Scapegoats: Let’s Blame the Blacks!

One of the good/scary/useful things coming out of Proposition 8’s passage is that it’s started a conversation within the gay community about its identity and future. Not all of it’s pretty, however– and with 70% of black voters supporting Prop. 8, much of the discussion centers on race, with it sometimes boiling over into N-bombs being hurled on the street. Seriously people?  Queerty breaks down your race war conversation into easy talking points.

Obama caused Prop. 8 to pass!“: With black folks coming out in huge numbers to support Barack Obama, enough Black people voted to pass the proposition, goes this argument. The problem is that there just aren’t that many black people to have changed the outcome one way or another. In California, blacks are the only ethnic group to be declining in population.

Black people get pissed off gays are comparing marriage to civil rights“: This one is actually pretty true and the first person who made it to me was a skinny white dude. Gay people have never been enslaved, if they want they can conceal their identities, at least to most people. Check out this hilarious and enlightening video of a black guy sharing his views and telling a story about walking down the street with a friend and the friend noting that a passerby is a lesbian because she’s wearing carrier pants. “Now, I have no idea what carrier pants are. I can’t tell”, he says. Now, the fact that gays and lesbians are beaten, murdered, tortured and executed across the globe for their sexual orientation is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s clear the case has yet to be won that gay rights are civil rights.

The gay community is pretty racist to begin with and shouldn’t be surprised that it lost in communities it has never reached out to“: Hey, that sounds pretty convincing, right? One of the biggest failures of the No on 8 Campaign was its reliance on television ads and phonebanking alone. In fact, No on 8. organizer Julie Davis crowed that they weren’t going to go around “randomly knocking on doors”. The Yes on 8 campaign knocked and attributed the hands-on approach to their success. In an essay, Jasmyne Cannick points out that the gay community has done a terrible job of outreaching to the black community, often relying on handing out token positions and holding patronizing “Come Out” rallies for black people–and staging them in non-black areas like Pasedena.

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  • Jeffrey Bryan

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… the worst thing we could possibly do is participate in a “which minority has suffered more” debate. Whenever anyone is denied their dignity and equality we ALL suffer.

  • Mad Professah

    Hey there’s a number of bad typos and inaccuracies in your post.

    1) The President-elect’s name is BARACK Obama, not Barrack. A barrack is a set from a homoerotic fantasy .

    2) Asian-Americans voted 57% TO OPPOSE Proposition 8, not in favor of it.

    3) Jasmyne Cannick is not an impartial or factual commentator on relations between the Black and LGBT communities. The Pasadena/Altadena does have a significant Black population.

  • Wolf

    UGH I for one can’t get caught up in the Blame game mostly because the damn thing NEVER should have been allowed to BE on the ballot in the first place.

    This is NO LONGER about “outreach” why in the world should we BEG for what should be rightfully ours. ACTION is whats needed and has always been needed. Women and African Americand DID NOT GAIN their Rights by putting ads in newspapers. The few Rights we do have we given to us because we were out there and loud. And thats the way it is now. We should not be asking. We should not be begging. WE SHOULD BE [email protected]

  • Japhy Grant

    @Mad Professah:

    Hey there-

    Bear with me on the first day. Anyway-

    1) You’re right.
    2) You’re right.
    3)Never said she was. Pasadena has a 14% Black population, which is more than the state average, but is hardly an area like Compton, where the Black population is over 40%.

    I may screw up occasionally, but I promise to fess up when I do and correct it.

  • Jamie

    What I fail to understand is how come we haven’t heeded the advice of Sandra Day O’Connor, who, upon retirement, said that she believed the greatest challenge facing the S.C. in this century would be the question of gay rights. This should be taken to the Supreme Court as a violation of the Establishment Clause–the heretofore established right of same-sex couples to marry in California has been impinged upon. Churches that choose to marry same-sex couples have been legally forbade to do so. How hard is that argument to make, anyway?

    Oh, and our “friends” in the media? Hardly a peep. Our “friends” in hollywood? Ditto.

    They’ve got all the “different” that they need right now. So we’re kicked to the curb.

    And y’all need a preview window for comments. PLEASE.

  • An Other Greek


    I get that Blacks cannot hide Blackness (most of them), and that -most- gays can “pass” when they “need” to, but don’t we all have brothers and sisters that simply c-a-n-n-o-t “pass”??

    What about them? They are absolutely discriminated/harassed/abused/and worse…

    Seems that this is a Black HETERO perspective, imho. I much prefer and relate to Coretta Scott Kings’s version… She was a true ally.

    I’m sorry the “hillarious black guy”” is offended at the civil rights comparison… Remember, back in the day, Barack’s parent’s marriage was ILLEGAL in half the states in the Union!

    Point to me a more apt analogy!


  • Tim in SF

    There are so many other groups in the exit polling that voted for Prop 8 overwhelmingly (as in, more than 60%):

    * The elderly (65+)
    * Republicans
    * Conservatives
    * People who decided for whom to vote in October (but not within the week before the election)
    * People who were contacted by the McCain campaign
    * Protestants
    * Catholics
    * White Protestants
    * Those who attend church weekly
    * Married people
    * People with children under 18
    * Gun owners
    * Bush voters
    * Offshore drilling supporters
    * People who are afraid of a terrorist attack
    * People who thought their family finances were better now than 4 years ago
    * Supporters of the war against Iraq
    * People who didn’t care about the age of the candidates
    * Anti-choicers
    * People who are from the “Inland/Valley” region of California
    * McCain voters

    Some of these groups supported Prop 8 far more than African Americans did, which makes me wonder why we’re focused so much on race instead of any of these factors. In terms of predictive value, religion, political ideology, and being married with children tell us much more about how someone voted on Prop 8 than race does.

    From which we can infer three things. First, breaking the statistics just along racial lines is an overly simplistic way to look at the results. Black people, like white people, are not a monolithic group, and LGBT people can make inroads by reaching out to African Americans if we try. Flapping our mouths about how we’re not PC, how all blacks are homophobic, and how there’s no use in reaching out to African Americans doesn’t endear people to us, and there is work to be done here that hasn’t been done.

