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Posts Tagged ‘california’

Andrew Sullivan — otherwise one of Obama’s strongest supporters — calls him out for not opposing Proposition 8 strongly enough:

The final analysis is pretty clear. There was a big overlap between new, largely black Obama voters and the forces for discrimination against gay married couples and our families.

The massive black turnout was the critical factor. And Obama’s refusal to take a firm stand in the last few weeks of the campaign was instrumental to its passage.

[…] Obama has always opposed marriage equality, even splitting with his own church on the issue. In California, he got his way.

Yes he did.

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The CNN exit polls explain the passage of Proposition 8, that eliminates the right of gays to marry in California:

African-Americans voted for Proposition 8 by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin. However, 55 percent of white voters and 52 percent of Hispanics voted against the proposition.

This does seem to affirm the common observation that African-Americans tend to be highly homophobic. It is unfortunate that a group that has been a traditional victim of discrimination voted yesterday to deny legal rights to another community.

(Hat Tip: The art of the Possible)

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I agree with Dale Carpenter about what now appears to be an uphill battle against Proposition 8:

What’s interesting to me is that both sides have avoided the merits of allowing gay couples to marry. Gay-marriage supporters have done so, with focus-group tested messages in hand, because they suspect a large group of people even in a progressive statement are still deeply uncomfortable with homosexuality and certainly don’t like gay marriage. Gay-marriage opponents have done so, I presume, because they know that Americans don’t like to be seen as discriminating or opposing civil rights. So they paint gay marriage, instead, as itself a threat to the rights of religious people and parents. The theory seems to be that the side that’s most seen as defending rights is the side that wins.

I doubt that any months-long campaign of television ads, no matter their content, could really change the basic impulses most people have on this issue. Those impulses, whether they lead you to support or oppose gay marriage, are developed over a lifetime of experience. Very few people come to this issue without some fairly strongly held views. Such views are hard to dislodge.

Still, there’s something to Rostow’s hope that one day gay-marriage supporters might actually argue that gay marriage is a good thing. If we’re going to lose these ballot fights anyway, why not fight the good fight rather than the agnostic one?

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Eugene Volokh has an interesting discussion about a new California law, currently under discussion, that aims to protect researchers against animal rights terrorism.

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