POLL: Black Support For Marriage Equality Is Higher Than General Population, Which Is Still Very High

A new poll released by ABC and the Washington Post seems to confound the naysayers who claimed President Obama’s support for marriage equality would cost him dearly in the African-American community: 59% of black voters said they supported his stance, as compared to the still respectable 53% of the general population.

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement:

“Not long ago, our opponents bragged that highlighting marriage in a campaign would win them votes.  But these results show, more clearly than ever before, that the wedge has lost its edge and that the momentum of open hearts and changing minds continues to favor those who favor the freedom to marry and getting America on the right side of history.

It’s particularly gratifying to see the growing support among African-Americans, who, like the President and the NAACP, understand that the Golden Rule and our nation’s civil rights commitment of liberty and justice for all really do apply to ‘all.’ “

Other highlights of the poll include:

  • The percentage of those who oppose the freedom to marry is at an all-time low, at 39% nationwide.
  • 58% of Independent voters support the freedom to marry; 43% do so “strongly.”
  • 69% of adults under 30 support the freedom to marry; 51% do so “strongly.”

This isn’t to say there hasn’t been some fallout from Obama’s marriage statement: Certainly the right is using it to galvanize its forces and raise campaign funds for Mitt Romney. And there are socially conservative Democrats who bristle at the idea of gay marriage (35% of them, according to Gallup). And someone keeps voting for these odious gay-marriage bans on the state level.

But, still, this is astounding news.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #africanamericans #marriageequality #polls stories and more


  • Toby


    I don’t beleive it! All blacks are anti-gay! All of them! Really! Reallly!

    How do I know? Well, some black guy on the street once called me the f-word. So there!

  • UsualPlayers


    Divide and conquer was the trick of the trade for both organizations like NOM and racists within the gay community. They both counted on a lack of effort to change opinions and a lack of contact between groups to play up bigotry. I just made the comment in the thread about the homophobic black conservative preacher that the comment thread received 70 comments while the post on the NAACP support marriage equality. Its a sad part of life, but the battle is not just to end homophobia, but racism, because both allow for divide and conquer where by the homophobe uses racism to justify homophobia, and the racist uses homophobia to justify racism. Both are good at what they do. It takes a lot of concerted effort to overcome both.

  • Dr. Dick

    @Toby: LOLZ!! that would be even funnier if many Queens-of-No-Color didn’t actually think that way….

  • MJ

    @Toby: lol! :)

  • cam

    Please remember a few things you people that keep trying to say that all blacks are homophobic.

    NOM’s stated goal in the paperwork somebody released to the media was to drive a wedge between the black and gay community. So any of these “Reports” you may be citing could have come indirectly from them.

    Washiington DC is a majority black city and not only did it pass legal marriage, when anti-gay people tried to have protests less than 80 people showed up in that majority black city.

    The NAACP came out in support of full marriage equality.

    So just two things to remember.

  • AshNYC

    So there you have it kids….most blacks don’t hate gays, but alot of gays hate blacks

  • cam

    @AshNYC: said..

    So there you have it kids….most blacks don’t hate gays, but alot of gays hate blacks”

    So there you have it, a perfect example of NOM’s tactic, with Obama coming out and new polls not playing into their hands from the Black side, do a pivot and drive the wedge from the other side.

    Take your bigoted ass for a time out and think for a while.

  • M

    Shocks me none.

  • 212

    @cam: He does have a valid point. Instead of sweeping the problems within the gay community under the rug, we need to start confronting them and stop pretending that they don’t exist.

  • Malky

    But, still, this is astounding news.

    Well, SOME of us knew this all along.

  • cam

    @212: said…

    “He does have a valid point. Instead of sweeping the problems within the gay community under the rug, we need to start confronting them and stop pretending that they don’t exist.”

    He didn’t make a point, he made a blanket statement that falls right into what NOM has been trying to do and is no different than the people making the opposite point.

