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70% of African Americans backed Prop. 8, exit poll finds

A lot of Obama/Yes-on-8 voters? The Associated Press exit polls show that African Americans and Latinos backed Proposition 8 in good numbers. Details here from AP:

California's black and Latino voters, who turned out in droves for Barack Obama, also provided key support in favor of the state's same-sex marriage ban. Seven in 10 black voters backed a successful ballot measure to overturn the California Supreme Court's May decision allowing same-sex marriage, according to exit polls for The Associated Press.

More than half of Latino voters supported Proposition 8, while whites were split. Religious groups led the tightly organized campaign for the measure, and religious voters were decisive in getting it passed. Of the seven in 10 voters who described themselves as Christian, two-thirds backed the initiative. Married voters and voters with children strongly supported Proposition 8. Unmarried voters were heavily opposed.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (399)

Ok. I'm religious and I agree that gays are as equal as everyone else. Also I believe that marriage is between the opposite sex, But was there any need to even make more problems in this area by having people vote on it? And would it have been tought in schools later on in the furture? Cause when i have my child i dont want them to learn about marriage while at school, I want to teach them myself. So i decided to leave that section blank because I was confused. What should I have done?

What it is with bigots and spelling?

Oh, right. Ignorance. Of course.

Does anyone else find it revoltingly ironic that the Latter day church of polygamous marriage was one of the driving forces behind Prop (h)8?

Since when did we let Utah decide what's written into our constitution?

As far as African Americans supporting gay bigotry - why is anyone surprised? Rampant homophobia in the AA community isn't exactly a secret, is it.

@ Orin Ryssman

My deepest apologies, Mr. Ryssman. You are, of course, exactly right... discrimination loses its sting when "all other persons" are counted as 3/5s rather than 3/4s. I fear, however, that -- in your passion for chapter and verse-- you may have misunderstood my point: collective wisdom does not always make good law.

I'm an African-American who lives in South Central LA. Here's what happened. In black neighborhoods, there are 3-5 churches on every block of every street (along with 3-5 liquor stores)

The point? Black people go to church! And EVERY black church I know of mobilized, organized and convinced members to vote for Prop 8. There were petitions floating around, phone calls, you name it.

There was already a pretty significant layer of homophobia among blacks. (Every black celebrity who makes it gets hit with the inevitable "gay rumor")

But once you add RELIGION to the mix, that TRUMPS DISCRIMINATION in the black community. (Although it would be interesting to see if they would feel similarly about an amendment to end fornication...)

Also, every black person I talked to thought churches would lose their TAX EXEMPT STATUS if they refused to marry a same sex couple (which is untrue)

Third, a lot of African Americans were concerned about CHILDREN learning about same sex marriage and "thinking that's OK".

There you have it....so if you want to pass legislation that is pro same-sex marriage, you're going to have to do it on a day when black voter turnout is NOT going to be at historical levels.

I voted No on Prop 8. I believe in the separation of church and state.

Well, if you want to keep quoting the bible, let's not forget that the bible endorses slavery and tells slaves to obey their masters. Yet, African-Americans have a problem with that. You've taken away our rights and have denied us the opportunity to rights in the future. You've got yours and now you have imposed your beliefs onto us. That's just wrong. Who is anyone to tell another how they should live their life? If that's what makes you good Christians, how sad for you

PS - If you think violence only happens to African-Americans, read what happened to Brandon Teena and Matthew Shepard as examples as to what kind of violence gays and lesbians endure.

1. No civil rights movements have ever been the same. But the point is that ALL civil rights movements have been unpopular. That is why they have never been left to the voters.

2. "Traditional" marriage, to those of you who want to "protect" it, was almost always strictly "same-race" for thousands of years, until only the last few decades. To those African-American and Latino voters who voted for this discriminatory amendment: imagine if it had banned marriages between a "negro and white" instead of "same-sex couples". A hundred years ago, an amendment could have had the same arguments (children learning it in schools, and voters supporting it) that prop 8 has today. Thank God that never happened.

3. Please, someone logically explain how their own opposite-sex marriage has been "restored" today. NOTHING was "imposed" on you, your children, or your church by other people getting married.

4. Why the hell were people cheering exuberantly at the pro-8 rally, as was shown on the Times website earlier? How can a ballot that has nothing to do with them, and that is a strong slap in the face to tens of thousands of people, be exciting? They should claim victory and move on, not rejoice at destroying the rights of a minority.