    Second, religion is the overwhelming factor in Prop 8’s win, in terms of organizing, funding, and voting. Since it’s not going anywhere, we have to take a more serious approach to religious voters. And, yes, their leaders make bank off homophobia, but we’re going to have to be more creative. No writing off fundies as idiots allowed – they get votes too.

  • Schulteraffe

    “The problem is that there just aren’t that many black people to have changed the outcome one way or another.”

    This, unfortunately, is not true. What matters is not the amount of African Americans in the entire population, but the percentage of African Americans that voted last week. They were ten percent of the electorate and seventy percent of them supported prop 8. If only fifty percent of African Americans that voted had voted yes on 8 then it would not have passed.

    It is easy, of course to blame African Americans because their support was so overwhelming compared to other groups. But of course, if Latinos, who were eighteen percent of the electorate fifty-three percent of whom voted yes on 8, had only supported it by 40% it wouldn’t have passed. Asians and whites who made up the vast majority of the electorate only supported it by forty-nine percent. If they had only supported it by forty-five percent it would not have passed.

    So it can’t be accurately said that African Americans are, singularly, to be blamed, but they as a group supported this proposition overwhelmingly compared to other groups that only supported it marginally or did not support it marginally.

    What this teaches us ultimately, is that, yes, if you choose to single one group out, you can blame them for what happened and that there was one group that supported this measure in a greater percentage than others. What that says to me is that gay people and black people need to start a much needed and much delayed conversation about mutual respect and support.

    As far as I know, there was no real outreach targeted at the African American community by the no on 8 lobby, and that is what we should be most concerned with. If you want something you need to ask for it. We should have asked for help when we had the chance.

  • Bob

    I think the reason people are so angry with the black community is that there are people who should understand oppression and bigotry, having suffered so much of it throughout history. And yet, they vote to treat another community with the same oppression and bigotry. That’s why people are angry. It’s not the color of their skin. It’s that they should “get it,” and somehow they don’t.

  • An Other Greek

    One thing is certain. There is a HUGE issue stil” NOT dealt with:

    Homophobia in the Black community.

    Let’s not kid ourselves.

    To the Black community, more important than PropH8 is the direct affect of this ignorance/malady: AIDS. AIDS in the Black community is a major unresolved and increasing problem.

    If the community cannot come together to heal ITSELF of the bigoted and hateful attitudes that force GLBT people -of color- on the fringes of behavior, than what makes us think that they will support the larger GLBT community, especially as it is wrongly perceived to be a “white” effort?

    This is a relevant topic whose problems manifest themselves in many ways. I hope, if only metaphorically, the Black community (an abstraction, I know) will reinvent itself now that CHANGE has come, and be a little more magnanimous when respecting OTHERS civil rights.


  • charles

    I’ve also heard that a lot of gay/lesbian voters didn’t even vote or weren’t registered to vote-enough to have tipped the result the other way. And a lot of allied people didn’t get contacted by the No on 8 campaign until late October. There is more than enough blame to go around on all sides-this was a disaster any way you look at it.

  • Wayne

    Obama has been exploiting Black bigotry against Gays since the beginning of this campaign. DOESN’T ANYONE REMEMBER OBAMA AND THE ANTI-GAY BIGOT DONNIE McCLURKIN? (and ps. African Americans make up at least 10% of the California voting electorat. Some argue that figure is even higher because of the huge mobilization efforts of the Obama campaign and the Black community. Prop 8 was passed by less than a 5% margin). Making excuses for bigotry will not make it go away. We have to speak out against hatred, no matter which community supports it.

  • Belgian Boy

    these gays are white first, gay second. so no surprise there. There is just no excuse for using the N-word. Now u hear straight people saying: see! they don’t deserve equal rights.. ’cause they are racists…

  • Belgian Boy

    @Wayne: there is a difference between speaking out and blatant racism!

  • Paul

    @Tim in SF: What Tim fails to realize in his lengthy list of groups is that none of them have had to fight for their civil rights like Blacks.

    Racism is, indeed, a problem. But I wouldn’t expect a White person from rural parts of California to understand the fight for equality. I wouldn’t expect a fundmentalist religious person whose mind has been poisoned by images of a hateful God. I would, however, expect a minority–-Blacks–-to understand, and not vote to strip away someone’s equal rights. And here they did not.

    That doesn’t mean we should single them out any more than any other “Yes on 8” voter, but it should give a moment’s pause. They should have known better.

  • Paul Raposo

    “Black people get pissed off gays are comparing marriage to civil rights”: This one is actually pretty true and the first person who made it to me was a skinny white dude.

    Your white, liberal guilt is showing, Mr. Grant.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    1. True, blaming President-Elect Obama for this is silly.

    3. I do not know on specific efforts to take down 8, but I do know that a lot of people worked very very hard, so do not take away from their efforts.

    Now 2 is the one I have trouble with. Guess what. They can just stop their whining, I as a transwoman and a lesbian am very visible, I cannot “blend in”. They do not get to own civil rights and they do get to be called out when they vote in a bigoted manor. It is not the fault of black people that prop 8 passes but they do get their share of the blame, if they did not want to be bigots they should have voted differently.

  • conrad

    equating these gay marriage protests with stonewall has to be the most atrocious mis-representation and deluding of historically significant protest in contemporary queer politics.

    stonewall was a fucking riot for self determination! gay marriage is some assimilationist bullshit. the queers and trannies of color that fought the cops in the 60’s are surely rolling in their graves at such awful comparisons…

  • The Gay Numbers


    From memory

    1/3 of registered gay voters did not vote.

    1/2 of gays eligible to be registered to vote didn’t register.

    Only a small percentage of gays in CA actually donated to No on 8

    Only a small percentage volunteered

    RE No on 8

    Essentially they ran a Kerry-eque 2004 game plan and waste both time (from May 2008 until Aug 2008), lacked GOTV and registration efforts, had a centralized rather than neighbor to neighbor plan, etc. This contrasts with the Obama campaigning techniques.


    In 2004, MI had a similar measure that passed. The black vote while still yes was as I remember it 54 percent or 58 percent for (can not remember exactly but it was in the 50s and a mid even number) and the white vote was similar.

    Which raises, the question- what happened such that the AA vote in MI was more gay friendly than the AA vote in CA?

    Homophobia is definitely an issue. But so is showing up by our side (the gay community of all races) to fight to define the battle.


