Watch the Atlanta vote

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of other authors at box turtle bulletin.

Timothy Kincaid

December 1st, 2009

From Fox News:

Gay marriage is not on the ballot in Atlanta today, but the issue could make a difference in the race for Mayor. The ongoing gay marriage and gay rights debate has become a flashpoint in an election that could seat the city’s first white mayor since 1973. Both candidates have been pushed into a struggle to prove who is more gay-friendly to win the coveted vote of Atlanta’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community.

The two candidates, former Georgia State Senator Kasim Reed, who is black, and current City Council member Mary Norwood, who is white, are expected to split the city’s heterosexual votes along racial lines.

But Atlanta has a large gay voting block, about 12% of the populace. And the two candidates are each seeking to appeal to these constituents, hoping they will provide the margin of victory.

Norwood has, as I see it, two advantages. First, unlike Reed who favors civil unions, Norwood has long and vocally supported marriage equality. This should give her at least some advantage.

And secondly, Reed is black.

I am not suggesting that gay people are racists or that they generally vote based on skin color (though, of course, racism is present in the gay community just as it is in every community). However, I think that at this point in time there are increased tensions between the gay community and the African American community. And these tensions are the logical outcome of what appears on the surface to be an aggressive attack on gay people by leaders in the black community.

We look over the recent past and we see that in many, many instances those who are leaders in opposition to gay concerns, be it in DC, Maryland, California, or within the Obama administration, can seem to be disproportionately African American. This may be a product of an effort by white anti-gay activists to direct attention to black preachers in a desire to deflect comparisons of anti-gay animus to racism, but polls consistently show that black Americans are far more favorable of discrimination against gay citizens than are any other racial subgroup.

Although there are many principled and caring African American leaders who are committed to equality for all (who, sadly, don’t receive enough press), there is a perception that black politicians cannot be counted on to support our community. So be it fair or not, I think that race will sway gay voters to Norwood.

If, indeed, the election comes down to the gay vote, I suspect that Norwood will be successful. The question I wonder is: We know that if Reed wins, Fox will see this as a rejection of marriage equality; but will a Norwood victory be declared as Atlanta’s endorsement of same-sex marriage?

Burr

December 1st, 2009

Err.. the theory is on a bit of touchy ground. How many of that 12% are black themselves, and would they hold that against fellow blacks like the rest of gays?

Transplanted Lawyer

December 1st, 2009

Not at all, by anyone including Fox News. No one will be able to get past the race issue and consider that maybe, some voters actually tried to decide based on issues.

Robert Hammond

December 1st, 2009

Nope. No racism here. I hate anti-gay activists regardless of skin color. :-)

Burr

December 1st, 2009

Wow this one is down to the wire.

Burr

December 1st, 2009

Fewer than a 1000 votes separate them. Looks like a recount is on the way. In other results (from ajc.com):

“With their wins, Simone Bell becomes first black lesbian elected to a state Legislature in the United States. Alex Wan becomes first gay man and Asian American man elected to Atlanta City Council.”

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Social Conservatives In Morelos Mobilize To Block Marriage Equality

Federal Court Re-opens Marriage Equality Case Over Mississippi's "Religious Freedom" Law

Morelos On the Cusp Of Enacting Marriage Equality

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1969: Stonewall

Today In History, 1970: First Gay Pride Marches to Commemorate Stonewall

Today In History, 2000: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Boy Scouts' Gay Ban

Today In History, 2009: Fort Worth Police Raid the Rainbow Lounge

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

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"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.