Prop 8 Backers Claim Black Barack Helps Their Cause

It’s not just the presidential candidates who are getting nasty this nearly-there election season.

Right-wing activists supporting California’s Proposition 8, which will re-ban gay marriage, have invoked Barack Obama in their fight, saying the Senator’s race lends them an inadvertent helping hand…

We thank Barack Obama, even though he’s not supporting it, for helping us,” says Sonja Eddings Brown, of an anti-gay-marriage group called Protect Marriage. “We think it’s going to push us over the top.”

Obama is expected to bring African-American voters out in record numbers, and those voters are seen as often being more conservative on issues involving homosexuality.

That last statement, though a common argument, may not be entirely true.

A report filed back in August suggests that black voters are more progressive than some assume:

Although ordinary polls report lower levels of support for same-sex marriage among blacks than among whites, views on same-sex marriage are a rapidly moving target that’s tough to pin down, even for experts.

And a funny thing happened on the way to the ballot box in the last presidential election. When constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage were on 11 state ballots in November 2004, blacks in Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio and Oklahoma were at least one percentage point less likely than whites to vote for them, according to CNN exit polls. Only in Georgia were blacks slightly more likely to vote for the amendment. (The remaining four states had too few blacks to make a meaningful comparison.)

Across the country, black voters repeatedly reelect African American politicians who support gay rights. The nation’s two black governors have forcefully backed gay marriage — and each has spoken movingly about accepting gay people in his own family.

That same article also contends that Proposition 8’s contentious language – the title reads “”Eliminates Right of Same-sex Couples to Marry” – could help influence black voters, who for years fought for equal rights in America.