dance around it and never take clear a position which might cost votes. The politic thing for a politician to do.

    Or...he actually did approve of Prop 8....

    Obama did paint himself into a corner with his own words, so maybe there wasn't much he could do. He simply does not support gay marriage. But does support civil unions...I think.


    Again (none / 0) (#102)
    by lilburro on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 02:18:55 PM EST
    Obama's people put out a release about the misleading advertisements.  Here.  

    From what I've read in comments here (none / 0) (#103)
    by starsandstripes on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 02:21:06 PM EST
    Obama did issue a release saying he didn't support prop 8 and that his words were using out of context.

    Seeing that this seems to be news to many people, I would think this piece of action wasn't enough. But he did respond and possibly chose not to do more for fear of losing support.


    Let's face it (none / 0) (#105)
    by ericinatl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 04:54:30 PM EST
    There is a big difference from a written release and Obama's actual words, which were used to great effect in the Yes on 8 campain.  Obama sold out the gays the minute he enlisted Donnie McClurkin (an ex-gay minister) to campaign with him to win over the conservative African-American vote.  That, combined with his vocal insistence that marriage was between a man and a woman only overwhelmed any tepid release he issued in support of No on 8.  

    It is very disappointing.  That said, I doubt any other Democratic candidate would have done much more in support of No on 8, which is unfortunate.  And I did vote for him, because I agree with him on a lot of other issues.

    But that doesn't mean I'm going to give him a pass on gay rights.  He has work to do.  As do we.


    Black Churches (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by candideinnc on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 09:54:52 AM EST
    The Prop 8 issue is bad enough.  Even more tragic to me, though, are the lives of Black gays coming from homes which have bought into the bigotry of Christian fundamentalism.  Black gays are far more closeted than whites because of the superstition inherent in their religion.  The fact that it spills over into politics is really incidental.  

    We need to keep reminding the people who feed their intolerance of gays with scriptures written by ancient mystics that the sign "Whites Only" over the water fountains is no different than "Heterosexuals Only" over the marriage bureau's door.  Remember, segregationists used the Bible to support slavery the same way the fundamentalists use the Bible as a cudgel against gays.

    Obama's leadership here is MIA (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by JoeCHI on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:16:31 AM EST
    Obama exhibited no leadership on this issue, whatsoever.  Audacity, schmaudacity!

    Further, all polls show that, along with the Mormons and other conservative whites, African Americans did indeed vote against gay rights.

    Facts are facts.  African Americans are just as much to blame here, as is Obama's lack of leadership on the issue.

    "Blaming" Blacks? (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by yourkidding on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:32:41 PM EST
    According to NPR, Rachel Maddow, Pat Morrison (not a right winger in that group) all reported  that California blacks made up 10% of the total voting population AND that 70% of that group voted YES on prop 8.
    Also reported was the fact/speculation that the yes vote in the black populaton comes out of both homophobia & the long tradition of being conservative on social issues.

    All good points. But the fact remains that (4.50 / 6) (#11)
    by Joelarama on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:39:35 PM EST
    7 in 10 African Americans who marked their ballot on the proposition voted "yes" to strip gay Californians of their marriage rights.  This is according to the Washington Post today.

    I do not say this to "blame" African Americans.  Far from it.  But facts are facts, and I do not want to shy away from them and not learn from them.

    A big lesson I draw is that white gays and lesbians have not done enough to reach out to our black brothers and sisters.  

    It's no coincidence that the largest gay and lesbian organizations seem to be dominated, especially in terms of donors at large events, by whites.  

    Some in the African American community consider gays to be primarily a subset of of the white community (a "white issue").  I have encountered this attitude first-hand.  And the fault does not lie solely with straight African Americans.

    The "7 in 10" statistic may reinforce resentment among some few white gays and lesbians against African Americans (and this is flat-out racist), but the statistic is important, it should be considered as such, and it should be a wake-up call to all gays and lesbians.  

    That statistic should inform our efforts to preserve our rights.  It needs to inspire constructive action, education, and healing.

    I agree completely (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by ericinatl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 08:06:51 AM EST
    We cannot ignore the statistic.  What it tells us it that we have work to do in minority communities.  To be visible and to change minds.

    It should not be an issue of blame however.  If animosity grows between the AA and gay communities, then it really does become a successful wedge issue and we all lose.

