Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We should know better

More than that, we should be ashamed of ourselves. How could it be that on a night that seemed to summon our better selves, black voters thumbed their noses at equality?

Every ethnic group supported marriage equality, except African-Americans, who voted overwhelmingly against extending to gay people the civil rights once denied them: a staggering 69 - 31 percent African-American margin against marriage equality. That's worse than even I expected.
It is a cruel irony that the forces that helped Barack Obama into the White House also appear to have aided the forces of homophobia. Newly blue Florida even affirmed this nonsense with significant help from black and Hispanic voters.

"Obviously, having a robust African-American turnout was helpful," said lawyer John Stemberger, who ran the campaign Florida4Marriage, the group that sponsored the ballot measure.

In retrospect, I do wish Obama had spoken more forcefully on this issue during his campaign. I wonder if his powerful voice could have provided the difference. I suppose it's a reminder that we can't afford to fall in love with politicians - Obama has said he doesn't support full civil equality for gays and lesbians. Yes, even a historical figure like our new president will ultimately be on the wrong side of history.

But I've already spoken on this, so there's little more than I can express today other than disappointment. TNC can handle it from here:

I've always maintained that you don't have to like black people to do the right thing. Same thing here. I'm not very interested in folks's homophobia. I'm interested in why they think they should be in the business of dictating terms of love to two consenting adults. It's disgusting. And we need to let this shit go.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan passionately details the fight ahead for gay couples. Loved this: "And this is a civil rights movement. It goes forward and it is forced back. The battle to end miscegenation took centuries. These are the rhythms of progress."

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