    If you you do not show up to fight, then you are going to l ose. We did not show up to fight.


    Stats say that the black vote could not have determined outcomes. That’s simply the math. I believe it would have still passed by 100,000 given the margin. That’s the numbers. But what it tells us is that we have to reduce the numbers across the board in various demographics. The fact is even if we suceed at convincing more AAs the real issue are white voters due to their overwhelming numbers. If the white vote is close, the outcomes will always be in doubt or result in a lose.

    Example: the states of Oklahoma and Oregon. With little or not minority vote, we still lose.

    The point is real grassroots efforts across the board rather than armchair bitching.

  • The Gay Numbers


    Times change. I wish some of you would get out of the Peter Pan complex enough to realize that. If you don’t want to marry, then don’t. But for my friends who do– especially because I do believe in freedom of choice and equality- I am willing to fight for their right. So you can take your orthodoxy (which is no better than the fundamentalist), and put it where the sun does not shine. The reality is that in a free society everyone, not just Conrad, should get the right to determine their lives freely.

  • Jeff

    Re: Tim #7

    I’m not surprised if all those other demographic groups voted, along with blacks, overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8. However, it is disingenuous to make an apples-to-apples comparison here. Unlike blacks and gays (or anyone wishing to procure a same-sex marriage), those other groups are not usually considered oppressed; they are more often the oppressors. It is understood that republicans, the Christian right, etc., are largely opposed to LGBT equality, and we are in a constant political and civil rights battle against those groups in order to secure fair treatment under the law. African-Americans should understand that there are clear parallels between their struggle for civil rights and the gay rights movement. Yes, of course many black people support gay rights, but when 70% are voting against equal treatment for gay people in CA, something is wrong. Anyone who denies that homophobia is a particular problem in the black community is kidding themselves, forsaking personal accountability for diplomacy. We are not going to get our rights handed to us on a silver platter, and we need to face the fact that oppressed groups have to work together against the oppressors in order to succeed. Black homophobia only stokes the racism that already exists in the LGBT community (as it exists throughout the U.S.), causing a vicious cycle that impedes each minority group’s progress while the Christian Right takes more power.

  • Kyler

    Obama has been supporting gays since he started campaigning. He did campaign along with some anti-gay people but he used the pulpit in black churches to discuss the homophobia in the black community and the need to put an end to it. Why would anyone want to start condemning a man that supports us when they could condemn people that don’t?

  • denise

    In reading some of the comments on this site, you’d think that the gay movement was a whites only movement.
    I’m a black lesbian who voted no on 8 and it seems that I’m being attacked by white gays who want to blame the entire black community.

  • The Gay Numbers


    As I point out in my post – in 2004, blacks voted similar to whites in MI on gay rights issues. Clearly this is not as you and others keep positing- simply a matter of blacks being so homophobic that they are not capable of being reached.

    As to your specific point- opression in one way does not make one more or less likely to be sypathetic to the plight of others. The problem is not blacks in this regard. The problem is your appreciation of human nature.

    One of the arguments I always make with conservatives for why the framers set of provisions to protect minorities against majorities is precisely that they understood human nature. They saw one oppressed group go on to opress another, and then that opressed group go on to oppress yet another.

    This does not excuse it, but there is nothing unique in what you are seeing with African Americans.

    The problem is the expectation that we do not have to work to convince black voters like everyone else. This is not reality.

    Let me give you another example- black women when the women’s movement were occuring would often say they were shocked to find that white women , having traditionally been discriminated against, were not more sympathetic earlier in the civil rights movement. Yet, clearly that was the case for a long time.

    I simply think some of you don’t appreciate this and that there is realy nothing new under the sun.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    denise – I really could see how you would feel that way. Kinda disgusting. I think for some however it is more like they are gay first then everything else.

    What people need to understand is that there is hurt, and it is justified. That much is true.

    Hate however is never justified.

    People need to move on.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Tara – Praenomenal: Move on? To what exactly? I think your post here and else where is confused. You say in that thread people are scapegoating Mormons. Are you one of those online surrogates targetting various sites with talking points. Just curious because I know it is not a mistake that the wording is exactly the same here and in multiple news outlets.

  • Wolf


    Denise don;t get suckered in by the Hype. Its all about Defelection. these articles are being written by Conseritive and Right Wing Journalist to take the Heat off the Catholic and Mormon CXhuch and redistribute it onto Minorities. Again, Many of the minorities AND whites who voted the way they did were pushed by the CHURCH. So it really does come back to them.

    Again people don;t fall for this shit hype of blame.

  • asa1973

    Sorry, it’s lengthy, but here goes…

    I’m a black gay dude who was raised in a very religious setting. I understand that I cannot change my blackness. I understand that I cannot change my gayness. I believe this is who I am and that I was born this way. I read and hear this debate all the time…and I rarely if ever notice anyone seeking the perspective of someone who is both black and gay. Believe me, we could help — A LOT — because we are a part of both communities, but we have also been discriminated against in both communities.

    The “Black Community” largely consists of people of religious faith. The sooner the “Gay Community” realizes that so many religious people – white, black and otherwise – categorically view gayness as an “act” and not as a “state of being,” the sooner we will be able to engage in effective and convinsing dialogue with these communities.

    I hear so many white gay people speak about their bewilderment at how a black person can be homophobic when they understand what it is to be discriminated against. Unfortunately, religious people view gays as choosing what we are instead of being who we are. We know this is not the case…but many religious people don’t. Many black people are confused by our quest for civil rights because they view us as choosing to sin. “How can I be discriminating against a person who has a choice in what s/he does? I don’t have a choice in being black, but they CHOOSE to be that way…and it is against God’s will.” This is the fundamental underpinning of the homophobia we speak about. Any attempt not to approach this dialogue with that understanding is naive and short-sighted. Does it not then our duty to explain why we have co-opted (in some people’s opinions) the civil rights movement from the black community? We need to go back to the basics. Where is the outreach from the gay community to ALL religious communities? Instead of alienating these communities and resorting to words such as bigot, close-minded, idiot, zealot — why not understand their perspective, then work from there to change that perspective.

