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Proposition 8 and Race Revisited

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Timothy Kincaid

January 7th, 2009

It disturbs me that forty years after the death of Dr. King we still as a nation seem incapable of having frank discussions about race. And this seems to me to be particularly true within the gay community.

When exit polls reported that African Americans had voted in favor of Proposition 8 by a ratio of 70 to 30 percent, gays tended to respond in one of two ways. A small number of persons seemed to see this as some vindication of their own personal racial animus. But nearly all other gay writers, bloggers, and opinion spouters immediately sought to dismiss, discount, or deny this figure and what it had to say.

There was a lot of creative talk about outreach and errors and even some race-based self-justification. But what seemed to be lacking was much honest discussion about those truths that all seem to want to overlook:

  • The Black Church is for the most part hugely homophobic
  • Even non-religious African-Americans are disproportionately politically anti-gay

This week the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has released a report that seems to exist for the sole purpose of discounting the second fact. Now, I’ve long since come to see the NGLTF as more of an agent of spin than an advocate for honesty so it didn’t surprise me much that their report seemed more appropriate on the stage of a prestidigitator than in a news report.

But I couldn’t ignore this slanting of the story. Mainstream news sites jumped right on this, making such bizarre (and completely false) statements as this from Oakland Tribune reporter Josh Richman:

Neither African-Americans nor any other ethnicity were disproportionately in support of Proposition 8, which changed California’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage, according to a study of election results and post-vote surveys released Tuesday.

While the NGLTF report said no such thing, it did make two astonishing claims about the black vote:

  • Analysis of the full range of data available persuades us that the NEP exit poll overestimated African American support for Proposition 8 by ten percentage points or more.
  • Furthermore, much of African Americans’ support for Proposition 8 can be explained by the fact that blacks tend to be more religious than Californians as a whole.

The justification for the first assertion consists mostly of “because I want it to be true”. The NGLTF compares polling before and after the election to the exit poll and declared it to be an outlier. What they fail to notice is that the polling before the election predicted the failure of Prop 8 and the exit polls got it right.

Then they provide a graphic to support their claim:

This chart represents an analysis of the voters in four counties in which most black Californians live. This would seem to me to be a pretty reasonable way to verify whether exit polls got it right. But in order to gain value from such an analysis, one needs to avoid making claims that appear wacky from even the simplest glance.

The line you see on this graphic is a running-mean smoother, a way of showing a pattern in data. I don’t have access to the raw data, but something strikes me as peculiar about this line.

An “arithmetic mean” is what most folks think of as an average of numbers. You add up the totals and divide by the number of items. Considering this, take a glance at the right end of the chart – that which shows the larger percentage of African-Americans in the voting precinct. Does it look to you as though the line represents a mean average of the data points?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the skill or experience to refute the methodology of their line, but I will say that it does not, on the surface, appear to present a visual representation of Yes votes in the precincts shown.

NGLTF does admit that “a slight but unmistakable relationship exists between the proportion of a precinct’s voters who are African American and support for Proposition 8″. And they estimate that between 57 and 59% supported Proposition 8.

But that just doesn’t make any mathematical sense. In their Table 1, they lay out their breakdown of ethnic voting:

Well sorry, but those numbers don’t get us to 52.3% support. One of those ethnic demographics is understated.

Frankly, were this from a source I consider more credible, I’d delight in the reduction. I would very much like to believe that a majority of black voters are like the straight black folk I know who were all horrified that Prop 8 won. But based on the available information, I just don’t see the justification for this reinterpretation of history.

But what troubles me most about the NGLTF report is what they next assert: “much of African Americans’ support for Proposition 8 can be explained by the fact that blacks tend to be more religious than Californians as a whole”.

I do not know the credibility of the survey on which they rely for the claim, but I am pretty much willing to accept that African American Californians attend church more regularly than do other ethic groups. However, the graphic provided by NGLTF to show that religion is the reason that blacks voted disproportionately in favor of Prop 8 actually suggests exactly the opposite:

If the above chart is accurate, religion played less of an impact on the black church-goer than on any other demographic. And non-religious blacks were 12% more likely to favor Proposition 8 than non-religious whites. To suggest that it was religion rather than ethnically-shared community values that most strongly determined the outcome of the black vote requires a trip down the rabbit hole.

NGLTF then goes on to discuss how, as a whole, religion, party affiliation, conservative identification, and age are more important to predicting the state’s support for anti-gay positions than is race. There is no doubt that these played a great role. No one is surprised that conservative evangelical Republicans overwhelmingly voted for Proposition 8.

But all of that is a smoke screen. Because it is also true that liberal non-religious Democrats overwhelmingly voted against Proposition 8 … unless they were black.

And if the only difference between the voting patterns of liberal Democrats can be traced to their ethnic identity, then it requires magical thinking to say that ethnic identity is not an important factor.

Some of you, no doubt, are already crafting a reply calling me a racist. And, sadly, some are giggling while feeling justified for anti-black biases. Both of those responses are pointless (and wrong) and get us nowhere.

The fact is – regardless of how much NGLTF would wish otherwise – that the gay community does not truly have a strategic alliance with black voters. We do not have African American support. We can fully expect that unless something drastically changes, future votes on gay equality will have large percentages of African Americans voting against our rights.

Now there are a number of things we could do.

We could make a concerted effort to strategize and find allies for a long-term plan to educate and influence the African American community to recognize that discrimination based on sexual orientation is no more admirable than discrimination based on race. We know that many leaders, from Coretta Scott King and Mildred Loving to John Lewis and Al Sharpton, have been open to learning this message.

But we also know that there is a strong and unapologetic voice of harshest homophobia that has no hesitation in using race as a justification for denying that gay and lesbian Americans deserve civil equality. If we seek change, it cannot be haphazard or hesitant. It will be no picnic and we have to be willing to offend some who believe that they own the concept of civil rights and not be afraid to be called racist by those who oppose us.

Or we could also just write off this subset of the population and hope that we can sway enough whites and Asians to outweigh the African American vote. But while it may be pragmatic for winning an election, this approach strikes me as particularly cold. It not only leaves another generation of young black gay men and women growing up in a community that has pockets of severe hostility, but it also dismisses a lot of otherwise decent people as not being worth our time or effort.

There are no easy answers. And I don’t even begin to know how to go about approaching this issue in a way that is productive or appropriate.

But the one response that I believe is the height of foolishness is to say, as did NGLTF, “differences seen among racial and ethnic groups in support for Proposition 8 … do not merit the amount of attention they have received”. Ignoring it won’t make this issue go away.