5. The people of California have not "spoken". And we will not "move on", as the anti-equality people insist we do. Half of voters (and more than half the state, if polls are to be believed) realized what an un-American proposal Prop 8 was. That old, bigoted, homophobic people in Orange County, San Diego, Nor-Cal, and East California can make decisions about basic human rights for the rest of us is utterly disgusting.

6. If anyone thinks that civil unions are "equal", then please, lets actually make them equal, and force straight couples to accept them instead of marriage too.

7. Finally, changes to the constitution, at any level, should never simply be left to petition. This sets a dangerous precedent that racial, sexual, economic, or political majorities will always be able to simply "skip" the judicial review system (which, by the way, was the mechanism that gave African-Americans rights and equality that were unpopular).

California is a progressive, tolerant, and forward-thinking state. Yesterday it took a terrible, probably permanent, slide into state-sponsored prejudice. For now, at least, the acceptance of LGBT people in America has hit a dead-end.

Hey LA Times, have you noticed that despite the fact the majority of voters approved Proposition 8, 97% of the comments on this post are anti-Proposition 8? Don't you think that says something about how the conservative readership has abandoned this liberal newspaper? Does that not indicate a complete lack of journalistic integrity on your part?

The way the article is written it's an invitation to attack black voters for their choices. Didn't the article also say that whites and Latinos voted 50% or more for Prop 8 as well? So basically most people were voting against it. Shame on the times for this biased article skewed so only a particular segment can be attacked by your posters.

There is not one single argument I have heard in support of prop 8 that doesnt scream of bigotry. You may be to stupid to understand that, or to depserate to convince yourselves that its Gods will. But the fact is yesterday, you stepped in and you stripped rights away from a group of people who have done NOTHING to you simply because tey are different from you. It is a GROSS perversion of Christianity and the teachings of Christ to claim you do this for religious reasons. Your "morals" have little to do with Christs teachings anymore, and your definition of marriage means even less. Just take a look at the "sacred" institution in your communities. Your divorce rates are ridiculous. Your teen pregnancy rate appalling. And yet you have the nerve to stand in judgement of others and deny them the basic right you have. How small and petty, and eventually, how futile. You wont win. You keep changing the rules everytime the law tells you you're wrong. But we keep winning. And we arent going anywhere. Maybe if you were all blessed with one gay child you would think differently. Yes, I think I'll start praying for that now.
California should have known better.

As wrong as this is, and even though civil rights should never be put up to a popluar vote, I have to concur with others who have said our GAY LEADERSHIP FAILED us ... utterly ... it was a crappy campaign - even though it shouldn't have been a campaign, it was - and it was crappy. We should have had nice bright yellow or orange signs to counter the Yes signs, and a better organized base, and many, many more OUTspoken supporters on our ads - and foot soldiers knocking on doors or standing on street corners - and to have understood whose votes we were trying to secure and how to do that, which we did not. Still, it is completely and utterly correct to file suit against this proposition on the merit that it violates equal protection under our state constitution.

@ Orin Ryssman

My sincere apologies, Mr. Ryssman. I'm certain you're exactly right -- the sting of discrimination is significantly less when "all other persons" are counted as 3/5s rather than 3/4s. I fear, however, in your passion for chapter and verse, you've misunderstood my point: Collective wisdom does not always make good law.

As a black man( heterosexual) I want to apologize for our ignorance and lack of sensitivity to the gay community. I have always wondered as a people why we are always last to GET IT. We were slow to support Obama he only received 35% support of the black community prior to the Iowa caucus. Hatred is hatred and we should be the last to support any issue that limits the rights of any individual. This is not a religious position look at how many in the black community voted no on prop 4. so don't give me the religious angle when justifying this position. Lets wake up people we of all should understand this struggle.

It is beyond me why so many African-Americans are so bound up in their own grievances that they cannot see the experiences of others for what they are. Pain is pain. Oppression is oppression.

Speaking as a gay white man who grew up in an upper-middle class family with all of the advantages that should confer, as a teenager growing up, I think I can safely say that I was beaten senseless for being a "f_g" many more times than all but the most unlucky African American was for being black. As some of those posting on this site have correctly observed, later I could "hide" by making my mannerisms more masculine and did. But it made it no less painful, and vastly more isolating because survival, both personally and professionally required me to hide, even from myself. And living in New York State, it was only in 2003 at the age of 49 that my rights to housing and employment were protected, almost 40 years after the great civil rights legislation that rightly ended "Jim Crow." In 30 states today, there are no such protections for gay Americans of the sort that African Americans can assert as a matter of routine.