    Outside of the South, the gays have apparently changed the minds of whites.  Now we have to work on minority groups of Latinos and AAs.


    Margins (none / 0) (#89)
    by DaleA on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:15:22 AM EST
    The problem here is that the margin among Latinos was less than 6%. A sizable proportion of Latinos voted for gay equality. Last data seen, a majority of Asians voted for gay equality. There is work to do among Latinos, but it means building on a very solid base. With African Americans there is a chasm. And very little to build on.

    You know, as an AA (4.00 / 1) (#88)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:02:54 AM EST
    I'm quite disgusted with the general scapegoating of the blacks and people thinking "Hey! Both groups are being/ have been oppressed! That makes them the same in all ways except in sexual orientation! So why did they vote to oppress other people?!" I've said this before, but I'll say it again. AAs are not a giant monolithic voting bloc and to assume so, not matter what the issue, is ignorant. It almost (sorta) reminds me of the crap about people calling AAs racist for voting for Obama in the 90+ percent, when it apparently wasn't racist for them to vote in the 90+ percent for any previous democrat.

    AAs are not the problem, religion is the problem. Because of their history of oppression, AAs tend to be much more religious than their white democratic counterparts. In short, AAs are part of the extremely religious base of the democrats, kind of like how WASPs tend to be the extremely religious base of the republicans. For AAs to vote for Obama and Prop. 8 is not surprising especially if they're religious. For republicans to vote for environmental legislation and against stem cell research is not surprising. In fact, it is expected.

    Most religious AAs don't connect the Civil Rights Movement and Gay Rights because their religion is standing in the way. I personally am agnostic. I believe that gays should have the right to marry. And guess what! I'm AA! Impossible, you say? Actually, no. Let me explain. Since I'm no longer semi-religious I see things in a slightly different light. I have been skeptical about religion since childhood, and my mom wasn't extremely religious either. In fact, although she was (and still is) more religious than me, she believed that we shouldn't have a say in what goes in other peoples' lives. That it is their own business, and if they're not hurting anyone, then it's wrong to interfere. A little older now, I've come to the conclusion that religion as I know it is a giant farce, and because of this, I believe it has no place whatsoever in politics, i.e. separation between church and state. I see a gay-marriage ban as religious people trying to tell everybody what to do, interfering in innocent peoples lives because of their own religious beliefs, and I think that's wrong, so if I had lived in California, I would've voted against that proposition.

    But, you should know that I am part of a minority in the AA community. The vast majority of them are very religious. It doesn't matter that both groups have been oppressed. Religion and pre-existing and long standing prejudices always get in the way and die hard. I mean, just look at how Jews were skeptical, for quite some time, of voting for Obama. How about way back in history when Irish immigrants ruthlessly fought/killed free blacks in New York. It didn't matter that they had both been horribly oppressed. One group just didn't want to be "the new blacks".

    To think that somehow blacks are magically excluded from having prejudices and are therefore the scum of America if it is apparent that they do is not only ignorant but is also insulting, prejudiced, and very self-righteous. To hold blacks to one standard based on the "they've also been oppressed" meme and not any other group is wrong. Instead of saying "shame on you, black people," and "It's sad that I can't trust blacks anymore," what you should be saying is, "Why did they vote this way, and how can we persuade them to look past their prejudices and fight for the justice of all, just as their ancestors and friends fought for justice for them?" To just be content in continuously blaming the 70% percent of blacks in California and pretending that they represent all blacks in America and that they have no minds of their own as separate people is as disgusting and shameful as the people blaming blacks for Obama's win and calling them racist for voting for him in the 90+ percentile.

    Thank you.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by starsandstripes on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:25:34 PM EST
    It almost (sorta) reminds me of the crap about people calling AAs racist for voting for Obama in the 90+ percent, when it apparently wasn't racist for them to vote in the 90+ percent for any previous democrat.

    90+ percent AAs voting for Obama in the presidential election is a normal democrat trend, but I don't think people quibbled over that. However 90+ percent AAs voting for Obama over the other democrat candidate in the primaries was identity politics, though I wouldn't call it racist.

    I agree with the rest of your argument.


