Prop 8: People of Color Show Whites How Discrimination is Done

November 7, 2008

Yes, I'm talking about Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage. The overall numbers are around 52 percent Yes, 48 percent No ... not at all a comfortable margin, and much smaller than the 61 percent victory of the similar Proposition 22, which the Cali Supreme Court overturned this May. But close is no cigar for tens of thousands of longstanding queer marriages which have been legally legitimized, and legally broken, twice now.

That narrow margin is what is leading pundits to speculate that the unusually large PoC vote made up the difference. Exit polls show that 49 percent of Asians (a nice surprise for me, actually; I would have guessed a cool 60 percent), 53 percent of Latinos, and a whopping 70 percent of African Americans voted Yes on 8, together easily representing the margin that put the proposition over the line.

Possible reasons include: general homophobia among PoC communities, Christianity, disinformation, and a reverse Bradley Effect. Re: homophobia, especially in the black community: you can never just look away from this explanation, but you can't simply accept it, either. The African American community has been targeted over the years with many different accusations of prejudice and closed-mindedness, in part because this is an easy and safe way to attack African Americans who are perceived to have the moral high ground when it comes to discrimination. So I hesitate to hurl any accusations on this head, although a 70 percent come-down for a gay marriage ban is pretty breathtaking. I hope to hear a great deal about what happened there in the coming months from queer allies in the black community.

We've also seen this accuse-and-conquer tactic used in this election against Asians and Latinos when speculating as to whether or not they would vote for a black candidate, although the history of discrimination accusations against Asians and Latinos isn't as clear-cut as that against blacks. It's mostly been used in the past to divide the PoC communities from each other, which is what was going on earlier in this election as well. The answer to the will-they-vote-Obama question is pretty obvious now, but how this works together with voter turnout and Yes on 8 remains unclear. What I'm saying is: be careful with this one, especially while you're still feeling angry and bitter.

It's also not a huge stretch to say that -- in PoC communities as in white ones -- people voted their religion in this election more than their color or party, when it came to cultural (as opposed to economic or politically ideological) issues. There are no Christian establishment churches in the U.S. that do not oppose gay marriage. And that's all I need to say about that, beyond cautioning against anyone trying to calculate the alchemy that renders a vote from professed religion and individual conscience.

As for the "reverse Bradley Effect," this LA Times commentator extends the definition beyond voters saying they'll vote for a black candidate but not doing so. The blogger reminds us that the Bradley election included a gun control measure that may have brought out white conservative voters who might otherwise not have turned out. The implication here is that the people polled during the Obama campaign may well have been lying about being able to vote for a black candidate, but the hope engendered by Obama's high numbers could have turned out culturally disenfranchised voters who otherwise would have stayed at home ... especially voters of color. The Prop 8 win was -- as the Bradley loss in 1982 -- an unintended side-effect.

Let's look away from a progressive political process that counts on poor voters of color not going to the polls, to look at the enormous, well-funded, and successful disinformation campaign mounted by Prop 8's backers, many of whom were sending money in from out of state. This campaign spouted a number of lies, including that California already required that children be taught about gay marriage in school. On the one hand, if you're already struggling with homophobic feelings, and having them validated by your pastor, this might just be the final push you need. On the other hand, suggesting that communities of color are more susceptible -- less able to see through -- outrageous disinformation campaigns is yet another typical condescending view.

The one thing that everyone can agree on is that the No on 8 campaign was started too late, poorly run, and ineffective.

So there doesn't seem to be a single reason, or culprit, here. All I know is that, during a week that I should have been unreservedly proud to be a person of color in the United States, I have had to share my elation with shame and anger and bitterness.

Let's not go through this again. Whatever the reason, the onus is on us people of color -- particularly progressive, organized PoC with access to media -- to get into this fight and make sure Prop 8 gets overturned. Don't let this stain on our constitution stand!

Check back in with No on 8 and the Human Rights Campaign for further actions in the coming months.




