I’m bummed that Proposition 8 passed in California and I’m delighted that Obama won. As a supporter of same sex marriage and a supporter of Barack Obama, I want to weigh in on an unfortunate bit of pop-political analysis that implies that it is somehow the black communities’ fault that same sex marriage was defeated in California.
I’d rather blame Christians, that oppressed group of true believers whoâ€”when urged to “turn the other cheek”â€”are totally lacking in a sense of humor. Faith is color blind… except, I suppose, for the Mormons. In any event, I was saddened to hear a friend in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer community say that she thought blacks should understand discrimination and therefore oppose Prop. 8. The following excerpt from an SFGate article reflects my thoughts too:
… demographers say the focus on one race not only disregards the complexity of African American identity but also overlooks the most powerful predictors affecting views on same-sex marriage: religion, age and ideology, such as party affiliation. Prop. 8’s racial fallout raises the question of how the groundbreaking multiracial support of a presidential candidate could coincide with the racial scapegoating now following a failed state ballot campaign.
“It’s just a shame to see the sort of coalition that came out behind Obama, and then you come back to California and you see white gays say ‘black people cost us the election,’ ” said David Binder, a white gay San Franciscan and a polling expert who spent the past two years working for the Obama campaign. “It bothers me that people look at the race of the people involved rather than factors that are more explanatory.”
Raymond Leon Roker said in the Huffington Post last week:
Excuse me? I voted against Proposition 8. I’m among the 30 percent of black Californians that did so. And as much as I can condemn the homophobia and intolerance that drove a portion of the 70 percent of blacks that voted in favor of Proposition 8’s ban on gay marriage, it’s an outrage to lay its passage at their feet. I’ve read several editorials already about how the ungrateful blacks betrayed gays right after America gave them their first president. I know there are some wounds and frayed nerves right now, but this type of condescending, divide and conquer isn’t going to help at all. And it’s a gross oversimplification of what happened.
Blacks, whites, Latinos… and everyone else who went to church in California before the election was likely to have heard a call for the passage of Proposition 8 based on Christian principles. What the LGBTQ community needs to do is meet their Christian friends in their homes, their workplaces, and their neighborhoods and educate them, convince them of the righteousness of supporting equal rights for residents of the State of California and the USA. The gay rights message needs to be spread simply and directly. The protests happening now are great in terms of reminding people that an injustice has been done by the passage of this referendum proposition, but to win the next referendum more minds need to be changed and it’s my opinion that demonstrations aren’t likely to change those minds.