Comments

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Jaft
January 7th, 2009 | LINK

Unfortunately, that’s quite true. There’s always been a wide divide between the gay and black community (even some racism from the gay community).

Glad you wrote this article Tim, a lot. It’s an issue that should be addressed. As discriminated minorities, we could benefit greatly from cooperation.

Terry Jensen
January 7th, 2009 | LINK

Tim,

Thanks for doing the analysis on the “attendance at worship” statistic. I looked at the data in the original report but didn’t notice what it actually meant until you pointed it out. Good work.

terry

CLS
January 7th, 2009 | LINK

It is sad that the Black community has yet, on average, to figure out that the oppression inflicted on them is not dissimilar to that inflicted on gay people. And for them to participate in that discrimination is even sadder. The Democrats rely on Black votes and many “gay leaders” are more loyal to their masters in the Democratic Party than they are to the gay community and they will do everything in their power to twist the facts to try to make them appear to be something, anything, just as long as they don’t come looking as they really are.

Brian
January 7th, 2009 | LINK

Not to mention, Timothy, that so long as the issue is not addressed, the anti-gay Right will use the so-called black/gay divide for their own purposes. This is how America works–divide and conquer. Somebody had better figure out how to overcome these tactics soon or we’ll all be in a whole heap of trouble.

gar
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

This analysis kinda bothered me and I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. First, that first graph to me doesn’t make any sense at all. Second, I think another factor was ignored in the analysis: education. I thought part of the theory was that education, in addition to church attendance, helped to determine whether one supported or opposed Prop 8. None of the above takes this into account.

I still say that race-based finger pointing is hardly productive, and this analysis alas falls into that category. What is productive is finding the language and the tools necessary to address homophobia in all communities as a means to eradicate it.

Jim Burroway
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

gar,

I don’t think this analysis falls into the category of “race-based finger pointing.” Facts are facts, and interpretations are subject to debate.

I do agree however that this kind of data has been used as the basis for quite a lot of race-based finger pointing, and that this reaction has been terribly destructive.

It would be better to use this data to understand what kind of work we have to do in the LGBT community to reach out and engage other communities. As I said before, the No on 8 campaign actually turned away offers of help from Black leaders. I can’t think of a more stupid move.

It is an axiom in politics that you cannot expect someone’s vote unless you ask for it. No on 8 failed by not asking for it. They didn’t take advantage of Black voices who were willing and prepared to speak to their communities. All they needed was a platform — their voices in commercials running in Black-targeted media, etc.

The glory of winning a campaign goes to the winning campaign. The responsibility for loosing a campaign goes to the loosing campaign. Ultimately, that is where we should target our questions and disapointment, not the Black community. After all, No on 8 did little to engage the media or leaders which Blacks in California pay attention to.

No on 8 didn’t get the results they wanted, but they got the results they worked for.

TikiHead
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks for the analysis Jim. A lot of sites I read every day are flocking to this new study, and ignoring the elephant in the room.

Racism and homophobia are both bad, and part of the frustration one feels (I am a white gay man) is the implication, often unspoken, by some that racism is worse than homophobia.

Nothing interests me less than a pissing contest of ‘who is more oppressed.’

I try work through my own white privilege and racism, and will not ask less of others than that they work through their hetero privilege and homophobia.

Mike
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

I think this is a valuable reality check that being black doesn’t necessarily translate into sympathy for gays, just like being gay is no guarantee of being racially enlightened. I used to have a friend who delighted in making racist (and anti-Semitic) statements. I chalked it up to him being from South Carolina and white, which I guess is my own bias.

Still — reports like this make it clear we’ve got to treat people as individuals who won’t necessarily sympathize with us automatically despite their own experiences with bigotry. No more comparing our struggle to the civil rights era of the 60s!

Regan DuCasse
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

I’m not sure, but I seem to remember an education and income key that was also very telling regarding who voted for what.

Depressed neighborhoods, or those with more social marginalization were also educationally lower on the chain as well.
But they also relied more heavily on church environments to meet their social needs.

Inner city or rural schools still struggled with the racial divide, but also had less opportunity for integration as well.

Schools operating at higher levels, had less homophobia issues and more access to supportive clubs and information.

So, more secular education and social opportunity is key.
This is why I really think going out ‘missionary style’, one on one and reaching out to schools and even having churches integrate is key.

I just realized that while I was at the laundrymat, I was approached by a Jehovah’s Witness. Two actually came in, but there were four who’d come in a car together.
They all had Watchtower in their hands and I considered what could happen if one of OUR missionaries was rejected like I rejected the nice church lady.

I missed an opportunity to school HER. That is, if she’d let me.

I have found though, that sometimes there is little reciprocity in LISTENING.
I could even point out the damage that their certainty has caused, with little to justify the practices they support.

But I’m rethinking the opportunity I might have.
Unfortunately, I was about done with my laundry and in a lot of pain, so I wasn’t really PREPARED to stand there for however long.
Next time.

But I still think that educational missionaries is a good idea.
We’ve NEVER halted our knowledge, acceptance and understanding of our entire human history and expectations for it at 2,000 years AGO.

So halting that standard where gay people are concerned is a symptom of hypocrisy and fear, not a commmitment to religious principles that support peace and cooperation THROUGH education.

Ben in Oakland
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

As I have said repeatedly– and which Jim seconded– the problem was not really people’s race, religion, or what have you.

The problem was a limp, dunderheaded campaign that stood for nothing other than spending money and cowering in a self-created closet lest we scare some undecided voter who could only be manipulated into doing the right thing. It was pathetic, stupid, AND insane, see how it has yet to work.

I have no doubt that would have won had they not conducted this shame-and-closet based campaign. But they weren’t convincing even me.

C.R.C
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

Your interpretation of the Blacks and religion data is incorrect. The claim is not that religion was a greater predictor of Blacks’ voting choice than it was of other ethnic groups (which is the argument you refute), but rather that controlling for religious attendance, ethnic differences disappear. And the data does indeed show that. (You should average the two bars for each of the ethnic groups and see there are really no differences.) Nonetheless, if religion is just a smokescreen for prejudice, this “religion” argument is meaningless.

Bruno
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

In the case of homophobia, religion is ALWAYS a smokescreen for prejudice. We have to remember that religion is a choice, and in this case, a symptom, not a cause.