Let's get real. The passage of Prop 8 in California had almost nothing to do with a poorly run No on 8 campaign or a particuarly well run Yes on 8 campaign. In the end, the people of California voted their conscience, and it appears that approximately 52.5% of Californians would prefer that a gay union remain as just that, a civil union, rather than grant it the status of marriage. It's now time to move on.
Maybe some PoC voters were offended by the ubiquitous "No on 8" commercial that equated a gay-marriage ban with black/white segregation and the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans.
the state supreme court, not six months ago, said loud and clear that gay marriage bans were unconstitutional, and you really think that anyone's just going to "move on" because the evenly split vote slightly favored bigotry?you'd like that, wouldn't you, anonymous? but this is so far from over they're not even on the same planet. i hope you're really, really, really committed to discriminating against queers, because--fasten your seatbelt--you're in for a long, and very bumpy ride.
The black community is extremely homophobic. There is such a deep-seated insecurity there that drives black men to all sorts of risky behaviors in the name of proving their manhood, i.e. their heterosexuality.This homophobia goes beyond a cultural aversion to homosexuality. It is so vitriolic that it rivals the fire of hate groups like the skinheads, with gay black men often fearing for their safety if outed. The macho thing pervades other minority communities as well, and it is a direct manifestation of the low status that many men in these communities feel they have. Macho is a way to compensate for not having a job or not having an education or not having much money.
How is it Bigotry? Did you ever think for a minute that people are tired of being pushed upon by those who are looking for legitimacy? There is NO connection or similarity between the Civil Rights movement and the Homosexual Rights movement. People of color had no choice when they were born, they cannot "wash" away their color. The civil Rights movement was a beautiful thing and Homosexuals want to tarnish it by comparing it to the homosexual rights baloney. It is called "sexual PREFERENCE" i.e. prefer having relations with others of the same sex. Being a person of color is not a PREFERENCE or a choice it is your inheritance. There is no comparison or "racism" involved in the homosexual issues at hand. It isn't "hate" speech either. I am so tired of people manipulating the English language in order to claim the status of victim. I don't care if you are a homosexual, You have the right to privacy as written in the Constitution of this Great Nation keep your sex life in the BEDROOM same goes for heterosexual. Conservative people aren't "fighting" against homosexuals they are fighting against the "sexualization" of our youth and unfortunately most of the sexual education materials are coming from homosexual education lobbyists (even more scary is the Nambla supporters they figure if they can get homosexual rights passed they can next go for the age of consent(sic). "Right Wing Christians" attack all immoral beliefs "equally" including porn, drugs, adultery, theft, etc... I as a parent am so tired of having to "deprogram" my kids when they come home from school. I have a fifth grader who feels uncomfortable when he is handed sex education pamphlets that I have requested NOT begiven to him. I am fully capable of teaching my children about the birds and the bees without the help of young inexperienced hungover on Monday morning liberal teachers.You want to do some real reporting how about you report on the fact that our Education System is CRUMBLING because the classroom has become a political lobby house instead of a learning center. My son is a highly intelligent child, He is among the Top 1% of gifted children in the country, He has been offered talent development opportunities within duke university and he is only 10 yrs old. This is no thanks to Public Education. As a parent it is my responsibility to educate my children and there have been many of occasions where I have had to fight the school for inappropriate materials. Stop teaching kids about political issues and start teaching them algebra and quantum mechanics(or at least about the thermohaline conveyor) . Separation between church and state, this should also go for politics in the classroom. That is a much more needed story than trying to say it was the "blacks" who ruined homosexuals chances for marriage(sic)
anonymous2, it's bigotry because it is NOT a "preference." you need to stop believing those people on YOUR side "manipulating the English language." simply SAYING, over and over, that sexual orientation is a "preference" doesn't make it so. every study that's ever been done indicates that--however sexual orientation may arise--people don't have a choice about their orientation, and can't be coerced into another "preference."look at yourself, for example: did you CHOOSE to be straight? when and how did you CHOOSE to be straight? tell us about the time you entertained the possibility that you could become gay, and then rejected it.your lame excuses for bigotry against gays sound awfully like the lame excuses of bigots against blacks: it's not OUR fault blacks are lazy and stupid! it's in their blood!oh, and our education system is crumbling because those politicians you elected for their bigoted "family values"? they're cutting funding to schools, year after year.
Blaming people of color for the passage of prop 8--more specifically African Americans and Latinos--is tired, inaccurate and does nothing to critically reflect on our loss.Much of this "blame the black voters" argument rests upon a single exit poll of 2240 people--of which only 224 identified as African American. This same poll claimed a majority of Asian Americans (not disaggregated by ethnicity, of course) voted against 8. This supposed progressive Asian American block conclusion was based on 134 As-Am voters. Don't want to take up too much space--here's a link to more:
"So I hesitate to hurl any accusations on this head, although a 70 percent come-down for a gay marriage ban is pretty breathtaking. I hope to hear a great deal about what happened there in the coming months from queer allies in the black community."From the wording in your post above as well as "and a whopping 70 percent of African Americans voted Yes on 8" as well as leaving out other statistics directly in your post - like how low that percentage actually was in regard to total numbers and how whites still compromised the majority of total votes to pass it - while you're hesitant to hurl any accusations it still seems in regard to race that it's still somewhat of focal point of your post (although I could be missing something or reading too much into some of the wording)."Rahim said: The black community is extremely homophobic."This is one of the most generalized asinine comments I've ever read here since I started blogging down at Hyphen.