    And that you (none / 0) (#94)
    by rrp on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:48:28 AM EST
    for making the complete argument

    Agreed (none / 0) (#101)
    by lilburro on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 02:16:22 PM EST
    Assuming that most African Americans sympathize with gay issues due to a shared history of oppression was obviously a mistake.  You can't just assume people will make that connection.  And of course, without a campaign that demonstrates that connection, they won't.

    It's not as though people were unaware of the homophobia in parts of the black religious community before this moment.  


    I think many gays feel betrayed (none / 0) (#106)
    by ericinatl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:04:32 PM EST
    Obviously we gays can be just as racist as straights.  But politically I think many of us relate to racial minorities precisely because they are minorities, like us.  So, we are often supportive politically of civil rights for all.

    It certainly stings when one minority group is actually voting against our civil rights at a rate greater than society as a whole (outside the south, natch).

    So, there is not blame, so much as a some bitterness and resentment.  I agree that we cannot focus on the bitterness and must do more work in reaching out to these communities and change minds.  But the frustration we feel is real and should not be dismissed out of hand.


    Believe me (none / 0) (#108)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:31:19 PM EST
    when I say that I understand the sting and disappointment. I am quite disappointed about this whole thing. I think, however, that people forget, when dealing with something like this, that religion usually trumps everything, especially rational thought, and religion takes all kinds, regardless of color, gender, or historical truths.

    I wouldn't blame (none / 0) (#5)
    by Lil on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:10:03 PM EST
    African Americans, but it is a constant source of pain that I can not count on my black friends and colleagues, to take a stand on my behalf (unless they happen to be gay as well). I feel this especially because part of my work in anti-oppression training, where I spend a lot of time, energy and passion pointing out to white folks our privilege and therefore racism. This is hard work, since a lot of white folks have a hard time dealing with this issue.  I look forward to members of other minority groups becoming allies to the gay community.

    I was very encouraged that Obama said "gay or straight" in his victory speech. I know some would say it doesn't go far enough, but I was ok with that for now. Inclusivity in the President Elect's first speech was encouraging to me.

    Question (none / 0) (#15)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:53:20 PM EST
    When people voted for prop 8 what percentage of people voted 1) for marriage between a man and a women, vs. 2) voted against two people of the same sex getting married?  

    I really think there is a difference in terms of what group can be reached, and how to reach them.  The first group is just not very thoughtful, and with some simple targeted advocacy you could sway them, the second group is harder to reach, and might not be worth it.

    Do you really think that (none / 0) (#63)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:51:15 PM EST
    people in the first group really don't understand what being for marriage only -- you left that part out -- between a man and a woman means?  I think they do.  I agree with you, though, that the cause would gain a few percentage points, although not many, if the question was "Should people of the same sex be denied the opportunity to marry?"

    I direct (none / 0) (#16)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:53:30 PM EST
    everyone to this post by Alex Blaze h/t Pam Spaulding...

    But I'm wondering why these folks are so caught up in the black voters, who obviously can't ever be persuaded on this issue because... well, because. There are so many other groups in the exit polling that voted for Prop 8 overwhelmingly (as in, more than 60%):

    The elderly (65+)
    People who decided for whom to vote in October (but not within the week before the election)
    People who were contacted by the McCain campaign
    White Protestants
    Those who attend church weekly
    Married people
    People with children under 18
    Gun owners
    Bush voters
    Offshore drilling supporters
    People who are afraid of a terrorist attack
    People who thought their family finances were better now than 4 years ago
    Supporters of the war against Iraq
    People who didn't care about the age of the candidates
    People who are from the "Inland/Valley" region of California
    McCain voters

    This is a big issue.

    In the civil rights context, in the context of (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Joelarama on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:01:00 PM EST
    this Proposition, none of those groups that Pam lists has as much in common, or is as relevant, as African Americans and gay people.

    I do not claim that their struggles and history are equivalent, but this is a civil rights issue.  And civil rights are uniquely relevant to both gay people and African Americans in this country because of a history (and present fact) of discrimination and oppression.

    As I comment above, I do not "blame" African Americans, and I think white gays and lesbians ought to take a lesson from this vote.

    But to claim that this dreadful irony is a imaginary, to claim that this "7 in 10" statistic should not sting, is just ludicrous.  