I have to agree that there’s no doubt the 70% exit poll was extremely inaccurate…exit polls tend to be rather inaccurate as a whole. But 58% or so among African Americans is still higher than any other ethnic group, and that does seem to correlate to the rate of evangelicalism.

BobN
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, it makes a lot of sense to discount statistical analyses when you can, instead, rely on an exit poll of 274 black individuals living in one or two undisclosed precincts in California.

eye-roll

Matt Foreman
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

This is an unbelievably shoddy job of analyzing the report. The statistical facts speak for themselves: when “religiosity” (meaning attending worship at least once a week or more), African Americans were not statistically different from anyone else. White people who attend church at least once a week voted in even higher numbers for Prop 8.

The distinction is that African Americans attend worship much more frequently than other people.

The fact that so many people automatically defaulted to race is shocking and appalling.

Matt Foreman

Timothy Kincaid
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

Matt,

The distinction is that African Americans attend worship much more frequently than other people.

No, the distinction is that African Americans – even those who do not attend church regularly – voted in much larger percentages in favor of Proposition 8.

You seem to be suggesting that if only African Americans didn’t attend church more than whites that they wouldn’t have voted for Prop 8. But NGLTF’s own graphs suggest otherwise.

And, unlike your insinuation, I’m not “defaulting to race”. I’m identifying a subset of the population which I think has potential to be educated and brought to support our equality.

But it isn’t going to happen for as long as the gay community’s leaders choose to pretend that there is no increased homophobia in Black America. You are not only deluding yourself, but you are harming our community.

Rather than be shocked and appalled, why don’t you and NGLTF find a way of admitting the facts, facing the problem, and crafting a solution.

And, incidentally, attacking “religiosity” as though it is something that can or should be separated from the African American community is naive if not culturally insensitive.

I personally commit to doing what I can to help break through and make change. If there is a plan to work with black leaders, to find solutions, to talk to preachers, to meet with communities, to build bridges to actual black voters rather than political hacks, I’ll be there. I don’t know how effective I would be, but I’ll do what I can.

But I absolutely refuse to continue the failed policies of putting Party, or ideology, or Progressive Agenda, or Alliances ahead of the rights and equality of my community. I will not bury the truth in favor of not offending or rocking the boat or buying favor with politicians.

I invite you, Matt, and your former employer, NGLTF, to do the same.

Mark F.
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

Matt:

Part of your comment was (obviously) cut off, so it doesn’t make sense as written. However, I assume that you meant to say that when we account for religiosity, blacks are not statistically different from any other group. However, the graph provided by the NGLTF clearly shows that 48% of blacks who did not attend church once a week supported Prop 8 vs. 36% of whites. That does seem statistically significant to me. Am I missing something?

And please, enough of these insinuations of racism against those who are making an honest attempt to analyze the data.

justsaying
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

@Bruno

58% is still high, but if we’re going to take this data at face value, it isn’t “higher than any other ethnic group” and I find it so fascinating that folks gloss over the fact that there is another group that (slightly) edges over the Black yes on 8 vote.

Don’t support the “Blame to Latinos” meme either, but why, do you wonder, the obsession with the Black vote? Hell, again taking this report at face value, HALF of all white folks voted for 8. That’s not that much lower than 58%. But this isn’t a problem? Only white folks get to be thought of as complicated subgroups (religion, age, region), but Black folks must be thought of as a monolith?

gar
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

Jim,

Thank you for your thoughtful input. I think your points are well taken, particularly about what the No on 8 campaign worked towards and ultimately received. Frankly, I couldn’t have put it better. Bravo.

Neal
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

As a straight African-American, I am of many minds about this issue. To begin with, why is the focus on Black folks? Yes, they voted (mostly) to restrict marriage. So what? This is the fault of a bad campaign and an over reliance on this myth of a “liberal” California. Yes, CA is far more liberal than, say, TX or even VA, which finally went Blue for Barack, but that hardly means you got anything in the bag. Y’all assumed too much! “Sure, CA will support gay marriage–we’re CALIFORNIA!” Then, well, they lost. And instead of studying your own team and tactics, you decide to question the black turn out. Absurd!

Let us focus on coming together. I am a Christian and I make no apologizes for this, but I also believe gay marriage is a right, and should be treated as such. (I’m also 29 and educated, still…)

In order to branch forward, my humble suggestion is to bridge divides. Since there is always talk of a “civil rights” movement, why doesn’t anybody want to create coalitions? That’s what the Civil Rights Movement did. What, you want freedom on the cheap? How niave can you be? And ignoring African-Americans, which was mentioned by some as an approach, is a risk I would not unwisely make. You’ll lose. Don’t F*** with black folks.

But it’s not my fight. It’s yours. I can only encourage my friends and do a bit of volunteering. Ultimately, it comes down to you and how devoted you are to expanding this into a full mainstream movement. But I will say this much, antagonizing one group over another and making this out to be more than it is–”gasp! America is a Christian nation!”–will not make for a satisfying resolution.

Graham Shevlin
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

“Dont f**k with black folks” is hardly a considered, mature and intellectually useful response either. It carries echoes of playground-level threats.

Tobi
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

I really like your interpretation of people’s reaction to these statistics (both immediately after the election and now). Though I have something that might clear up one point about the numbers on Table one.

While adding up those yes voters doesn’t reach the 52% that we know voted yes, you can also see that adding up the percentage of voters of each of those racial categories only reaches 96%. That means that 4% of voters are neither white, black, latino, or asian, and that missing data is probably what is creating the discrepancy. The same thing can be seen in the other categories, too. 4 out of the 7 parts of the original table don’t add up to 100%.

But numbers aside, I agree with Neal. The dismal outreach to people of color by the No on 8 campaign is being ignored by this kind of report. Why not analyze what percentage of people, by race, felt that No on 8 ads spoke to them? Or regularly heard those ads on their radio stations? Freely discussing the dynamics within the black community, as you suggest, would be an important part of having a campaign that targets the black community (and PoC in general), but the need for such a campaign seems more significant in my mind.

And we don’t need this kind of statistical breakdown or shifting the subject to religion that this report does in order to show that finger pointing and blaming the black community is nonsense. Blaming the 500,000 blacks who voted yes when over 4,000,000 whites voted yes is clearly motivated by prejudice, as there is no rationality behind it.

Withers: NGLTF Prop 8 study called into question | Gay News Blog | 365gay.com
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

[...] and religion in the Proposition 8 vote is being called into question by Timothy Kincaid over at Box Turtle. I’ll spend no time going through Kincaid’s methodology mainly because numbers contests [...]

