November 8th, 2008
One of the lessons learned in the vote on Proposition 8 is that Black and Hispanic voters did not support marriage equality. Because of the inexact nature of exit polling, and because of the rounding of percentages, it is difficult to state anything with certainty, but the following seems to be correct:
It appears that Black voters determined the passage of Proposition 8. Although some sites claim that this is not the case, by my calculation if the Black vote is excluded from the count, the Proposition would have just slightly less than half of the votes needed to pass. It appears that if just 50% of black voters had voted against institutionalized discrimination this amendment would have
failed been statistically even.
Hispanic voters supported the amendment 53% to 47%. This split, while nearly offsetting the non-Hispanic white vote, was not enough of a split to cause the amendment to pass.
There was also a gender divide. White women were 4% less likely to support the proposition and Latino women were 2% less likely.
However, in what seems to be an inconsistency, black women seem to have favored the proposition significantly more than black men. Women supported it by 75% while the black population as a whole polled at 70%. This suggests that black men may have been as much as 13% less likely than black women to support this initiative. It is difficult to understand what this result may be saying.
It is important to recall that the Yes on 8 Campaign deliberately lied to and deceived black voters. They funded mailers and the robocalls falsely implying that Sen. Obama was in favor of Prop 8. Going forward we must be aware that anti-gay activists, including the hierarchy of the Mormon and Catholic churches, will say or do anything in a campaign, no matter how dishonest, and that they have now been rewarded for their duplicity and deceit.
UPDATE: To help understand my statements, I’ve placed my calculation below. Please understand that this is from the exit polls and not from the actual vote. This is subject to all sorts of rounding errors which are greatly increased by multiplying. Further, note that the actual voting results show that the proposition passed with 52.4%, which is larger than the 51.9% on the below grid.
Please also note that the purpose of this commentary is NOT to assign blame to our African-American neighbors. There is plenty of blame to spread around, and I place most of it at the feet of those who ran a campaign of complete dishonesty.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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