    If he wants to present some facts and discuss those fine. But please point me to any anti-black laws that the gay community has been campaigning for.

    What he is doing is exactly what NOM wants, and the fact that he did it with a vague, non-specific statement sounds exactly like their style.

  • Daez

    It really is not that surprising. Thinking of where I used to work, the nurses and aides that were black were very, very supportive. I only had issues with a few of the white women there, but in the end they came around. They were just “religious.” They had more questions than condemnation.

  • AshNYC

    @CAM—who exactly am I supposed to be bigoted against? As you pointed out I made a vague, non specific statement.

  • 212

    @cam: I know you are smarter than this. Your saying just because the gay community were not out campaigning for anti- black laws, anti-transgender laws or anti-bisexual laws that racism, transphobia or biphobia doesn’t exist within the gay community?

  • 212

    @212: Correction * *You’re*

  • cam


    No, what I am saying is that somebody saying “The black community isn’t anti-gay, but the gay community is anti-black.” Is just the same as the people on here that keep claiming the black community hates gays.

    It is the tactic that NOM was persuing and it is a distraction from much larger issues.

    Are there black people that hate gays? Of course, are their gays that are racist? Of course. But the issue is, overall, the black community seems to be moving in very positive directions on gay rights, and the gay community overall would never vote against civil rights laws or think that blacks shouldn’t have full rights even if there are some that still feel defensive over negative reports on the prop 8 issue that now seem to have been encouraged by groups like NOM.

    These are important civil rights issues, and somebody attacking the community as a whole because they feel that they once went into a bar and nobody hit on them or any other of the long running complaints within the community etc… is so belittling to the larger issue that I wanted to point that out.

  • cam


    ARRRGH! I tried to give you a detailed answer but it was flagged even though there were no swear words. Apparently the words black, gay, and NOM are filtered.

    Basically, the usual suspects of complaints within the community of “White Gays don’t pay attention to Black Gays” and “Gays don’t give Transgendered folks the time of day in rights discussions” etc… are so vastly different than the issue on this posting that it was detrimental to the overall discussion.

    The attacks and wedges NOM was trying to use are “Blacks hate gays and will vote against gays civil rights.”

    So saying now “Blacks don’t hate gays, but gays hate blacks” is an attempt to elevate the much smaller issue of those complaints of , Is a bar full of White Gays full of people who won’t hit on a black guy or gal if they walk in.”

    I’m sorry but equating that with the subject of people voting for or against our rights is a HUGE and incorrect stretch.

    That was my problem with the statement.

  • 212

    @cam: But don’t get me wrong man I understand your point but gays can’t be hipocritical of a community and yet fail to confront the problems within our own..

  • 212

    @212: *hypocritical*

  • jason

    The only reason that blacks are saying they support gay marriage is because Obama said it. It’s a form of politics.

    In any case, if most people believe in the right to gay marriage, why did even California’s voters forbid it? There’s obviously a discrepancy between what people are saying to the pollsters and what they are actually saying once they get into the polling booth.

    A lot of people lie to pollsters.

  • Tackle

    This dosen’t surprise me one bit. But I see that there are some in the gay community will refuse to believe this. I can disagree with Queerty sometimes, but I do want to thank you (thanks Dan Avery) for printing this story.

  • MJ

    @jason: you know what. A lot can happen in 4 years. just look at what happened. Osama Bin ladin is dead. the troops are out of Iraq. Kim kardashian got married and divorced 3 DAYS LATER. so of course opinions can change in 4 years too

  • AshNYC

    @CAM—-I didn’t say gays hate blacks. I said “a lot of gays hate blacks”. Can you dispute this comment in any way? And for the record, this isn’t about a black gay going into a bar full of white gays and not getting approached. I’m not sure if you are new to Queerty but anytime their is an article posted about some black actor, pastor, or sports figure saying something derogatory about gays, the Queerty posts explode with hateful comments about blacks. But when the offender is a non-black, no one says anything about that person’s race. It’s just an observation on my part, but I’m sure more than a few Queerty readers would agree with me.