PROP 8 SUPPORTS FILE LAWSUIT: REMOVE PUBLIC ACCESS TO DONOR RECORDS | Whatever!
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

[...] that concluded that exit polls regarding Proposition 8 and the Black vote were exaggerated. He believes that there’s some wishful thinking in their numbers and offers an analysis and some [...]

Andrew Fly
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Antagonizing black people is not going to get people anywhere. And honestly, movement with whites or Latinos would probably be more vote-cost effective. If Blacks had voted 45% YES, lower than any other group, it would have passed with 51.4. If latinos voted 45% YES, it would have passed with 50.5. If whites had voted 45% YES, it would have failed, at 49.6%

Ian
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Though you may all have forgotten, Amendment 2 in Florida also passed on election night. The No on 2 campaign had thought that this amendment would fail by 10-15% in Miami Dade and Broward counties, but it actually passed. Coincidentally, African American voter turnout was up between 11 and 15% in those counties thanks to the GOTV efforts of the Obama campaign, and those voters supported the amendment by about 70%.

I would point out that the only county in which Amendment 2 did not pass in Florida was Monroe, which is home of Key West. Amendment 2 failed miserably in the county’s primarily African American voting precinct thanks to the leadership of a black city commissioner who took a strong stand against 2. He also wrote a column for the local paper in which he expressed his disgust at African American voters in other parts of the state. Thankfully, in Key West, Amendment 2 failed everywhere (but the city motto is “One Human Family”).

Ironically, Amendment 2 passed in Broward County, home of Fort Lauderdale, led by their anti-gay mayor.

Key West and Monroe County elected an openly gay county commissioner and openly gay chairman of Mosquito Control during this same election.

Preventing Proposition 8 From Happening Again (And Again) — Marx Marvelous
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

[...] with in the population as a whole (52% in the state as a whole).  The study is interesting and apparently kind of wrong when it asserts that there isn’t a problem with support for LGBTQ individuals in the black [...]

Ian
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

“Some of you, no doubt, are already crafting a reply calling me a racist. And, sadly, some are giggling while feeling justified for anti-black biases. Both of those responses are pointless (and wrong) and get us nowhere.”

I hate this sort of feeling of victimization by the forces of political correctness displayed here. Its a variation of the religious community feeling prosecuted. Let wacky talk radio own the outrage over PC.

And, in fact, I don’t see any comments accusing you of racism.

R2P
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

this is ridiculous.

perhaps, you should contact the authors before commenting on their report.

it appears to me that you are taking the wrong POA to achieve your aims

the central valley, inland empire, and the OC should be the focus of your bitterness

Timothy Kincaid
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Tobi,

While adding up those yes voters doesn’t reach the 52% that we know voted yes, you can also see that adding up the percentage of voters of each of those racial categories only reaches 96%. That means that 4% of voters are neither white, black, latino, or asian, and that missing data is probably what is creating the discrepancy. The same thing can be seen in the other categories, too. 4 out of the 7 parts of the original table don’t add up to 100%.

Thanks for your analytical eye. We need more of that when we are presented with data and analysis.

I noticed the same. And also remember that we are dealing with heavily rounded numbers here.

Even so, I assigned the 4% the voting average of 52.3% and still they didn’t add up. The percentages in Table 1 absolutely CANNOT mathematically reflect actual voters.

Prop 8 Debates, Cont’d « Geranium Kisses
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

[...] Timothy Kincaid is skeptical: [...]

William B. Kelley
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

I have to disagree with my friend Matt Foreman’s response.

What the bar chart clearly shows is that there was a bigger (and significant) statistical difference between less-religious whites and less-religious African Americans than between more-religious whites and more-religious African Americans. This means that while only the more-religious whites voted at a comparatively high rate for Prop 8, both the more-religious and less-religious African Americans did so (even though the more-religious African Americans were slightly less supportive of Prop 8 than the more-religious whites). It’s not “defaulting to race” to point this out.

A bigger question is how much focus to put on such racial facts versus focusing on the other anti-Prop 8 strategic shortfalls that have been mentioned. And, of course, another bigger question is how to cure unrealistic tendencies (born of commendable anti-racism) toward wishing away unfortunate, current racial facts.

Jim Hardy
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy,

“I personally commit to doing what I can to help break through and make change.”

Might I suggest that, if this is the case, you refrain from making statements like:

“But it isn’t going to happen for as long as the gay community’s leaders choose to pretend that there is no increased homophobia in Black America.”

Increased homophobia in black America? How does one measure homophobia in any group and how do you know the level of homophobia in black America has increased? This sounds very similar to that racist meme “Black people are more homophobic than…”

William B. Kelley
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

?This sounds very similar to that racist meme ‘Black people are more homophobic than…’

If this is so racist, why have I heard so many gay African Americans say it–whether it’s true or not?

I think avoiding the imputation of racism where possible might be helpful in all discussions.

KevJack
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

I’m afraid that the analysis of the report is flawed. For example, the moving average that you speak of should be weighted by population– this means that it should not lie in the middle of the points because some locations will be more or less dense and should be weighted as such. Similarly, when the author disputes the results of the table as not adding up to 49%, he does not note that even adjusting the black number to the disputed 70% gets us only 0.84% closer to the actual outcome. in other words, the support that *non-black* ethinc groups had for Prop 8 has been understated.

Also, when the authors report that the exit poll number was an outlier they are correct– no polls taken before the election showed black support anywhere near 70%. This would make the exit poll an outlier. The outlier may or may not be true, but by definition it is an outlier. The polls predicting passage of Prop 8 did *not* predict that black support for Prop 8 would be anywhere near 70%.

I find it very odd that someone who is obviously not well versed in statistics could attempt to dismiss an empirical study. But this just confirms my original conjecture about the events in November– because they conform to what many white gays assume about the African American community, those numbers are not be questioned or addressed. It is silly to try to confuse people such as yourself with the facts.

AJD
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Graham Shevlin: I thought Neal had a lot of good points.

Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms » Blog Archive » Weekly Political Roundup
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

[...] 8 among African Americans and Latinos was not significantly different than other groups.” Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin disagrees with their analysis. I haven’t gone through it in enough [...]

Timothy Kincaid
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

KevJack,

If I understand you correctly, you are stating that as one approaches a greater density of African American voters in a precict – say everything above 75% – those 15 or so precints that are below the line had a far far larger population than the 100 or so above the line?