    Here’s a suggestion for the future of this fight: enlist the help of gay people who are Black or who grew up in a very religious environment. Then reach out to the very communities that we think are hurting us. As a black man I see so many black people bewildered by gay people. As a gay man, I see so many gay people bewildered by black people. Time to build a bridge folks…

  • An Other Greek

    “…I’m a black lesbian who voted no on 8 and it seems that I’m being attacked by white gays who want to blame the entire black community.”


    that’s what you get from reading “these comments?”

    really? REALLY ???

    wow!, problem is worse than I thought…

    Wake up folks, connect the dots, and get over yourselves!

    btw, Denise, thanks for your rational vote, but this thread not about “you” certainly in the singular… This is about a big BIG problem in the African American community specifically, one that should (and has been, somewhat) a topic of analysis, primarily due to the –disproportionate– AIDS cases within the AfAm community. Religious homophobia gets a pass in most communities, but the lack of appropriate discourse is PARTICULARLY killing the AfAm community from within, and even encouraging the shitting of OTHERS’ civil rights, by the very community that ought to know better…

    imho, it is not only -appropriate- to point out this devastating paradox, it is a -necessary- admission for bringing the ethical accountability that will bring the larger CHANGE we ALL need.


  • Jeff

    @The Gay Numbers: Of course, lateral discrimination is nothing new. That is is human nature does not excuse it. Hyprocrisy, human nature or not, is something we need to work to remedy. And of course blacks are not the only minority group to employ lateral discrimination (as I noted earlier), but they are the most outstanding example of it in the Prop 8 vote. It’s a good thing we only have to gain 2%, not 20%, of the vote to overturn this thing.

  • Michael

    The McCain campaign never told anyone to vote for Prop 8. Get your facts straight, and you can blame the Republicans all you want, but that still does not excuse or explain what happened. It was the Democrats who voted for Prop 8 to pass.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Jeff: Jeff. The point is that we need to stop trying to use other people’s suffering as a short hand for why they should be different. The point is we will have to do the work rather than thinking it should be easy or bitching when we realize it is not or worse becoming bitter rather than fighting to change people’s views. The idea that you expoused in your last post is one of those “blacks are different from everyone”posts that I do not like. No blacks are just like everyone else. hence your whole point about what they should be is rare missing the point. If you want to win their vote, stop trying to resort to trying to trying to single them out as not like the rest of the human races. Go into the neighborhoods and talk to people, build coalitions, etc. Your approach in other word is the mindset of failure. This is why I provided the states Re Michigan. It’s more like a question mark on whether blacks are any more unreachable than anyone else. The point of the numbers for other groups is to illustrate this point- but then you were the one to then tack up but they should be different. The question is why? Your basis is that they have suffered. Okay, but that’s neither hypocricy or a basis in human nature for what should happen. What should happen is that we should treat them like other human beings and communicate with them rather than singling them out as somehow especially different.

  • James

    Where is the ranting of our Church-lady?

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Michael: Palin – the week before the vote- said that she endorsed a federal ban on gay marriage. It was an act through McCain’s VP surrogate just like Obama’s use of Biden to say that he would vote no was using a surrogate. Unless you are claiming that VPs aren’t surrogates- your comments are just your lying.

  • Chris

    Well, all people enslaved were hetero? The enslavers must have had a pretty good gaydar.

    And furthermore, openly gay people were often killed at the same time they were enslaved.

    And to the Log Cabinettes: The Republicans don’t need to tell anyone to vote anti-gay anymore. And many white Republicans did vote for Prop. 8 (according to the same stupid exit-polls you like to cite) though some Californian Republicans advocted a no.

  • Wolf


    Once again pidgeon holing. It was not the Democrats and it was not the Republicans. It was the Religious. IF you want to make a point about a Political Parties indeed more CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS abandoned McCain and indeed voted for Barak. That does NOT make them Democrats because they voted Democratic once.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Chris: @Chris: This is a retarded comment. It is one thing to say that our suffering although not the same should be understood as suffering. It is one thing to say that just because they lose a leg that does not decrease the pain if I have lose an arm. But to argue this bizzare position that gays were in fact slaves is just more signs of someone just not getting it.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Wolf: Your point seems confused. The Republican platform does indeed include a ban on gay marriage. The Republican VP nominee supported a federal ban on gay marriage a week before the election versus the Democratic nominee’s VP saying he would vote no on 8. Interesting revisionism going on here. I suppose that explains the 27 percent of gays who voted for McCain.

  • damien

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    -MLK, Jr.

  • Tom

    Regardless of the impact, considering their history, it is hard to understand how the Black community can discriminate against another.

    ….and when is Barack going to address the issue?? He seems to address everything else rather timely.

  • Wolf

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Well since you are GOING WAY OFF TOPIC and Spinning like a whirling dervish.

    Point 1
    Interesting statistics. But didn’t Bush garner 25% of the gay vote in 2000? One could see the 2004 lower gay vote as an aberration because of the FMA and McCain’s 27% as a return to pre-FMA levels, albeit with a very slight increase.

    Point 2
    My point about Conservative Republicans who abandoned McLame to vote for Obama and thus voted Democratic THEN proceeded to Vote YES on Prop 8. NOT because of the what McLame said. But because of the fact that MOST CONSERVATIVE REPUBS follow the Church when instructed and they WERE instructed to VOTE YES on Prop 8.

    Better luck next time. Keep trying with the spin. I hear FOX NEWS will have ALOT of openings soon.

  • Smartypants

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Small quibble — Oregon voted against Measure 9, an attempt to institutionalize anti-gay discrimination in 1992. It was the firewall against bigotry in the same year that Colorado passed Amendment 2, which did limit the rights of LGBT people.

    I have to agree with the commenters who hold the No On 8 campaign responsible for the loss. It appears they coasted on the positive results of the early polling that showed the measure being defeated by a wide margin. At the same time, the wider glbt community also sat around and did nothing, so the No campaign was hindered by a lack of funding to do the kind of early outreach and organizing, particularly among communities of color and allied faith communities, that could have helped to defeat 8.

    So the loss is a shared responsibility. Our opponents will rejoice if we start pointing fingers and apportioning blame among other groups that have experienced discrimination. The last thing we need is a self-pitying circle jerk. Instead, let’s determine where things fell apart, figure out what we can do to change things next time, then get to work.