    How do you think (none / 0) (#20)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:09:29 PM EST
    black gays and lesbians feel?  This isn't an issue where white gays feel one way and blacks another.  There was clearly a communication breakdown between the largely straight AA community and a diverse gay community.  

    Unfortunately, same sex marriage is not a plank of the Democratic Party, so we shouldn't be surprised that many Democrats don't support it. That includes Catholic Democrats.  That includes elderly Democrats.  

    The Democratic Party has always been a mess.  Outreach is necessary, as is a clearer ideology.  In a state that overwhelmingly voted Democratic, Prop 8 succeeded.  It didn't succeed solely because of black voters.


    If we can't discuss the AA role, why outreach? (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by jerry on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:14:51 PM EST
    Your post is illogical.

    If there is no reason to discuss the AA role, then there really is no need for outreach to the AA community.

    This is one of the problems of political correctness.

    If we can't discuss the issues, we can't really get to the point where we discuss how to fix the issues, or implement those fixes.

    Sometimes it's worse.  Sometimes we say, "we don't air dirty laundry in public."  And then what happens is the rest of the world can't figure out why we're do delusional.

    Anyway, there is no need for outreach, since the AA community had no role.


    Oh please (none / 0) (#24)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:22:19 PM EST
    I didn't say the AA community had no role.  We need to reach out to everyone under the Dem umbrella, including the black community.  I didn't say, "stop talking about black people!"  I said there are Democrats of many stripes who voted for Prop 8, Catholics, Elderly.  Maybe if our party made a greater effort at saying what we believe to be right, and presenting a vision of equality, we wouldn't have these problems.  Tons of Southern Dems voted in hateful propositions as well.  And we elect the idiots and support them.  Do you think Travis Childers supports gay marriage?  Miss. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove doesn't.

    We have a LOT of problems in this party.  An AA community disinclined to support gay marriage is but one.


    Fallacy of the excluded middle (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jerry on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:27:00 PM EST
    We have a LOT of problems in this party.  An AA community disinclined to support gay marriage is but one.

    You appear to be saying that until we fix all the other problems there is no need for us to fix the AA community problem.

    I guess that's progress, since so many here don't think there is an AA community issue or any need for discussion.

    Still, your reasoning is the fallacy of the excluded middle.  We can't do X, until all of Y has been accomplished.

    But we have enough resources and enough interested people to do X before Y gets completed.

    Since we have enough resources, and we have different communities of people, there is no need to worry about a Pareto optimization of how to fix the Dems problems.  What we do need to worry about is a speech policing and political correctness that discourages people from discussing the issues.


    That is not what I mean to say. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:34:33 PM EST
    And looking at what you quoted, I did not actually say that.  I'm saying, the AA community is one of our problems.  But so are Catholics.  So are Protestants.  I'm not saying there is an order to the way we must fix these problems.  I don't know what we put first.

    But here's a great idea - get people like Travis Childers out of Congress.  If you want to amend the constitution to define traditional marriage, you do not belong here.  Mississippi Democrats are not Democrats.  

    Our Party sends about a million mixed messages.  Why did the AA community vote heavily in favor of Prop 8?  Maybe they didn't hear there was a party line.  


    Scapegoating the AA community does (2.00 / 1) (#76)
    by JoeA on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 06:48:44 AM EST
    nothing to fix any of the problems though.

    Even if AA voters had exactly mirrored Whites in California in their preferences on Prop 8 it would still have passed.


    Clearer Ideology.... (none / 0) (#27)
    by jerry on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:28:43 PM EST
    We're probably not going to get a clearer ideology soon.  I hope communication about the issues does not requires us to wait until we get one.

    Liburro, what percentage of (none / 0) (#65)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:56:22 PM EST
    Democratic elderly and Catholics voted against gay marriage?  That info is entirely missing from the chart.  Since AAs are overwhelmingly Democrats, we can assume that almost all of the AAs who voted for Prop 8 were Democrats.

    I agree with you entirely that outreach needs to be done more in all groups, but it's particularly hurtful and tragic that black folks in this country, who otherwise generally hold progressive views, are so overwhelmingly homophobic.  Obama could certainly help hugely on this-- if he wanted to.


    Hmm (none / 0) (#67)
    by lilburro on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:11:55 AM EST
    CNN is not working for me right now, so... here's an article.  Says:

    While exit polls showed that 59 percent of Catholics backed Democratic President-elect Barack Obama, they turned around and voted for Prop. 8 by 64 percent to 36 percent.