Would that be what you’re saying? I’ll admit I’m not a statistician, but that seems a bit unlikely, don’t you think?

Kerrie
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Yes! Thank you! It took me about 20 minutes to see that this study was biased. I wrote this today.

In my opinion, the study has some serious flaws. First, the sample:

“The survey included 1,066 respondents selected at random from state voter registration lists including an oversample of 266 African American, Latino, and Asian American voters” page 3

How many African American voters were included exactly? It appears to be less than 266.

Second, the conflict in the country between the LGBT community and the African American community when the survey was taken:

“Table 1 displays findings from a poll of California voters conducted by David Binder Research (DBR) between November 6th and 16th 2008″ page 3

There were moments of ugliness during that time period. Those few days after the vote were extremely painful for many of us. There were reported incidents of harassment towards African Americans by the LGBT community. I don’t know how many exactly or how they were confirmed. However, they were widely reported. If I was African American and was asked to participate in a survey, I might answer in a way that might cool down the flames. The people who participated volunteered to do so. We must wonder about the views of those who chose not to participate.

Third, the sponsor of the survey, The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund”

On their website under “Who We Are”, it states:

“Through its grantmaking, the Fund aspires to serve as a voice of hope and a positive, unifying force for social change. We also seek to strengthen the bonds of mutual respect among all people to pursue common interests and contribute to the larger community.”

Their purpose, although a very admirable one, is to bring everyone together. Prop 8 didn’t bring the LGBT community and the African American community together although it might help begin a better dialogue.

It is easy to assume that the sponsor of the survey wanted to subdue the anger. That alone, can influence the survey results.

I love science because I think science can offer truth when science is conducted properly. This falls under the category of “soft science” because these types of things are hard to measure. This study doesn’t look like it has a lot of truth in it.

I believe the relationship between the African American community and the LGBT needs improvement. When we throw out these kinds of studies saying everything is fine, we shut down the opportunity for real communication. We cannot work on a problem if we pretend it doesn’t exist. It is unacceptable for African Americans to be contracting HIV at the current rate. I believe homophobia is a problem in the African American community as well as every other community. Let’s discuss the real problem, and not sweep it under the rug.

KevJack
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Tim,

You conflate two things:

1) All moving averages and smoothing techniques do poorly in the tails of the distribution because they run up against the end of the data. This is what I mean by not knowing your statistics. What you end up with at the end is simply a re-weighting of the same data again and again, and the technique is just not very useful there. The real story is in the middle of the distribution (why are you so concerned about the precints that are more than 85% black when there are so few of them? In fact, it would take a very odd kink in the line for what you imply is the truth to be correct. Could it be that you want to distract readers from the rest of the figure, which does not support your conclusion?)

2) The numbers do not have to be as far, far off as you suppose in your question. (I note that your tone gives the air that what I am saying is an impossibility, but this another innuendo you use to distract readers.) Because actual precint size can vary dramatically, this could very well explain the figure. I do not know if it does or does not, but I am certainly not going to dismiss the possibility because it would run counter to my accpeted version of the truth (whether there is empirical support for it or not).

I also note that you do not dispute my claims about the Table or my claims about the exit poll being an outlier.

Timothy Kincaid
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

KevJack,

So then, as we approach those precincts that are most densely African American the technique is not very useful.

As for your comments on the table, I’m not sure what “the author disputes the results of the table as not adding up to 49%” means.

I have a challenge for you, KevJack. Hop onto Excel and play with that table for a while. Try to figure out a way to use these numbers and come up to 52.3%.

I think you’ll agree this report is just not accurate. Something is understated.

I can’t say what. If, for example, the white vote is off it need only be so by a percentage point. If, on the other hand, it’s the black vote then it pushes it into the 70′s.

Incidentally, the 70% figure used by exit polls may be wrong as well. I’m not defending that number.

Damon
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Kerrie
“Their purpose, although a very admirable one, is to bring everyone together. Prop 8 didn’t bring the LGBT community and the African American community together although it might help begin a better dialogue.”

I was hoping it’d create dialogue. What I see instead is a mostly untouched black heterosexual population and an extremely angry (for some, vengeful) white gay population while black gays try their best to protect both the dignities of their sexuality and their race while confronting the fact that the black community is very much disorganized, perhaps non-existant as a community, and is currently confronting a threat of poverty and AIDS. To bad black LGBT are on the losing end. They will lose. And many of them will continue to bear the brunt of everything homophobia and black demonization has to give them. And they’ll go on ignored.

Looks to me like the last two decades.

Sorry to be a bummer but nothing is going to change except maybe an increase hatred and demonization of blacks by non-black LGBT people.

Kerrie
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Damon:

Some of us are/were angry. However, we don’t want to be. Some of it was a feeling of unrequited love. Many of us have been on the side of African Americans since we were able to understand the concept of racism. At first, I was upset. I thought I’m on your side, why aren’t you on mine?

Okay, pretty stupid and simplistic. But out of that ignorance, I started reading a book called Silent Racism: How Well Meaning White People Perpetuate The Racial Divide. I’m making an effort. In my city, I’m part of a group who is inviting people in the LGBT community to talk about our rights with a special outreach to the African American community.

I know African Americans feel completely excluded from the LGBT community. As a lesbian, I can relate somewhat. Lesbians have been dealing with the white male gay community disregarding us too.

I really want to improve things, and this is your chance to give us a tangible way to do that. Can you give us an example of something we can do to make things better?

Please, let’s have something positive come of this.

New American Dimensions » Blog Archive » Prop 8 and race, revisited
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

[...] it say it reaches the conclusions it wants to reach, and doesn’t really say anything new. One blogger takes the report to task for reaching two [...]

Jim Hardy
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

William,

‘If this is so racist, why have I heard so many gay African Americans say it–whether it’s true or not?’

1 – How many is “so many”? Ten? Twenty? A Hundred? Doesn’t matter, since you can’t argue that X group is more Y than Z group based on the anectodal experiences of people you know.

2 – Gay African Americans can be racist, especially if their world view is clouded by very negative experiences dealing with homophobia from heterosexual African Americans.

‘I think avoiding the imputation of racism where possible might be helpful in all discussions.’

I know that avoiding the subtle language and ideology that endorses racism is not helpful either. Racism just isn’t using the so-called n-word or burning a cross on someone’s lawn; it’s viewing and treating African Americans like they are inferior, as the other — and making outrageous and unsubstantiated claims that blacks are more homophobic or homophobia is on the rise in black America fall in that category. The sooner we, as white gays and lesbians, get that, the easier it will be for us to forge true coalitions with heterosexual African Americans.

