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“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for November, 2013

Yesterday’s elections

Timothy Kincaid

November 6th, 2013

It’s been a good year for equality. In the past twelve months, marriage equality has come to Maine, Maryland, and Washington (by popular vote), Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota (by legislative act), New Jersey (by state court ruling), and California (by federal court ruling).

Which was all before yesterday. Tuesday, with the vote for marriage in the Illinois House and the vote for marriage in the Hawaii House Judiciary and Finance Committees, was a most delicious day.

But when there’s a whirlwind day, you can miss some of the less high profile moment. Also yesterday were elections around the country, and here are a few more happy moments.

Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP Virginia gubernatorial candidate, is a man seemingly obsessed with the sex lives of his neighbors. Virulently anti-gay (he tried to reinstate sodomy laws through the argument that he would also enforce them against straights who strayed from the missionary position) he was the hope and darling of wingnuts who see their world vanishing.

Yesterday Cuccinelli did much better than expected, but ultimately Democrat Terry McAuliff, a friend and supporter of the community, prevailed. The takeaway lesson from the election was that Cuccinelli’s social agenda was a drag on his campaign and that victorian morality is a detriment to election. Also losing (badly) was his crazy as a loon running mate, Pastor EW Jackson, who was known mostly for sharing such diamonds of wisdom as

“Their minds are perverted; they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally; and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality. When they talk about love, they’re not talking about love, they’re talking about homosexual sex. And so, they can’t see clearly.”

Meanwhile, Chris Christie sailed to victory in his reelection bid for New Jersey Governor. And while Christie has consistently opposed marriage equality (even vetoing a marriage bill in February) he has done so in terms that separated him from Cuccinelli.

Christie has long been an advocate of civil unions (a position that, while outdated, would have placed him in the ‘strong ally’ category a decade ago) and has a good and close relationship with gay organizations in the state. And when confronted with the fact that civil unions no longer brought equality, he presented a legal argument in opposition to marriage that must have made his legal team fall on the floor laughing before signaling retreat on the position at the first moment that it became clear that his absurd legal argument was not being taken seriously.

This example of conservative loss coupled with moderate win is about the last thing that social conservatives in the Republican Party wanted to see.

A small bit of bad news comes from Holland, Michigan, where anti-gay discrimination seems to have won the day. In 2011 the city counsel, in a 5-4 vote, refused to enact a local non-discrimination ordinance, a decision that sharply divided the city. Two of the majority five were opposed in yesterday’s election based on their anti-gay vote, but they – along with the rest of the counsel – were reelected.

But in Washington, Ed Murray, the openly gay state legislator who successfully led the battle to bring marriage equality to the state, appears to have won election as Seattle’s mayor.

One election I did not watch – didn’t even know about – was also in New Jersey, where openly gay Republican Don Guardian beat the incumbent mayor of Atlantic City. The political situation of gay GOP candidates winning or performing well in major cities is now starting to seem less like an anomaly.

Alex Wan, a fiscally conservative gay Democrat in Atlanta easily won reelection, though not with enthusiastic support from Atlanta’s gay community who largely disapproved of Wan’s proposal to ban strip clubs and sex shops along Cheshire Bridge Road.

In Houston, Lesbian mayor Annise Parker easily won her third term.

In Alabama’s 1st District, mainstream Republican Bradley Byrne swept aside TeaParty opponent Dean Young, for his party’s nomination. Young, former exective director of Christian Family Association, defended wackadoodle Judge Roy Moore in 2002 with this statement:

“[Homosexuality is] a deviant lifestyle. It’s a destructive lifestyle,” Young said, according to reports in the Associated Press and the Montgomery Advertiser. “If they don’t like the laws of Alabama … then maybe they need to go back to California or Vermont or wherever they came from.”

I’m certain that there were a good many more I’ve not mentioned so please feel free to add to the list in the comments.

Gay Vote Remains 4%

Timothy Kincaid

November 8th, 2008

Those persons who were willing to identify as gay or lesbian to exil pollsters remained constant in 2008 at 4%. That translates to roughly five million voters.

This percentage is consistent with exit polling in 2004 and 2000.

Proposition 8 and Race

Timothy Kincaid

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.

  Voters Yes
Vote
% Total
Yes
No
Vote
% Total
No
White 63% 49% 30.9% 51% 32.1%
Latino 18% 53% 9.5% 47% 8.5%
Asian 6% 49% 2.9% 51% 3.1%
Other 3% 51% 1.5% 49% 1.5%
Total Non-Black 90%   44.9%   45.1%
Black 10% 70% 7.0% 30% 3.0%
Total w/Black 100%   51.9%   48.1%

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.