And for those African Americans who insist that homosexuality is a choice unlike the color of their skin, have you ever asked a gay person about that? Why in heaven's name would anyone "choose" to be a social outcast and despised as was certainly the case in my childhood and is still true today? And why ignore science which has found a number of correlations between sexuality and brain structure?

Most of all, why insist that your own experience is uniquely awful? How different is the life of the Matthew Shepard that ended in 1998 tied to a barbed wire fence in Wyoming, than the life of Michael Donald who in Alabama in 1981 was the last known person to be lynched? Each is equally tragic and unjust, not withstanding that one was gay and the other was African-American, and both deaths were terribly wrong.

As I have asked of my gay friends who belittle people of color, I now ask of the 70 percent of African-American Californians who voted in favor of Proposition 8, "HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE?"

I have always loved California, and very nearly made it my home, but I cannot reconcile this vote with the California I love.

1. This is inflammatory journalism. The very short article references SEVERAL voting groups but only puts african americans in the title.

2. Since when are exit polls reliable?

3. I don't think enough people knew the difference between a civil union/domestic partnership and being able to be "married." A lot of people think that civil unions are good enough. Maybe next time it should be explained better.

5. Why does it seem like people are insinuating that gay and or white ppl did black people some sort of favor by voting for Obama and that that favor was not returned...?

4. I personally think that more minorities were put off by the way No on 8 tried to link the minority struggle with the gay struggle as if they were the same. Example: speaking of marriage...my best friend got married this summer and it was a full out traditional Nigerian wedding which was drastically different than anything I'd ever seen. I left there strangely sad because I wish I had a CULTURE and a GENEALOGY and ROOTS that I could explore and develop and honor. But I don't. I'm a descendant of slaves...thats all I know. Somehow, thats inherently different than not being able to say "I do." One struggle involves the complete obliteration of the roots and ties and culture of a whole race of ppl. One involves being able to join in a domestic partnership but not being able to say that so and so is my husband or wife as opposed to my "partner."

Its so different its not even in the same hemisphere.

But I guess thats just me.

I could not agree more with all the previous comments, expecially the first one, I find this incredibly shocking that blacks would discriminate against gays, yet when we placed our votes for Obama -- we did not discriminate. In Obama's acceptance speech -- he mentioned gay and straight -- as part of america. I hope that they realize that their fight against discrimination should start with them as well. No one should discriminate and I had long believed that of all minority groups -- it would be the blacks that would fully understand this issue. Proposition 8 was nothing more than discrimination, It does not hurt people, it gives them equal rights -- it would almost be like saying that no blacks can marry each other. You put any minority group in place of gays in that proposition and you will see how wrong the passage really is.

First of all, how dare anyone have the audacity to compare gay rights to to any type of civil injustices that African-Americans have endured. You have to be kidding me. Unlike gays, African-Americans had ABSOLUTELY no choice in what was thrown their way and could only adapt to the new environment that they were forced to live in. Over a time, a long time, we have learned to overcome and manage in this society that has done nothing but create obstacle after obstacle to prevent our progress.

Now, as far as the LGBT community, you have more issue than a little bit that you all have brought upon yourselves. You were born in the wrong bodies, some look like men, but really are women, some look like women, but really are men , some date both genders, some are dishonest about their own genders and lie to the people that they date, some expect children to say they have two mommies or call one of the mommies daddy, some expect the children to say they have two daddies or call one of the daddies mommy, some women call themselves men and boys, while you have some men calling themselves girls and women. And now now you want the rest of the world to accept that your community carries the label of husband and wife. You all do not understand yourselves, yet you want those who are outside of your world to understand you and accept you? Get a grip. You all live live a confusing life, that is why you flock to one another and only understand one another.

Further more, you all are so selfish that you are not thinking about the long term effects that this will have on or children in the future. No this may not make our children automatically gay, however, it does give them the notion that you can be with who ever or what ever you want to be with and if you want to look or change to the opposite gender, you can. There are many young confused children that are not really gay, but they have hooked up with the wrong crowd and they are just completely confused now. These confused children are in schools with our children. This is not about a lifestyle. This is not even about a choice. This is pretty much about curiosity and rebellion. This is a breakdown.

Do not be mad at the African American community because we hold ourselves to a higher moral value and cling to our religion. It is our religion that has gotten us where we are to this day. WE WILL NOT FORGET! And for those who want to say that we are hypocrites, please know that there is a difference in committing a sin and wallowing in a sin. We all fall short. However, when you say I am sorry and make it a point to do better, you are recognized for your good works. In the case of living a gay lifestyle, which is clearly noted as unacceptable (and yes the Bible tells you to judge a tree by the fruit it produces; for those who have want to believe that judging is wrong), you are clearly wallowing and justifying your sin. That is WRONG! It has been wrong and it will remain wrong. Just because you all can not curb the desires of your emotions and inner beings does not make it right.