Damon
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Hey Kerrie

First, I believe there is a real and palpable problem in the black community that blacks bring upon themselves. I also believe the United States persecute blacks through the legislative branch whether local, state, or federally. Google black, prison, drug war. Ending the drug war and prison reform won’t end problems in the black community overnight and there isn’t much the gay community as a group can do about it, but it’d be interesting to see LGBT people take unnecessary and racists laws into account when thinking about the black community and its issues with gender (hypermasculinity, patriachism without the father), hiv and class.

Damon
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Second

Kincaid said
“Or we could also just write off this subset of the population and hope that we can sway enough whites and Asians to outweigh the African American vote.”

This would be the worst mistake the Gay Rights Movement could ever make.

The crummy, tasteless bone the gay community throws black heterosexuals (let alone black LGBT people) isn’t worth biting. Simply because the NGLTF and the HRC tries its best to be open to LGBT people of color’s voices doesn’t mean the sentiments are shared with LGBT on the ground. Same for the NAACP and heterosexual blacks.

The NGLTF, HRC and GLAAD are way too smart than this but if activism is going to transfer to bloggers and net activists, the scenerio is very real.

But here are some probable ramifications if the Gay Rights Movement decided to withdraw the bone and instead, through de jour as opposed to de facto, cut off blacks in the gay rights stuggle.

1. An infighting calamity. What we have right now is confined to the internet and behind closed doors. White and some non-white activists publicly turning away from black people will have heteterosexual/LGBT black activists and non-black sympathizers steaming. A war WILL occur.

2. A PR Nightmare. With our prop 8 protests, we’ve gained a spotlight. A REAL and public war between black heterosexuals/lgbt people, non-black sympathizers and the larger white and non-black lgbt will bring about public scrutiny. Maybe much more than we’re willing to bargain for. It appears Kancaid is prepared for it.

3. Stagnation. The gay rights movement finally gets trampled by the elephant (race) in the room thats been waiting to bare ivory for years. While the fighting goes on, gay rights legislation will probably be stalled for god knows how long.

4. Black LGBT will feel rejected by the gay community.

5. Other gay people of color will become highly suspicious of their place in the gay community. Pehaps latinos asking will ask, “will we be next?”

Damon
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Third

The gay community could build bridges with the black community and bruise a couple birds with one stone while doing it.

http://www.sovo.com/2004/10-15/news/national/black.cfm

Black LGBT people are more likely to have families and children than their non-black LGBT counterparts.

Why isn’t this being touted by lgbt activists? Why aren’t black gay and lesbians the face of gay marriage in this country? They have the most to gain from gay marriage and the most to lose! Why weren’t there black couples in No on Prop 8 ads looping on the television before the vote while the statistic confirming lgbt black “monopoly” of gay families? The No on Prop 8 campaign could have introduced a great weapon against people who voted for prop 8. Race.

Aren’t we formidable in urban areas where there are many voters including black voters? We could make gay marriage ads featuring black families and put them in subways, bus stops, dilapidated buildings where blacks and hipsters live.

Why not skip on Eltheridges and Savages kids and find some working class blacks with children and ask them to talk at events?

We could only win. We’d affirm our multicultural identity for all to witness. We’d prove to blacks and conservative nonblacks that the gay community consists of much more than “middle class white sexual deviants” but also of working class, (perhaps more likely to go to church) lgbt blacks.

Or will we just skim over an awe-inspiring opportunity out of fear of politically incorrent opportunists (a possible backlash) or diverting from the lgbt white status quo?

The thing thats making lgbt whites lash out at blacks is the very thing that prevented them from an intelligent, pragmatic campaign for marriage.

If only their bull crap didn’t affect me as well.

KevJack
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Tim,

You say:

“So then, as we approach those precincts that are most densely African American the technique is not very useful.”

This does not summarize my point. The estimates are still useful, but they have larger standard errors, so they are less precise. The real problem is that there are few districts of that type (say, above 85%) so we spend a great deal of time worrying about a handful of precints.

You also say:

“As for your comments on the table, I’m not sure what “the author disputes the results of the table as not adding up to 49%” means. I have a challenge for you, KevJack. Hop onto Excel and play with that table for a while. Try to figure out a way to use these numbers and come up to 52.3%. I think you’ll agree this report is just not accurate. Something is understated.”

I have already addressed this very point. I said in my earlier post that if you moved the black number to 70% you still would not get to the 52.3% figure. In fact, you only get an increase of 0.84%. But this tells us something more. The black vote could not have tipped the scales for Prop 8 in either direction. I agree that something is wrong with the Table, and I believe it has to do with other racial groups support of Prop 8. That was my original point.

You say:

” I can’t say what. If, for example, the white vote is off it need only be so by a percentage point. If, on the other hand, it’s the black vote then it pushes it into the 70’s.”

This is not correct. As I just stated above, pushing the black support to 70% only results in a change of 0.84% in support of Prop 8. So changing the black support to the 70% number *will* *not* get you to 52.3%. The math is very simple (7% * (70%-58%)). As you see, the argument you made assumed that it was the black numberthat was off, or at the very least assumed that the number would be corrected if the black number was adjusted to the 70% number. In fact, even with 100% black support you do not get to the 52.3% number. This means that it *must* also understate Prop 8 support among some non-black group.

You say:

“Incidentally, the 70% figure used by exit polls may be wrong as well. I’m not defending that number.”

But you cry foul when the authors of the study correctly identify the 70% number as an outlier? I am confused by this. This is not internally consistent on your part, as far as I can tell.

Thomas Kraemer
January 10th, 2009 | LINK

As somebody with a PhD-level of training in multi-variable statistical analysis, I see the problem here is that most people are only able to understand a single-variable statistical analysis (e.g. a single variable such as the percentage of blacks voting for Prop 8). In my experience, given multi-variable polling data very few people have either the intuition or mathematical skills to decide what subset of variables should be addressed to achieve a desired outcome.

Furthermore, there may be more than one answer depending on the desired outcome. For example, there are many academic examples of multi-variable data sets (especially in the voting theory field) where all possible outcomes can be logically argued, given the identical data set, by looking at only a subset of the data.

In solving practical problems, intuition and emotional logic (i.e. non-mathematical logic) will often provide an answer that works and “feels good” to most people even if it is not the optimal or best answer. The problem with the black voting data is that no single variable (e.g. race, class, or religiosity) “feels good” to a majority of people as what needs to be addressed.

