The real enemies of gay people | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The real enemies of gay people

Posted By on Sat, Nov 8, 2008 at 6:27 AM

People for the American Way has sent around a media message responding to the burst of reporting about the high degree of black voter approval of the gay marriage ban in California and anti-gay measures elsewhere. (I haven't studied Arkansas closely, but it seems an anomaly. Little Rock's black precincts were among the relatively small number statewide that opposed anti-gay Act 1 and the act's winning margin was smaller in several counties with large black voter percentages.)

PFAW argues that a more even split of black voters (70-30 for in exit polls) in California still wouldn't have been sufficient to beat Prop. 8. And besides, it notes, the real enemies of equal treatment of gay people are not black voters. Scapegoating a minority that understands unequal treatment is no way to build a coalition for the country's inevitable changing of course on this issue.

For those interested in fair treatment of gay people, the PFAW explainer is worth a read. It says that those inclined to demonize black people should focus on the Mormon Church, Catholic conservatives and Religious Right leaders who crusaded for the narrow victory in California.

Prop. 8 passed in part because of the argument that gay people in California already were afforded most of the legal protections provided by same-sex marriage. (Arkansas constitutionally prohibits this.) Polls show black people support equal treatment of gay people, if not the label of marriage itself.

I know that separate but equal is not equal. But it's a heckuva lot better for the moment in California than what true enemies wish on gay people. Advocates of equality shouldn't drive away sympathizers. Know your true enemies. Above all, keep the faith.

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