    So in an ideal world, 59 percent would've voted against, 41 percent in favor.  Instead we get 36 against, 64 in favor.  A defection of 23%.
     Nowhere near the almost monolithic defection of AA voters, but sizeable.  I'll try to get some stuff about older voters as well.


    I'm afraid I don't understand how these (none / 0) (#23)
    by Joelarama on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:18:34 PM EST
    points answer my comment.

    Well I don't understand (none / 0) (#25)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:24:47 PM EST
    how this:

    "to claim that this dreadful irony is a imaginary, to claim that this "7 in 10" statistic should not sting, is just ludicrous."

    has anything to do with my comment.


    The point of your comment was that these (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Joelarama on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:31:52 PM EST
    other, arbitrary groups voted in greater proportions than African Americans (greater than 7 in 10) against marriage equality.

    My point was that African Americans and gays have a hell of a lot more in common than those groups, and that we shouldn't feign surprise, nor should we belittle the intelligence of gays, when they note the upsetting irony that 7 in 10 African Americans voted to deny them equal rights.

    Sounds like point, counter-point to me.

    Now, can we have a constructive conversation?


    you are playing the fool (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:34:50 PM EST
    the clear implication of the first sentence of your quote was gay racism.

    That is what (none / 0) (#33)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:40:26 PM EST
    the writer was responding to.


    The Right must be happy Dems are so divided.


    okay, those two examples were pretty disgusting (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:01:27 PM EST
    but not exactly what Alex states himself that he was responding to... the quote directly above was:

    I refuse to accept responsibility for a bunch of bigots. What shoud I have done Pam? Whined..."Please, please accept me, pretty please with sugar on top". You let your own people off with a slap on the wrist, so I am going to defend my people the angry, white gays. I am tired of being understanding while the African American community at large spits in our face. It is a shame, when a community as a whole shuns another repressed minority using the same bible that they were bashed with only 40 or so years ago. So forgive me, if I am not feeling to generous tonight while I worry about whether I still have a marriage or not.

    That is anger, and a whole lot of hurt.


    True, that comment (none / 0) (#39)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:17:58 PM EST
    is very sympathetic.  Though Alex was writing in response to a larger body of racist reactions on the part of gays (many of which hurt our own AA gay brothers and sisters).

    Where I'm coming from on this issue is that the early polling, from May-August (check it out on Wikipedia) suggested Prop 8 wouldn't pass.  Then it did.  I don't think AA turnout accounts for the shift in polling.  The Protect Marriage people waged a huge and hateful campaign.  Apparently it worked.


    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 08:21:45 AM EST
    The Protect Marriage people waged a huge and hateful campaign.

    But so did lots of black churches every Sunday.


    Having now read Alex's comment (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jerry on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:38:20 PM EST
    It's a pretty bad argument he's making.

    The first two paragraphs especially don't make any argument, they just name call anyone who disagrees with him, and make claims of moral outrage and the fallacy of the moral authority.

    (His post and some of the comments are especially ironic, and a not too vicious paraphrase is: "don't 'blame' the AAs.  'blame' the Mormons!"  and then lots of people get their Mormon hate on.)


    Just separate but equal (none / 0) (#35)
    by StevenT on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:04:25 PM EST
    It's all just that. If that's the AA community's belief, there nothing we can do to change that. They are too rooted into their church. So we should just blame their church. It has nothing to do with 70% of them voting for Prop 8. Not their fault at all. Just like it's the teachers fault when a kid did something wrong in school. It's never their fault. Poverty, gang members, rape, murder, prison, never their fault. They had no choice. They were enslave hundreds of years ago. It's america's fault.