I would like to see a more multi-variable analysis and a multi-variable response from our national leaders. Yes, this is easier said than done, but that is why they get the big bucks.

Mad Professah
January 10th, 2009 | LINK

The authors used extrapolation of actual voting data in 6 African American-heavy counties to produce a more accurate racial profile of Proposition 8 voting patterns than the flawed exit poll data. (Do you know what the error bars are on a sample size of 266 black respondents!?? Huge!)

The authors said in the report that their data leads to a support of 51.6%, not the 52.3% that actually voted for Prop 8. This is an errors of 0.7 points, or 1.3% which is pretty damned good for most numerical procedures.

I’d like to strongly associate myself with comments made by Matt Foreman and KevJack.

I find it truly bizarre that an independent academic analysis has been characterized as “the NGLTF report” and that people who explicitly say they do not understand multivariate statistics and other mathematical tools used in the report are questioning the work of people who have PhD’s (and decades of experience) in political science because the report’s conclusions do not gibe with their belief in “the zombie meme” (to quote Pam Spaulding) that “Black people caused Prop 8 to pass” / “Black people are more homophobic than others.”

statsguy
January 10th, 2009 | LINK

Re: Not being able to get 52.3% figure.

The data from Table 1 is based on survey data collected in mid-November. As is the case of any survey analysis there is a slight chance (usually less than 5%) that the statistics of your sample is quite a bit different than the actual reality of the population. One out of twenty times our survey/poll is going to be wrong. This might be one of those occasions.

Again, this is survey data. Another explanation is that people lied about their vote when they participated in the survey.

Timothy Kincaid
January 10th, 2009 | LINK

“…because the report’s conclusions do not gibe with their belief in “the zombie meme”…”

Your assumptions about my motivations are false.

Barry Hoffman
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

I am extremely disappointed with NGTLF, EQCA and the other gay/”No on 8″ leadership groups for promoting the Egan/Sherrill study. Most of my views have already been well expressed by Mr. Kincaid and I endorse his thoughtful analysis. The findings of the study (and the survey upon which it relies) should have been known by all of us well before the election. Whether 70% or 57-59%, it remains hard for many of us to understand how a “majority” of otherwise liberal voting folks who have suffered so much unfair discrimination would take affirmative action to authorize discrimination against so many members of their own community. Finally, shallow studies, shrouded with what appear to be academic discipline, can not an do not excuse the No on 8 leadership (that had more than $30 million to spend on the campaign) from the failures in anticipating and “effectively” addressing the challenges revealed in the study — challenges that thoughtful and grounded people were well aware of for months before the election.

Ben in Oakland
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

Barry wrote:”Finally, shallow studies, shrouded with what appear to be academic discipline, can not an do not excuse the No on 8 leadership (that had more than $30 million to spend on the campaign) from the failures in anticipating and “effectively” addressing the challenges revealed in the study — challenges that thoughtful and grounded people were well aware of for months before the election.

That sums it up in a nutshell.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the issue is the closet. All of this stuff about religious, black, latino voters makes no difference. Let’s put it on a personal level.

A guy is gay and has not told his family. He lives a fulfilling life in a distant city, but does not share anything about his life with his family. His partner is his roommate. Or worse, they have separate telephone lines so his parents never talk to the bf. He never brings the bf home for holidays, or mentions him. He keeps this most important part of his life a mystery.

He has less and less to talk to his family about, and vice versa. and then he wonders why he has no relationship with them. they’re merely strangers with a history.

He finally does tell them, perhaps in a crisis moment. He’s been in an auto accident, and has been seriously injured. And then he wonders why they don’t understand a thing about him or his life, and treat the bf as a non-entity, an irrelevancy., and ban him from the hospital room.

This is the “campaign’– pardon the sarcasm– in a nutshell.

Most people are pretty decent, I have found. But you have to give them a chance to be decent. We could have and should have won this, at a minimum, by the amount we lost it. That we did as well as we did despite the stupidity and closet mentality of our “leaderS”– pardon the sarcasm– is the proof of that. Had we not ocnducted it form the closet, i have no doubt that we owuldn’t be wasting time analyzing it today.

“What? what? No gay people here! This isn’t about gay people. this isn’t about marriage. this isn’t about prejudice, religion, or family. this is aobut decent american values. this is about equality. This is about tolerance.”

Absolutely pathetic bullshit. I would rather that we lost the campaign by being honest, than losing the campaign because we lied.

...
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

Take a look at the board of directors for the NGLTF. How many of the members are from Utah, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Georgia – the states where gay civil rights will be won. MLK didn’t spend his career in liberal Boston. This whole sideshow in California has been incredibly costly. Total lack of strategic vision.

Damon
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

“We could make a concerted effort to strategize and find allies for a long-term plan to educate and influence the African American community to recognize that discrimination based on sexual orientation is no more admirable than discrimination based on race.”

Best way to do this? Empower the black lgbt community. Blacks overall are at a social and economic disadvantage compared to whites. Its only logical the same can be said for white lgbt people and black lgbt people. Actually, I think there are plenty of studies to prove it. Anyways, why not share the wealth and resources and pour capital into black lgbt organizations, leaders, and or potential leaders?

I see a win-win situation. Black lgbt people win. White lgbt people win by creating a more multiracial image.

SistahBerry
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

It disturbs me that forty years after the death of Dr. King we still as a nation seem incapable of having frank discussions about race. And this seems to me to be particularly true within the gay community.
——-

Mr. Kincaid. I’m a Black woman and I think your first assumption is flawed. What happened when Dr. King died that would enable frank discussions about race and especially about race and the gay community?

You are looking at Black people as a statistical model and painting us with the MLK mythology. I don’t think you should look at Black people as minorities because we’ve been majorities in our communities for generations due to segregation. Our families, communities, churches and leadership have gay/lesbians members. We have had to focus on race as a priority because we continue to be grouped that way–Black people.

I don’t have any close “openingly” gay male friends but I do have close female friends that are in relationships with other women. They don’t identify as “lesbian” and have children from marriage and/or relationships with men. They are more “live and let live.” I think many Black people see sexual relationships as a choice because the people we know are not wearing the “born gay” label and many choose to have relationships with men and women. I think our historical context is very different and traditional marriage is something we’ve had to fight for as a people.

