Kevin Roderick at the LA Observed blog answers a question that I have been having about Tuesday's mixed election results for progressive Democrats. Namely, how the heck did Obama win California by 20+ points and Proposition 4 (abortion parental notification) fail easily while Proposition 8 (elimination of gay marriage) passed?

Californians who voted:

For Barack Obama: 6,194,012
Against parental notification before teen abortion: 5,071,449
To retain same-sex marriage: 4,806,595

Proposition 8 to define marriage as only between a man and woman got 52.2% (5,240,930 votes, with 96.8 precincts reporting, pending challenges.) If there's any consolation for the thousands of couples who got married in recent months, and other supporters, the last time California voted to ban gay marriage the initiative got 61.4% of the vote.

That shows that there were over 1.3 million more people who were willing to vote for the first Black president than were willing to protect our state constitution from eliminating rights instead of protecting them. Clearly, the lies on the weekend before the election from the YES ON 8 folks about Obama's position on their discriminatory amendment fed into that.

 That 1.3 million gap is much more than the 200,000+ voters who are staunchly pro-choice but not staunchly pro-equality. It is also more than the roughly 200,000 votes from the African American electorate if they had voted similarly to the white electorate in California on Proposition 8.

It was fickle “progressive” Democrats that caused Proposition 8 to pass. I have been saying for weeks that if Democrats were only opposing Proposition 8 in the mid-60s while Republicans were supporting it in the high 70s then we would lose.

The revised exit polls posted by CNN show that Democrats (42% of sample) opposed Prop 8 64%-36%, while Republicans (29%) supported it 85%-15% and Independents (28%) opposed discrimination 54%-46%. Stop blaming Black people and the illusory “Obama effect” for Proposition 8's passage!
I do agree that it is troubling that 70% of Black people voted for Proposition 8 in exit polls and that shows just how much work needs to be done in the Black community to combat decades of homophobic indoctrination by the conservative religious community. It does not mean that Black people are inherently more homophobic than other communities.

I would like progressive Democrats (especially LGBT ones) who are currently blaming Black and brown people for Proposition 8's failure to look at the numbers and then look in the mirror as they consider the reasons Californians failed to reject Proposition 8's promise of discrimination and prolonged heterosexual privilege on Tuesday while they were electing the first Black man to the Presidency of the United States.



A Black Gay Caribbean Liberal Progressive Moderate Fit Married College-Educated NPR-Listening Tennis-Playing Atheist Feminist in Los Angeles, California