    And boycott Utah while we’re at it. The Colorado boycott after Amendment 2 passed in 1992 cost the state at least 40 million dollars during the two years before the Colorado Supreme Court threw out the amendment. A nationwide boycott of Utah, Marriott and other Mormon owned businesses could easily cost more. But while we’re at it, how come we’re not talking about boycotting California?

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Wolf: Parse however you like. The fact is you make distinctions without any meaning. Whether it is GOP or conservative- both have been at the forefront of the efforts to ban gay marriage. I think you may want to re-read what I wrote.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Wolf: No the gay vote in 2000 and 2004 were not this high or anywhere close. I believe it was something like around 15 percent.

  • mulletkitty

    thanks poster 28 and tim in sf for adding important depth to this discussion.

    Some of my own thoughts (I am white) for other white people who are shocked that blacks don’t “get it”.

    1. realize that SOME of the anger and outrage at being denied the right to marry is a result of white privilege. How many times in your life have you had a fundamental right denied or taken away? How might your answer to this affect your response to this vote?

    2. realize that to win this battle through coalitions we have to do a better job talking to evangelicals of all races and faiths. Post #28 has a lot to say here. Door to door outreach. Honest one on one conversations with religious leaders and in churches. Not Mac vs. pc spoofs, as clever as they might be.

    3. realize that the “right to marry whom you want” has a long and complicated legacy in the African American community, going back to slavery, which systematically ripped apart loving families.

    On the one hand, this could be a potential place of shared alliance between our communities — the shared history of having one’s loving relationship denied legal recognition. On the other hand, whites need to work hard to understand the much longer ramifications of this history. Blacks have raised strong and successful, loving families for a long time without marriage as the legal lynchpin. Marriage may not be the most pressing civil rights issue for a community that had to make due, historically, without its protections.

    [Note: Do not confuse this with the spurious argument that marriage is not as important to blacks as to whites; that is fuel to a lot of racist stereotype — case in point: The Moynihan report.]

    4. Easy to point fingers rather than realize we will all have to do more to mobilize the vote, talk to people, and make change, and that this will be a long battle to transform deeply-rooted misperceptions and deeply-held beliefs. Whites can learn a lot from African American communities here.

    Fight hard, but fight thoughtfully.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Smartypants: As I understand it, and correct me if I am wrong, Oregon does not have gay marriage, but something less than that. Wasn’t this the basis of the Oregon Court case? Remember CA already has something less than marriage too which was not ended with Prop 8. The point is that these dynamics that we have seen in CA have played in states with very divergent demographics. Thus race seems like the wrong way by which to measure what has happened.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @mulletkitty: great post. I am off to work now. Thanks for writing that however. Very substantive.

  • msim

    Plese stop quoting CNN regarding the false 10%!

    African Americans are 6.7% of the Californian population (see US Census Bureau date 2006) over a quarter of the 6.7 are under 18.
    So that’s barely 5% even if every single black person of legal age voted. PLEASE!

    Sorry, CNN made a mistake (being a beacon of truth in the journalism world, what a surprise!).

    Plus, after reading, CNN’s explanation they do not state how many black people they actually surveyed at the exit polls, it explains it was a random selection of “people”.
    I do hope it was more than 4 African-Americans, because all this scapegoating is really getting on my nerves.

    I have experienced racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. In the end, they all hurt and should disappear.

  • MatthewScott

    Blacks are not “THE” scapegoats for Prop 8 passing. There’s a lot of reasons it passed and a lot of “yes”” voters to blame. It is however, shocking and disappointing that a majority of a group who has know the worst of bigotry in this country, has turned it onto others in much THE same way it was done to them. All groups that supported Prop 8 should be held accountable for their bigotry AND a state that can allow 50% +1 vote decide the civil rights for a minority needs to have it’s system changed (I aughta know – I live there!)

  • Chris

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Well, this bizzare position is just pointing at reality which some people don’t want to get.

    And how dare you call that retarded?

  • asa1973

    @mulletkitty: So very well said!

    Thank you for separating emotion from thought in your post. You said everything I so wanted to say in post #28, but couldn’t think clearly enough to say it.

    In the end, we all are really on the same page. We don’t like Prop 8. We didn’t want it to pass. We definitely have to fight thoughtfully and bravely as we move forward.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    @The Gay Numbers: WHOAH! WTF? Are you serious? Ohh and WTF are you even talking about.

    Look up. read my comments on here on and for the love of christ post a link to the thread you mention if you are going to accuse me of anything. That is goddamn douchy.

    Move on, yes move on. Get the hell over blaming this that or the other. Blame changes nothing, it is going to take real work to get over the next hurdle and to make this right.

    Your presumptions are ignorant. Do not try and guess who or what I believe based on a few comments and I dunno, try not to alienate people on your side.

    I do not advocate violence, sorry, not going to happen. I wish people could accept responsibility for their choices but they cannot so screaming about them for the next decade is going to get us no where.

    Talking points my ass.


  • Timothy

    “Now, the fact that gays and lesbians are beaten, murdered, tortured and executed across the globe for their sexual orientation is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s clear the case has yet to be won that gay rights are civil rights.”

    That is an astonishly stupid statement.

    “Civil rights” does not mean “race-based rights”. Civil rights are those to whom all citizens are granted – they are the inalienable rights discussed in our founding documents. “Civil” simply means they are not granted in context of the military or the church.

    Civil rights are those rights granted TO ALL. And the reason they came to be associated with the black population is because those persons were being denied the rights to whom all persons are entitled, ie their civil rights.

    OBVIOUSLY, to the extent that gay persons are denied equality under law, they are being denied their civil rights. That the author of this comment – along with some in the black community – don’t know what “civil rights” are does not make this any less of a civil rights issue.

  • michael

    What has happened in the vote to ban gay marriage in California is that we gay people saw how much bigotry is still alive and well in even states that are considered liberal compared to most. Thats why the outrage in California is so much stronger than the other states that passed similar measures. I think a lot of people are very angry right now and its some what natural to want to return the hatred that was shown to us, though it unproductive. You reap what you sow, hate reaps hate.