You can’t really come in our communities and “educate” us or convince us. Our gay/lesbian relatives and friends have to be a part of your movement first and tell us it’s important to them. You have to connect to the gay/lesbians that you say you represent.

You also need to drop the “we be the same as you” argument as part of your strategy. It forces me to focus on the uniqueness of my history and the struggle of my people. I can’t let it be reduced to the “same as” your struggle in California. It’s like you are picking a fight. We are a people that were considered property as a compromise in the U.S. Constitution. Our struggle to become considered as part of “we the people” is not just one of discrimination as a minority, it is one of slavery, oppression, rape/breeding, injustice, and criminal consequence based on race by the U.S. government. Plessey was 7/8 white and visibly white, and was still found to be guilty of a crime for attempting to sit in “white only” accommodations. My Grandfather’s Grandfather was lynched without due process without any legal recourse for his family.

The history of your struggle, which is so different from mine, needs to be told. But you really have to know history before you can compare it. If you have a similiar story to tell, then just tell it. I will relate to it independent of my who I am or where I’m from.

Damon
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

You are a miracle Sistah. I was going to highlight some of your sentences that I liked but your entire post would fail if even one sentence were removed.

As for Kincaid, this

“…Or we could also just write off this subset of the population and hope that we can sway enough whites and Asians to outweigh the African American vote.”

…will not stop bugging me. Isn’t this what the (mostly white) gay community already does? White gays working with the second most pro-gay group in congress (the Congressional Black Caucus) to advance their goals and being politically correct here and there while thinking you’re honoring (sic) black people by saying “gay is the new black” doesn’t particularly strike me as “a concerted effort to strategize and find allies for a long-term plan to educate and influence the African American community”.

Or are you inferring you already know that?

Thats my problem with the gay rights movement. Many of us are either too politically correct or too insensitive that we bloat out anyone we don’t like. The first are our gay organizations the latter are the LGBT activists on the group. We need to find a way to become more inclusive, strategic, smarter.

We ought to already have ENDA passed by now as well as the Matthew Shepard Act. DOMA should be challenged at every turn. We should be months away from having civil unions nationally. The gay rights movement should be ahead and it isn’t.

Instead of comparing the gay rights movement to the black civil rights movement how about some of you guys buy a couple of books on the black civil rights movement and get an eye full. Actually learn something. Notice what their signs say and compare them to our own. Take notes on how they conducted demonstrations.

Setting the record straight on Prop 8 « Sua Sponte
January 12th, 2009 | LINK

[...] Timothy Kincaid is skeptical of the reports conclusions and methodology.  And he might be right.  I’m no expert in statistics, but I disagree with him for one very biased reason–I want to believe this report.  I felt better after reading this report.  It gave me hope.  I don’t think that Black people owe the gay community anything in our struggle for civil rights.  I acknowledge that the two struggles are very different and that every Black person is entitled to have personal views on this.  But 70% is really high, and I simply don’t want to believe that 7 out of 10 Black people in California voted for Prop 8, that this is somehow a Black/Latino vs White/Asian issue. [...]

Allen M
January 14th, 2009 | LINK

We really do need to bridge the gap between the African American community and the gay community. It really should NOT be a gay vs black issue – that is simply wrong and we must fix that! This is an LGBT issue and THAT fact bridges across ALL races! We have LGBT folks in the African American, Latino, Asian and every other race. The LGBT should be the community in this struggle as ONE people, NOT broken down by race!

You know I worked very closely with the No on 8 campaign even though I had my differences with them, primarily in two key areas: 1) The ads were too SOFT – we needed REAL people and REAL same sex couples of ALL races in those ads. 2) Reaching out to communities of all races and engaging them in conversation because we truly are (or at least should be) in this together.

I raised these concerns several times in the campaign, particularly the one about the ads and they were just convinced the right thing was being done. SO, I done the best I could w/in those constraints.

I am working so hard right now trying to convince the Executive staff and board members of EQCA that we MUST change these things going forward. I met some people in pretty high places w/in EQCA through my extensive volunteer time and financial donations but I have to be honest, I’m questioning whether I am convincing them. I have been emailing one of the primary board members but I have yet to get any confirmation which would give me a sense that they are accepting these arguments!

I met some really wonderful staff of EQCA and HRC and they do a wonderful job within the framework they are given. But the framework needs to change so that they can be more effective.

We as a community need to band together like we have never done before and win this once and for all. I know we can do it if we put our heads together. Every one of us has a part to play and we CAN and WILL do this.

We need to get EQCA, HRC and the other statewide and national organizations together on this. Let’s face it, they are the people with the staff and resources AND financial backing to make this happen! But first we need to convince them that the strategy needs to change. We need to CONVINCE them it is necessary or I fear we will lose again.

Their staff CAN do a wonderful job with the RIGHT strategy. I worked so closely with their staff for 6 months – I know what they are capable of! I have absolute faith in them. BUT, they can only accomplish this if the higher ups in those organizations get on board with a new strategy – a winning strategy..

Anyone with contacts in these organizations, do what you can to convince them of this, PLEASE.

Next, we MUST involve the religious community and get as many on board with us as possible. We all know, many of them are on our side – they are not all against us. Let’s get them more actively involved.

Ben in Oakland
January 14th, 2009 | LINK

Allen: I will be happy to send you what I have written extensively on this subject if you would like me to.

I will say this, though. I have no desire to involve myself with EQCA unless they start running an honest campaign. I admire your ability to do so.

Gay Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows « Electric Blues
January 30th, 2009 | LINK

[...] in California, and why the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force went so far as to commission a bogus study ostensibly refuting that disturbing statistic itself. In the estimation of the gay rights [...]

Jean-Pierre
September 8th, 2012 | LINK

African-Americans also have the highest percentage of anti-Jewish sentiment based on several studies. If I remember correctly, it is in the 35% range.

I don’t know why many African-Americans have these sentiments, I would guess they have less to do with religion and more with a psychological reaction to the issue of “the other”. Being the “other” causes trauma and hatred and self-hatred must be some kind of reaction to it.

Since you have written this column, there has been fantastic shifts in African-American public figures that have supported gay issues. I think I also remember that surveys are showing that the percentages of opinion are also shifting that way.

In other mostly African-American parts of the Americas governments are discussing changing sodomy laws. The Bahamas have already done so and I think
that they will all change in time.

Showing sensitivity and love will help foster reciprocation.

Meanwhile, many gay and bisexual African Americans face the greatest oppression. Even if they become the greatest singers
or football players, they feel compelled
to live in denial, and or die that way.

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