    As for me, till we tackle the root of the problem, nothing will be solve. Just like our credit crisis. It's not our fault at all. Not the fault of those who bought houses they could not afford. It's solely the fault of corporations and banks to deceive them for buying big expensive houses. Of all the races, i would have thought that the AA community understands this struggle most. Not their fault. Just the churches fault.

    hmmm (none / 0) (#38)
    by Salo on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:13:58 PM EST
    as long as these same black voters don't give Obama an excuse on uhc I don't really see this vote as big deal. Uhc covers at least half the trouble gays have getting the current benefits of health insurance that their partner has. Just don't let new president coast my brothers and sisters...he's the kinda guy wholl run to middle on this healthcare policy stuff

    You think marriage equality is all about (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Joelarama on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:18:25 PM EST
    health care?

    no (none / 0) (#42)
    by Salo on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:26:12 PM EST
    but it's related on a personal level among couples who are married (and why they get married) and at least one philosophical level...general social equality. No need to get aggro about the point I'm making. The polling data among aas was is pretty depressing stuff and does not bode well for the lefts abilty to pressure the new president to act in a way that will bring about equality on various issues  

    The President Elect savors poignant (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:33:00 PM EST
    stories about real people.  Keep him informed.  I recall reading a piece at DK by a woman who was legally married to another woman and they had small children.  They went from their state to FL to go on a family cruise.  One of the adult women got very ill, was hospitalized; hospital refused to permit the partner in the ICU; finally did allow visitation; woman died in that hospital.  Anyone would be moved by the injustice of that situation.

    The republicans... (none / 0) (#54)
    by white n az on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:17:48 PM EST
    merely exploit the religious right and vice versa to push their agenda and define wedge issues to divide the population.

    The problem is that the gay community is easily dumped on because of their small numbers and thus are easy targets for wedge issues such as this.

    I am in AZ which passed a similar message and am not gay so I don't have a dog in the fight beyond my general feeling that it's just another attempt by the religious right to try to legislate morality.

    One of the problem with voter referendums is that important issues are left to low information voters that in many cases don't care enough to fully examine the issue and are left to consider voting for propositions that are sugar coated to sound as if they are reasonable.

    AA' s and other minorities (none / 0) (#78)
    by cpinva on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:47:08 AM EST
    are far more amenable to the concept of equal rights for women, then they are for gays/lesbians, etc. you can't choose to be born female after all.

    as long as the radical right-wing is able to convince people that being gay is a lifestyle choice, and not genetically inherent, then the prop 8's will continue getting passed.

    you can argue till the cows come home that it's not true, it is. if it weren't, the right wouldn't consistently maintain otherwise.

    education, and reaching out to the minority communities, constantly linking their civil rights to those of the gay community, is the surest way to see far shorter-term results.

    unless you want to wait another 200 years.

    Basing an equal rights movement (none / 0) (#86)
    by ahazydelirium on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:44:21 AM EST
    on genetics is a poor choice.

    As a gay man, I always cringe when I here people try to make the argument that genetics is the determinant of sexual orientation. It's far more complicated, and scientific research has been unable to pinpoint (or give any reason to believe there exists) a genetic basis for sexual identity. Take for example the trans community. After transitioning, some find their sexual orientations have changed while others have not.

    Also, basing an ethical system (like equal rights) on genetics can have undesired effects. Think phrenology. Just because you can locate something with scientific investigation doesn't mean it will lead to good things. Also take for example alcoholism -- a life-long, unalterable condition. There is a genetic basis, but it hasn't changed the social perception that alcoholics are all a bunch of lazy, jobless or destructive people. Yet, many are recovering and lead perfectly reasonable lives.

    No -- ironically, I think there is already an approach to equal rights for queers that we can learn from: religious freedom. We should be advocating for sexual freedom: our sexual identities are an important (maybe the most fundamental) identity in our lives and that should not be mediated by government restrictions. But, as certain sexual identities are defined by the law and made acceptable, then the government has an obligation to ensure all sexual identities are equally protected.


    The problem with the sexual freedom argument (none / 0) (#107)
    by ericinatl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:13:26 PM EST
    Is that the end result has already been achieved in Lawrence -- gay sex cannot be criminalized.  It does not lead to gay marriage, just gay sex (preferably behind closed doors).

    Making the leap to full open inclusion in society requires an argument based on fact -- that it is not a choice.  That being gay is immutable.  

    I also disagree about the scientific research -- it is pretty clear that there is a significant genetic component to homosexuality.  It's complicated and there are a myriad of genes involved (not just one switch), but it's there.

    I think the real problem is that you can't tell by sight if one is gay, unlike race and gender.  That which is not proven on sight must rely on education to prove and show.  And that takes time.  The good thing is that the younger generations realize this and are voting accordingly.  For the most part.