    It seems you are a little defensive, feeling guilty about your dislike for blacks? Just a question.

  • Joe stratford

    You say a lot of gays hate blacks? Do you have proof? Hoe much % is la lot”? Cite a survey or a concerted gay group action. Or research.

    Your personal impressions do not count so don’t een try that. That’s is a statistically insignificant sample of 1.

    Now as for blacks supporting gays, that was obvious. All that some blacks needed was a political cover so they can tell their family, openly, that they disagree with the church pastor. Obama was that political cover that they can now use to deny their pastor’s influence on their community.

  • Oh, ok

    The whole idea that all black people are homophobic came from California and was debunked a long time ago.

    There’s a huge difference between polling JUST CALIFORNIA and polling THE ENTIRE NATION.

    Why anyone is surprised by this is beyond me. Racists don’t need much to go out to find a reason to hate black people, they’ll invent something when they’re out of ammo.

    At least now they can shut up about THIS and create something other phony reason to attack us.

  • Oh, ok

    The whole idea that all black people are homophobic came from California and was debunked a long time ago.

    There’s a huge difference between polling JUST CALIFORNIA and polling THE ENTIRE NATION.

    Why anyone is surprised by this is beyond me. Ra cists don’t need much to go out to find a reason to hate black people, they’ll invent something when they’re out of ammo.

    At least now they can shut up about THIS and create something other phony reason to attack us.

  • Oh, ok

    @MJ: Opinions didn’t change. They polled more than one state this time and didn’t use false numbers as they did in California(check the internet, those polls were debunked way back when it happened).

  • Oh, ok

    You can tell who doesn’t know a single black person by the way they talk about us. “Blacks needed X.” or “Blacks do Y.”, rather than speaking about us as individual people. Apparently we’re all the same to ignorant GAY bigots.

  • jason

    Have you heard lyrics by black rappers? Fag and queer are common. Don’t deny it.

    Black culture is extremely homophobic. Don’t believe these phony polls when they say that most blacks are for gay marriage.

  • MJ

    I’ll leave just saying this:
    It’s really disturbing to point where you wonder “do the racial minorities in the gay community have anyone on their side? it’s bad enough to be turned and harassed by people in your own race but to be also by others who are like you in terms of sexuality is disappointing. it’s a joke for you to see posts with that show anti-gay black people get 20 comments (if not more) within 1-2 hours but this gets nothing. only 4 after nearly a day? these are our LGBT youth we’re talking about here. hell I’m still one of them. turned 21 a month ago. I’m lucky that I have not went through this at all. but some of the older men here, regardless of race have went through being kicked out, their family and shunned by their friends and having little to nothing to their name and no one and nowhere to turn to. so I expected better from grown men, but I guess I was wrong. nothing against the person who reported it, but the people who comment should be ashamed of themselves and call them selves fighting for gay rights.

    Full story here:

  • B

    No. 4 · cam wrote, “NOM’s stated goal in the paperwork somebody released to the media was to drive a wedge between the black and gay community. So any of these “Reports” you may be citing could have come indirectly from them.”

    NOM can also exploit reports that erroneously, but innocently, showed a higher level of anti-gay opinions among blacks. A classic example is an exit poll taken after the Proposition 8 vote, which showed a very large black vote in favor of Proposition Eight. The reasons for the anomalously high values include the following

    1. Random statistical fluctuations due to the sample size.

    2. The exit polls used where taken in predominantly black precincts for convenience. It turns out, however, that racially/ethnically uniform areas (regardless of race or ethnicity) tended to vote in favor of Proposition Eight at a higher rate than typical of the racial/ethnic group people were in. The result was that the exit polls used to determine the black vote sampled a subset blacks that were for reasons other than race more likely to support Proposition Eight – being exposed to a diverse group of people seems to make accepting yet one more different group easier. The effect of diversity on the polling was not realized until a post-election analysis of what happened – someone didn’t realize that their convenience sample would skew the results.