Marilyn Musgrave Ousted

Timothy Kincaid

November 8th, 2008

Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave is best known as the main sponsor of the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment in the 108th and 109th Congresses. This set her up as a major target for the gay community and a multi-year effort was initiated to remove her and her anti-gay activism from office.

On Tuesday, Musgrave lost her seat.

U.S. House District 4 Democratic candidate Betsy Markey beat out incumbent GOP Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave in Tuesday’s election.

Markey won with 55 percent of the votes compared to Musgrave’s 44 percent. With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Musgrave has received 130,833 votes and Markey received 163,155 votes.

It was not just gay rights that led to her ouster. It was her focus on issues unrelated to her district. Her prioritization of conservative social issues was just an indication that her priorities were related to her own personal religious agenda and not to the day to day concerns of her constituents.

Michael Huttner, executive director of the Denver-based liberal activist group ProgressNowAction, said Markey’s wide margin of victory showed that Musgrave was unseated over more than just her views on gay marriage.

“She, perhaps more than any single elected (official) in Colorado, completely ignored the needs of her district,” he said.

“Rather than helping a record number of foreclosures and thousands of people who lack health care in her district, she spent her three terms with her single issue of bashing gays, which is just completely out of touch and mean- spirited,” Huttner said.

Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) was the chief sponsor in the Senate. Allard did not seek reelection this year. As of January, neither chief sponsor will be in Congress and the chief cheerleader for amending the US Constitution will no longer be in the White House.

No on Prop 8 Refuses To Concede

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

The No on 8 campaign called a quick news conference to declare that they are not conceding the race:

Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide. “The fact is depending on the turnout model we are looking at millions of votes yet to be counted,” Kendall said. The race is too close to call. People’s fundamental rights hang in the balance.”

Many of those ballots are absentee and provisional ballots. The California Secretary of State’s office is expected to issue an estimate of the number of uncounted ballots later today or tomorrow. It could take several days to process all of them.

Prop 8 supporters declared victory shortly after midnight early this morning in a move that No on 8 called “presumptuous.”

Prop 8 Exit Polling

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

CNN also has some interesting exit polling on California’s Prop 8:

As in Arizona, women are more supporting of same-sex marriage than men:
Men: Yes: 51%; No: 49%
Women: Yes: 50%; No: 50%

We have done a very poor job in reaching out to the African-American community:
White: Yes: 47%; No: 53%
African-American: Yes: 70% No: 30%
Latino: Yes: 51% No: 49%
Asian: Yes: 47%; No: 53%

The youth are our future:
18-24: Yes: 34%; No: 66%
25-29: Yes: 40%; No: 60%
30-39: Yes: 50%; No: 50%
40-49: Yes: 58%; No: 42%
50-64: Yes: 50%; No: 50%
65 or Over: Yes: 59% No: 41%

There’s a reason our opponents distrust education:
H.S. Graduate: Yes: 54%; No: 46%
Some College: Yes: 56%; No: 44%
College Graduate: Yes: 48%; No: 52%
Postgraduate: Yes: 39%; No: 61%

Marriage Amendments are a GOP thing:
Democrat: Yes: 35%; No: 65%
Republican: Yes: 81%; No: 19%
Independent: Yes: 44%; No: 56%

Prop 102 Exit Polling

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

Here are some figures I found interesting from CNN’s exit polling on Prop 102:

Women were more supportive than men:
Men: Yes: 57%; No: 43%
Women: Yes 55%; No: 45%

The youth vote was in our camp, which bodes well for the future:
Age 18-29 Yes: 48%; No: 52%

The political party divide was stark in a state that McCain carried for President:
Democrat: Yes: 35%; No: 65%
Republican: Yes: 81%; No: 19%

The Catholic vote was surprisingly close:
Catholics: Yes: 51%; No: 49%

Also opposition to Prop 102 increased with education and income. Truly the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. The young, the less economically vulnerable, and the better educated were all less fearful.

McCain Gets 27% of Gay Vote

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

According to CNN’s exit polling, 70% of the gay vote went for Barack Obama, while 27% voted for McCain. This is in line with Bush’s gay votes in 2000 and 2004. It appears that no matter what, something around a quarter of LGBT voters will stick with the Republican candidate on other issues in presidential elections.