News Headlines

Black, Latino Voters Reponsible For Gay Marriage Bans?

same-sex marriage

As many African Americans celebrated progress with the election of the nation's first black president, gays and lesbians saw setbacks, as bans passed on same-sex marriage measures in three states.

Here's more from the New York Times:

A giant rainbow-colored flag in the gay-friendly Castro neighborhood of San Francisco was flying at half-staff on Wednesday as social and religious conservatives celebrated the passage of measures that ban same-sex marriage in California, Florida and Arizona.

In California, where same-sex marriage had been performed since June, the ban had more than 52 percent of the vote, according to figures by the secretary of state, and was projected to win by several Californian news media outlets. Opponents of same-sex marriage won by even bigger margins in Arizona and Florida. Just two years ago, Arizona rejected a similar ban.

The across-the-board sweep, coupled with passage of a measure in Arkansas intended to bar gay men and lesbians from adopting children, was a stunning victory for religious conservatives, who had little else to celebrate on an Election Day that saw Senator John McCain lose and other ballot measures, like efforts to restrict abortion in South Dakota, California and Colorado, rejected.

... The losses devastated supporters of same-sex marriage and ignited a debate about whether the movement to expand the rights of same-sex couples had hit a cultural brick wall, even at a time of another civil rights success, the election of a black president.

... Frank Schubert, the campaign manager for Protect Marriage, the leading group behind Proposition 8, agreed that minority votes had put the measure over the top, saying that a strategy of working with conservative black pastors and community leaders had paid off.

Early exit polls may back up Schubert's anecdotal evidence. The L.A. Times reports that whites largely opposed the measure, blacks supported it, and Latinos were divided.

What do you think? And what does it mean for the future of coalition politics?

Flashback: Gay Rights Vs. Civil Rights In Same-Sex Marriage Debate



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.


NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from