    I believe that we live in a time where the light of truth is being shown in the darkest of places, and nobody is immune and I mean nobody. But I am a spiritual, not religious, person and I have my own beliefs and I do think we are in a period where things that do not work for humanity are being “shattered”. Corporate institutions are being exposed for their unethical practices and are being brought down, I believe that the U.S. itself will be bankrupt in the next few years, and I also believe that we are about to see the fall of all oppressive institutions and religions and governments. We are about to see the exposure of evils that will make the Catholic churches abuse of children look
    look pale in comparison. The moral finger is pointed toward we gays because its a desperate attempt for these groups to deflect from what they, and the rest of us will eventually, come to see.

    The facts, that are not brought to light, are that societies where gay people feel free are our much more prosperous and creative than those where they do not. The same goes for those societies where the majority do not believe in God, just look at the Nordic countries such as Denmark, a very low belief in God and they are rated as one of the happiest populations on the planet. Canada enjoys being home to one of the highest rated cities, Vancouver, in the world to live in. Research has shown that the more freedom a society grants its citizens is directly correlated to the happiness of its citizens. The United States is only beginning to see the hard times that it is in for, it is reaping what it has sown.
    But it will learn. Humans can be stubborn and like a drunk who has not bottomed out yet, the U.S. is stepping into that territory.
    But thats what it will take to wake it up. Fasten your seat belts,
    its going to be a bumpy ride.

  • getreal

    All americans deserve the same rights period And as a black woman it INFURIATES me when other black people delude themselves into thinking the struggles of gays are any different than the struggles of blacks the struggles is the same. The government is discriminating against americans it’s wrong it is against everything this country stands for. Also the fact that gay people can “pass” and we can’t is a ridiculous and disgusting argument this is their country as much as it is ours WHY SHOULD THEY try to pass.It says “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL” NOT ALL STRAIGHT MEN. Although there are some misguided black people who voted yes on Prop 8 I don’t personally know one black person straight of gay who did. Let’s remember that the black voting block in california is largely old and church going and there was no outreach to black churches. Framed in a way that made sense to the church going black community as a civil rights issue not a gay issue I think the black community would have been largely behind it. Do not let the religous right divide us the black community and the gay community have to work together

  • lyssa

    Funny how rich white fags complain about being dissed, yet dish it out in spades to others.

    Trans, anyone? Thought so. And of course gay racism is a tired old canard that just surfaced yet again.

  • asa1973

    @Timothy: You’re absolutely right.

    Civil rights are for all reqardless of who they ARE. But people still judge us based on what they perceive that we DO. That is the very basic reason Prop 8 passed. If we don’t continue to work thoughtfully at deminishing that perception, we will never win.

    We have to stop assuming anyone – no matter what his/her community has been through – can relate to our struggle if s/he doesn’t understand that being gay is a state of being and not an action.

    Go back to the time when you had to explain this when you came out to someone who knew and loved you. Remember those conversations? We have to have them again on a larger scale.

    Let people see us for who we are and what we lose out on if we can’t get married. Gay people who choose to enter into a committed relationship want to protect their partners, property, children, pensions, and life/death decisions the same way that married straight people get to. Those are the rights that we want…so that someone outside of our committed relationship can’t take those away or make decisions for us.

    I have explained equal marriage this way to many people in the past month – most recently to my ex-Mormon partner’s Mormon sister. When she heard it put this way, she said “Oh, is that all it is? Well of course you should have that!”

    Will it always be that simple? No. But we have to infuse the personal with the political as we continue this challengs.

  • Bill Perdue

    A short list of the factors that defeated us in California would put the Democrat Obama/Biden ticket way out in front. They trumpeted their bigotry about same sex marriage and whispered their insultingly last minute tactical opposition to Prop 8 only because it was a constitutional amendment, not because they support equality.

    Obama’s bigotry defeated us. That was followed by the efforts of the mormon, catholic and evangelical cults.

    And third was the fact the same sex marriage is not a priority for most in our communities. We should have all fought Prop 8 but large numbers of California GLBT voters failed to registger or to vote. Donations and volunteers to No on Prop 8 didn’t come close to reflecting the size of our commnities there.

    Like many GLBT folks, their interest in SSM is lukewarm at best. For many our priorities are hate crimes bills, inclusive laws against employment and housing discrimination, HIV/AIDS and a crash program to deal with the awful conditions facing the growing number of GLBT kids being tossed on the street. Its winter and we’re suddenly in a recession heading for a depression.

    If you go to DailyKos and look at the diaries of shanikka you’ll see that it’s statistically impossible for African Americans to have cost us the vote. That was the work of the usual suspects: superstition driven Euroamerican bigots inspired and justified by Obama’s well known prejudice against our equality.

    Here are some of the stats shanikka presented: there are 2.26 million blacks in California and somewhere between 720,000 and 1.2 million voted, They couldn’t have determined the outcome, even if every one voted for 8, which we know is not true.

    White Men: 51% of 31% of 10,325,615 votes: 1,632,480 Yes

    White Women: 47% of 32% of 10,325,615 votes: 1,552,972 Yes

    Latino Men: 54% of 8% of 10,325,615 votes: 446,067 Yes

    Latino Women: 52% of 11% of 10,325,615 votes: 592,170 Yes

    Asian/Native: 51% of 9% of 10,325,615 votes: 473,946 Yes

    Total: 4,697,635 (9.3 times the maximum TOTAL number of Black votes in California.)

    Other exit polling showed that 22% of those who described themselves as “liberal” voted yes on Prop 8, according to exit polls.” They were liberal bigots, aka, Democrats. 82% of Euroamerican Republicans voted for Prop 8. Of all the voter cohorts polled they were the group with the highest percentage of its members voting in favor of the ban. Obama’s bigotry gave them permission to vote theirs.

    The victory of the bigots in California, Florida and Arizona is the price the GLBT movement paid for the partisan diversion created by supporters of Obama and the Democratic Party. Intentionally or not, they temporarily derailed the movement.

    Obama is Bill Clinton (DOMA, DADT, NAFTA) in drag with Colin Powell and Donnie McClurkin attached at the hip.

  • s.b

    Sexual orientatian has never been scientifically proven to be genetically determined. It is probably a psychologically and socially determined choice, and not even part of the identity as it is kown to be subject to change over a lifetime. Therefore I see little reason why civil rights should be extended to allow people of the same sex to marry.

  • rjb

    Y’all are being played by the simplest of distractions. It benefits the powers that be for in-fighting and displaced rage. It is of benefit to them for the gay community to blame the black community.

