From Farai

Black/Gay Prop 8 Backlash

Things are getting really ugly in Cali.

Today we spoke with blogger Jasmyne Cannick, who is black and lesbian, about the passage of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage. Unlike other states that had anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives, California actually allowed (after many legal battles) gays and lesbians to marry. And many of them did, up until the day of the election.

The ballot initiative has passed, halting new marriages and raising the question of how the gay couples who got married will be treated.

Here's the thing: Seventy percent of black Californians voted for the ban ... compared to 49 percent of white voters and 53 percent of Latino voters? Experts say black and Latino voters also overwhelmingly voted to pass similar measures in Florida and Arizona.

Now there seems to be a "blame the blacks" backlash by gay and lesbian protesters.

This article says that a black gay male couple carrying "no on 8" were harassed by white gays and lesbians during a protest against the newly-passed gay marriage ban. Another person who also supported gay rights was called the N word.

On our show, Cannick pointed out that for all the money poured into "No On 8" initiatives, people organizing around gay rights did not go in and make their case on a grassroots level in black communities. Another factor is that one person I spoke to — a gay white man — said, "We worked hard for Obama. We couldn't do everything"... i.e., that many politically active members of the California gay community felt that Prop 8 was a second priority.

So the blame game goes on ... keep an eye on this one. It could rip the Democratic big tent big time.

(For the record, we also spoke with Lou Engle, founder of "The Call," a Christian Ministry focused on young people. "The Call" held several rallies in support of Prop 8 leading up to election day.)

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