No one is discriminating. You all will never even begin to really know what that word means.

It's ironic that the Obama campaign probably contributed to high voter turnout and the passage of Proposition 8! I wonder how Hispanics and Blacks would feel if there were an initiative removing their right to vote!

This comes as no surprise. Blacks have a serious homophobia in their community, and Latinos are highly religious. I'm Black and I have 2 friends who voted for Obama and yes on 8, even after Obama said prop 8 was wrong. I'm straight but I'm not prejudice. So me being a liberal I voted no. Although homosexuals are not a race like Blacks and Latinos they are still human beings. You got to live and let live people. Siding with conservatives is not right, because they have never been a friend to minorities.

Before we start casting blame for the passing of this awful proposition, let's think for a moment and figure out in whose best interest is it to pit African-American and Latinos against the Gay community? Where is the data to back up the assertion that Blacks and Latinos were for Prop 8? We must remember that there are forces out there that want us divided and fighting amongst ourselves. We must not let them hooodwink us. We must form coalitions and defeat any move to take away or deny each of us out human dignity. Everyone has the right to love and marry who they desire. None of us should have the power to deny a couple the rights and privileges that we all share.

Yeah yeah yeah. You gay rights activists don't put the blame on us minorities. Gay marriage is not equivalent to interracial marriage. Gay lifestyle is a choice. Blacks know that fundamentally racism is not a principle that is inherently acceptable, but when gays and lesbians want to change the definition of something so fundamental such as marriage then something is wrong.

I think that a good % of people misunderstood what a "yes" vote would mean. I have talked to countless people (most of which are Black) that thought that their "yes" vote meant they were supporting gay marriage not saying "no" to it. It was confusing to some to say the least.

Filter the election results by education, and you will see a correlation between those areas with with a high proportion of bachelors degrees and a No on 8 vote, and those areas with a low proportion of bachelors degrees and a yes on 8 vote. This discussion board seems to bear this out.

You don't have to be able to "see" a feature in order for it to be a feature accorded equal rights. Standing in line are two African American men, and two Caucasian men. Which one is mentally handicapped? If you need to be able to "see" the difference, then you must be arguing for the dissolution of rights for the mentally disabled as well.

If reproduction is the heart of marriage, then you must be against heterosexual marriages involving sterile people.

Obviously, the gay struggle in America has been nothing like what African Americans have faced. In fact, not much has. But if something needs to be qualitatively and quantitatively equal to the African American experience in order to be justifiably accorded rights against discrimination, well, then almost nothing else can be protected. I can see that the comparison is insulting. But that does not deny the fact that there can be discrimination to a lesser degree. It's not all or nothing.

7/10 African Americans voting yes on 8 is disturbing. But keep in mind this does mean that thousands of African Americans also voted no on 8. The yes on 8 campaign was smart. Black people are not the reason this was passed. This is not a reason to stop fighting for their causes.

There is a silver lining here: not too long ago this passed with 60% of the vote. Now lets just hope the ACLU can get this thrown out in court.

Could someone quote some scripture in the New Testament that gives a Christian argument against homosexuality? As a straight Christian, it's always been my understanding that Christ represents a new Covenant, that God is Love, that His love is to be shared among all his creation and that we need to spend more time treating others as ourselves than following ancient dietary and social laws. If you eat pork and shellfish (which Leviticus also prohibits), then why do you insist on throwing out the Gospel when so proudly boasting you're a Christian?

God created all of us, straight and gay, and His Son told us that we'll be judged by how we treat the least among us. Don't put your homophobia and hatred on Jesus - you certainly can't back it with anything He said.

This is a sensitive topic, but to point fingers at people is not going to help. There are plenty of places in the world who have a skew view on marriage, America must hold strong to the roots on which it was founded on, its Christian principles. Those roots allowed people for freedom of speech, freedom of religious practices as well as many other freedoms the rest of the world does not have the luxury to enjoy. People need to control themselves and be grateful for the freedoms we have and hold strong to the morals and values this country was and is founded on. Love one another, and trust in the God that gave us freedom.

Let's not ignore the elephant in the room. Obama supporters went into the voting booth armed with Obama's opposition to same-sex marriage and voted Yes on Prop. 8.

I voted third party for the first time -- both candidates supported same-sex marriage. Obama chose to ignore our plight for more votes.

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