    Haven’t you wondered for a second why this is the only narrative to have hit mainstream media- the View, the Daily Show, CNN etc… ??? Geez, they wrote this story months before the election and you’re falling for it!. They want minorities fighting against each other instead of pointing fingers at who is really to blame.

    For a gay person to think black people are the reason we lost is just plain stupid.

  • asa1973

    Uhhmmm. #59’s comment reflects exactly the perception I’ve been talking about. This is what made people vote for Prop 8. This is what we have to fight. We do no good pointing our fingers at the black community. We will do a lot of good if we try to understand why people still think the way poster #59 does, and then work at changing that perception.

  • fredo777


    “Black homophobia only stokes the racism that already exists in the LGBT community”

    You know, that goes both ways. Right?

  • Johan

    @Jeffrey Bryan: I completely agree Jeffrey. Its important to remember that we’re all human and that we all must fight for the dignity of our brothers and sisters.

    That said, I think it’s pretty embarrassing how we’re demanding support from communities which we—the “mainstream” lgbt community—have largely ignored.

    I don’t necessarily buy the “they should get it” argument that some direct towards the historically oppressed black community. Yes, I do believe the glbt struggle for equality is a civil rights struggle, but that doesn’t mean everyone sees it that way.

    Yes, glbt peoples have historically been targeted by violent bigots like the Nazis or the sort of folk that beat up Matthew Shephard. As a group in society though, we aren’t always that visible, and so the discrimination and violence towards us have historically been much more subtle than the blatant hatred and enslavement that were visited upon black folks.

    I think the disconnect is not cause for blame or for comments like, “They should get it,” but rather shows us an opportunity where we can share our stories to people who don’t know them. We will not grow bonds to any community by parading around self-righteous recriminations that ignore the fact that we were never there for them.

  • fredo777


    Good point, but #59 is highly likely just a troll.

  • Jadele

    As a black lesbian I think it is my blackly duty to defend my people. Reading your comments it is clear to me that most of you know nothing about blacks give or take a few misinterpreted statistics. If the no on 8 people had bothered to reach out to the black community they would have realized they had no ally there. Also I know black people quite well…we will not support a cause that does not directly affect us…this is most blacks not all. I want you all to understand we don’t see this world the same way you do. We don’t really care about being called bigots, conservative, and oppressors. Those are insults only to white people…given their history as such. Now what the prop 8 vote should have focused on was getting black people to care about their cause…and that we are both minorities and that gays are going through similar struggles as blacks went through will get you no where. I am gay and I find that people went through hell and back!!! Don’t compare that your struggle to have your relationships called a marriage.

  • Tim in SF


    Blacks may not want to support a cause that does not directly effect them, but neither does anybody else. That’s not a black thing, that’s a people thing.

    If the no-on-8 people had done a great job of outreach to the African American community, and got their “yes” numbers down below 50%, the god damn thing STILL WOULD HAVE PASSED. Those are the facts that I think people are missing here.

    The Yes-on-8 people ran a great campaign. They told some really convincing lies and they repeated them over and over until enough people believed them. The No-on-8 campaign was inept from the start – the organizers never ran a state-wide campaign before. They ran terrible commercials that were boring and NEVER SHOWED A SINGLE GAY or LESBIAN COUPLE.

    They ran a far better campaign and they won.

    Let’s learn from our mistake and run a great campaign next time. This blaming each other bullshit is not going to get us anywhere but backwards. It’s pissing off the people we need to be on our sides.

    Fucking grow up and learn, people.

  • fredo777

    @Jadele: As a black gay person, I find your overall tone + attitude to be a bit arrogant. You certainly don’t speak for me, personally.

  • Jadele

    Like someone pointed those yes on 8 commercials were priceless. That one with the little girl coming home with the book…not that I agreed with them but…that’s pretty much what sealed with the Christians.also the ever so obnoxious “whether you like it or not” commercial really got people to thinking. I don’t remember any no on 8 commercials.

  • sparkle obama

    oh my gosh, the learning curve!
    gays should know better!

  • WTF

    Blacks should not be off the hook so easily for their action! That’s terrible, they voted pro prop 8. They should read their history again. Shame Shame!

  • Jadele

    What’s a shame is all the playing into the whole blacks vs. Gays hype. A story put out by straight white men for that very reason. By the way has anybody actually looked at the figures. Blacks made up 10 percent of all voters in CA. Even if we all voted yes it would have taken a substantial amount of everyone else voting yes for prop 8 to pass. 50percent of white voters was far more than 70 percent of black voters.

  • Jadele

    And just so you all know I have never felt embraced by the gay community. I guess its because I’m a Christian though. I love Jesus!!! Seriously all my gay friends are black and all are Christians.

  • Tim in SF

    Jadele, I hear black gays and lesbians complain that when they are hanging out in the black community, they are excluded since they are gay or lesbian, and when they hanging out in the gay ghettos, they feel excluded because they are black. It sounds like a no-win.

    I hear a LOT of people (even here on this thread) say that black people should know better than to discriminate against another minority group. But then again, I often hear about racism in the gay community – that would be gay people discriminating against another minority group.

    So, it seems as if it’s not a gay thing or a black thing, it’s a people thing. Minorities simply do not support each other. And maybe that’s the problem.

    What I would like to know is, how do I, as a gay white guy, build bridges to the African American community? I have no freaking clue. And I do want to know because these bridges must be built.

  • Jadele

    Black people very much set in our ways. I know that homophobia exists in the black community. But mostly its a religious thing. I have know clue how you would build that bridge. Over time I’m sure that homophobia will subside…hopefully. But as for convincing people that them voting for gay marriage is not going against their religion…good luck.I truelly thought that my being a lesbian would be a problem for a lot of my black friends and honestly I’ve lost one friend. Even at our church homosexuals a excepted so my only suggestion to black gays who feel excluded is to change the people who you hang around.

  • asa1973

    @Tim in SF: Here are a few things you can do.

    1: Just be aware. When you go to a gay-sponsored event, and you see a sea of white faces, know that somewhere in the same city there is a group of brown gay faces congregating.