    A multivariate analysis (this allows one to sort out competing effects) indicated that church attendance was one of the dominant factors, with a somewhat higher black vote simply reflecting a higher percentage of church goers. That possibly reflected exposure to de facto marketing in favor of Proposition Eight from preachers in the churches blacks tended to favor. It’s possible that the new report is an indication that Obama’s statement in favor of gay marriage itself caused a change in opinion (i.e., he has as much “authority” as the local preacher in influencing public opinion in the black community).

  • AshNYC

    @jason. Rap is not “black culture”. I admit I made my first comment to ‘stir the race pot a bit. I wanted to see how Queerty readers would respond. I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of comments. Cam and Jason…you’re comments we’re not among the pleasant surprises. My personal belief is that blacks and gays aren’t separate groups because many gays happen to be black and many blacks happen to be gay. Now I feel the need to go shower…it’s a feeling I often have after spending too much time on Queerty. Queerty, you are like the dirty whore I can’t stay away from…..don’t ever change. Peace and love people!

  • who are you b!tch, new lunch

    @jason: Your mind is such a wasteland. Btw the way Irma Jean, “fag and queer” are common in rock and metal music to are you saying that rock and metal represents White America?.

  • Dave

    This totally goes against Dan $avage and the rest of the other ra cist white gay men who claim that “Black people don’t support LGBT people or same gender marriage!” I remember when Miss $avage the media whore had a bitch fit and had a temper tantrum and was convinced that black people in the state of CA were solely responsible for the passing of prop 8. Whatever he’s a conceited ass hole and a rac ist fcuk and always has been.

  • AaronT

    There was a horrible series of new articles after Prop 8 passed, where they showed video of crowds of white gays in California screaming out the N-word in their anger at “the black community” – I was ashamed to be white and gay when I saw that. To deny that there is racism in the gay community is silly. There is racism in every community. We can only address it by acknowledging it. Listen to the song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” from Avenue Q. It’s a funny song, but it contains a really strong message.

  • LadyL

    Yesterday evening on my way home I was stopped by a stranger holding a local newspaper that featured on its back pages a brief story about the Marvel comics gay wedding. The man was fuming, and insisted that I slow down long enough to tell him what I thought.
    Sigh. Inward eyeball roll. I knew exactly where this was going, knew that he was assuming that because we were both black that I just had to be as offended as he was.
    I smiled and shrugged. “Yeah, I heard about that. Why not? I think it’s great.” He was incredulous. “Well…you’re entitled to your opinion, Sister. But you’re a Born Again Christian–”
    (Really? Am I? And he knew that from what, my shoes?)
    “—And you KNOW the bible says it’s an abomination for two men to–” I waved him off and told him that before he went any further he should know that he was talking to a lesbian, and that he was entitled to HIS opinion however narrow-minded, but that I was NOT obligated to listen to it. I started to walk away.
    And this is where it got interesting–he immediately apologized. And seemed sincere, though he might not have been; he might have been merely embarassed. But I’ve experienced this before, where a black coworker or neighbor or extended family member began to make homophobic remarks and reacted with surprise, confusion and something that sure looked like contrition when called on it, especially as it involved my coming out to them. It’s like between cultural prejudice, personal ignorance and the influence of the black church they are stuck in some scripted, knee-jerk, time-warp response mode that only flips when a fellow African-American looks them in the eye and says “Wait a second– I’m one of those people.”
    Attitudes are changing, and yes President Obama (finally) voicing his support is making it easier for many black people to openly say what they either were beginning to understand or always knew. But mostly I think it comes down to us abandoning the scripts and talking more honestly to each other. (Sorry, guys, for the long-winded post…)

  • UsualPlayers

    @LadyL: Great comment.

  • LadyL

    @UsualPlayers: Thanks. True story :-)

Comments are closed.