    2: Search out the bars that are largely patronized by minorities and that are rarely listed in urban gay publications. Go to a few. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Yours won’t be the only white face, but you will be in the minority. Realize that people aren’t being “rude” if they don’t immediately talk to you or view you as a potential date. Maybe they’re just not attracted to your…”type.” Resist the urge to complain that you don’t see many white people around. Don’t expect any specific type of treatment just because you’re different than the rest of the crowd. And despite everything, dare to mingle and make friends…but don’t expect people to jump over themselves to make friends with you. Basically, learn what minority gay people feel every time they go to a gay bar in the center of the “gay ghetto.”

    3: Search out the minority gay organizations in your city. They exist. Say that you are tired of the schism that exists and ask to be a part of their group.

    4: Dare to say to your group of friends when you go out — “you know, I see 15 people of color in this bar compared to 150 white people. Where do black gay people hang out?”

    5: Realize that so, so many gay people in minority communities are struggling with simply finding a good enough job to help pay the rent…and then maybe struggle to be the very first person in their entire family’s history to obtain a college degree…and then MAYBE purchase a house…and AGAINST EVERY POSSIBLE ODD share that house with a partner. Equal marriage is a priority of the larger gay community. Let’s learn what the priorities of other minority communities are before assuming and expecting that they should understand ours.

    This would be a start. Now I’ll go over to stereohyped and remind my black brothers and sisters that we are just as responsible for building a bridge with the gay community…

  • Tim in SF


    Thank you for your heartfelt reply. You obviously put a lot of thought into it and it’s full of useful suggestions. I like the idea about minority bar hopping. I went to a Mexican bar once and I can’t exactly say I was “ignored” – I was practically mobbed. I may have had more fun in that bar than I’ve ever had in *any* bar. It’s time to go back. And I’ll drag along my Chinese husband. :-)

  • asa1973

    @Tim in SF: LOL!!! Getting mobbed is another definite possibility!

  • Stanza

    I think that the majority of you that are angry with the black community are missing some valuable information that may help you a little. Since I’m a product of living in the black community my entire life, I can tell you this.

    Blacks have always been overwhelmingly against gay marriage, PERIOD. It’s not a question of civil rights at all. It never has been. It’s a question of morals. Most African Americans are seriously pissed off at this claim. If you really want to gain allies in your struggle, That little detail alone may help you gain some, especially for those african americans that lived through the Great Depression and Jim Crow laws. Your struggle wouldn’t have been tolerated then just as it isn’t tolerated now.

    Blacks, since their arrival in this country, have really only two things that have helped them survive the centuries. The family structure(even though that has drastically changed) and their belief of a higher being(GOD if you will). Hell, I know drug dealers and pimps that still go to church on Sundays. This is very engrained in Black folks. It’s really generational and passed on from parents to children. You must understand this people, or you’ll never gain an African American alliance.
    The “CIVIL RIGHTS” moniker just doesn’t stack up to what African Americans don’t even consider civil rights.

    Just to prove this, My cousin, (T.J. Brennen III, thanks for letting me use your name cuz), is a forty-three year old black male living in the Oakland area of California. Strangely enough, HE VOTED FOR PROP 8! Weird but true.
    His reasoning was that his church upbringing was much more important than what he wanted personally, I really didn’t understand this, but he’s not the only one folks.

    My only advice to the gay community would be to learn more about the African American struggle and you’ll probably see how amazingly different your struggle is from ours(This advice also goes to blacks who think he same thing as well).

    This is the only way you’ll be able to forge a true line of communication with blacks. The blame game won’t do it. If the first percentage was 70%. Take a vote today and it would probably be 80%. Blame doesn’t work very well with African Americans.

  • Johan

    @Stanza: I have a few questions for you.

    Gays and lesbians are hung or stoned to death in certain Middle Eastern countries by their government; even here in America, hundreds are beaten, abused, or murdered every year—simpy because they are gay. Are you saying that the right to life is not a civil right?

    Up until 2003, when the Supreme Court struck them down, laws against the private, physical expressions of love between two men were on the books (and in some cases even enforced!) in fourteen states. Is my right to privacy not a civil right?

    It is currently legal in 30 states for a private employer to fire me simply because I am gay. In only eleven of those states I can find protection from employment discrimination only by working for the state government. How is the freedom from job discrimination not a civil right for me while it is one for an African American?

    When I apply for housing, in many states I can be legally discriminated against because I am gay. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, it was to prohibit discrimination in housing. Why was protection from housing discrimination a civil right then while it is not now?

    Coretta Scott King equated our civil rights struggle to the civil rights struggle that she endured. She even quoted her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I think she speaks from a position of authority on the matter of civil rights, having lost her husband to the fight for them.

    So I ask you this: What is your justification that my quest for equal rights is not a struggle for civil rights?

  • Stanza

    @Johan: Thanks Johan for the response.

    My justification is the fact that your struggle is over a word, not equal or civil rights. That word is MARRIAGE!! That is what your struggle is over. The state of California along with two others passed a similar proposition. What many in the gay and lesbian community fail to realize is that this is not about rights at all. It’s about the definition of a word. The state never said you could not live with the person of your choosing. It never said that you were three-fifths of a human being. Guess what, you still have the right to leave social security funds to your significant other. Do you know that blacks were not allowed to do any of these things. Hell, in some cases they weren’t even allowed to marry each other depending on their ancestral lineage or skin tone. Blacks see their struggle as a human rights struggle, but they see the gay and lesbian struggle as a little more than a moral/political stance.

    The only thing that i can tell you Johan is that When you get down to the root surface of this debate, You and I both know that your struggle isn’t nearly as torrid and tumultuous as ours has been. THIS is what drives African Americans ape [email protected](homosexual blacks can tell you the same thing, well the one’s that are true students of history will.)

    You also mentioned Coretta Scott King’s views. While I sincerely respect her views as I respect yours, I also respectfully disagree with Mrs. King.(as does about 90% of the American American population.) I will never use the last name of “King” in my statements unless it’s absolutely warranted, (like now). Let it be known that Mrs. King and Dr. King did not agree on all subjects (especially moral issues). Dr. King also DID NOT!! approve of marriage being anything more than a union of MAN AND WIFE. For this reason, some in the gay community are more apt to cite her opinions over Dr. King’s views.

    Thank you brother for you response. I look forward to more fruitful exchanges in the future. God bless.

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