lunamania: try reading the post before criticizing it.slanty: um ... what are you trying to say? yes, race is the focal point of my post. it's in the title. it's also the focal point of this blog.everyone: whether or not poc are to blame for passing prop 8 (and i don't say anywhere in my post that poc ARE to blame for passing prop 8; i said that poc were a PART of the forces of bigotry that passed prop 8) poc certainly voted in droves for it. try stepping away from "blame or not?" questions and focus on the fact that we need to step up and educate our own communities about homophobia.or are you all denying that there's homophobia in our communities, or denying that we're responsible for the bigotry of our votes?
I do realize your post is an attempt to analyze race and homophobia and that you aren't painting POC as responsible for passage of 8. However, the substance of my two cents is on the reliance on exit polling to establish various voting trends--especially as they relate to POC and other marginalized communities.There's no denying homophobia is rampant in all communities--no one is immune.
agreed. exit polling is famously unreliable, it's true, and the samples may not have been large enough. but it's all we have to go on, and, considering how close california is to becoming a "majority minority" state, that poc margins in favor of 8 may have been higher than the overall margin ... well it requires a look-see.whatever the case may be, i want this to serve as wake up call to us to get our butts in gear on community action against homophobia.
I agree with aonoymous, How dare they compare their movement to the civil rights movement. By all means, they have a right to fight for what they believe is right, but do it at their own cost. No one is forcing a person to be gay, its a choice and a preference. Ive personally known people that claimed to be gay and later down the road decided to go straight. As a person of color you do not have that choice. I treat gay people with courtesy and respect like I do all people, but they are really crossing the line.
Racialicious has some links and comments on Proposition 8 and the impact of minority voting on its passage.
Claire:I see you are very passionate about this issue, but please be fair to the bloggers and anonymous. Just because someone does not believe in same sex marriages does not make them a bigot or even homophobic for that matter. Sad to say, most African Americans are Christians, Catholic and Muslims and Latinos are Catholics. My Asian mother was Budhist and my black fahter was Southern Baptist, how that marriage lasted, I do not know, but the Bible and the Koran are against same sex marriages. If this is unconstitutional then the gay community need to appeal this before the state Supreme Court and get off the streets, but its their right to protest. As a heterosexual blasian, this is not my fight, to be honost, if prop 8 passes great, if it doesnt, oh well. Its just not a milestine moment in social justice to me.
not being in california, maybe i don't understand the issue. but obama is against gay marriage as why do folks seem to be surprised by this? and furthermore, why celebrate an obama win yet be disappointed in prop 8?i'm not trying to be snarky, i honestly don't see why someone would expect obama supporters to vote against prop 8?
"slanty: um ... what are you trying to say?"With phrases like a "whopping 70 percent of African Americans voted Yes on 8" and "So I hesitate to hurl any accusations on this head, although a 70 percent come-down for a gay marriage ban is pretty breathtaking." and "Bradley Effect. Re: homophobia, especially in the black community:" -- you seem to focus a lot more on the black vote than any other community of color.You don't use "whopping" and "breathtaking" with any other racial group in regard to percentages. You don't say that you're waiting to hear what happened in the Latino community. You don't say that you're hesitant to hurl any accusations towards the Asian community while at the same time wanting to talk about their breathtaking percentages.Your emphasis is more on the black vote than any other community of color.I'm just curious why.
your emphasis is more on the black vote than any other community of color.I'm just curious why.
slanty: gee, i dunno ... maybe because of the SEVENTY PERCENT MARGIN.if you believe the exit poll, which i think we've all agreed here is problematic, but is still all we have to go on, asians voted more *against* prop 8 than overall, by about three points, latinos exceeded the overall support margin by only one point ... but blacks exceeded it by 18 points. that's a pretty dramatic difference, and one that i'd like to hear discussed in a rational manner.and let me just point out here that most of the talk about this so far has been "yes they did," "no they didn't" arguing about whether or not blacks tipped the balance. i'm not interested in that. i'm not interested in hearing anyone blaming blacks for prop 8 passing, but i'm also not interested in hearing anyone protesting from their high horse how the african american community is being blamed, and avoiding discussing what it was that actually happened.people of color in general seem to have supported prop 8 at around the same levels as whites. blacks in particular seem to have supported prop 8 at a MUCH HIGHER level than everyone else. if this exit poll is anywhere near accurate: what the fuck happened there?
The black population in California is so small. I think people are putting to much emphasis on a vote that wouldnt make much of a difference either way. Im black, but this is not a racial matter. The gay community has tried to tie this to the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, but it is not. You are getting a belly ache over a demographic that only makes up 2 percent of California population. Flipping the script and accusung black people of oppressing gay people. Making the impression that blacks are hellbent on denying them their rights. Come on, dont make us the scapegoats. I think some people in here need to clear their heads and attack the root of the cause. If you want to here it from a black point of view then ill tell you why? If you like, well my point of view.Here is my reasoning, if you are a man and your whole life you believed that matrimony should be only with a women, then how does that make someone a bigot. Thats what I believe. If African Americans were part of a anti-gay group that targeted gays and caused some form of bodily harm to them, hosed them down while they were protesting, hanging them from trees and posting burning crosses in their yards, then I would have a serious problem with the African American community. Being an African American, I dont know to many blacks that have so much time on their hands to go gay bashing.I mean im going to be honost, and everyone else in here should be honost, no one wants their child to be gay. If he was gay I would still love him, or her the same, but it will crush me. Im sorry, thats just me being honost.
Claire: You just keep on making my point for me, and you just don't seem to get it.I'm out.
slanty: actually, i was kinda grossed out by how you kept hinting, but wouldn't actually MAKE your point. you still haven't made your point and you really seem to be afraid to make it outright.seriously? are you that scared to speak plainly? i'm not gonna do it for you. but you're "out" now, right?
Black community isn't as small as you think, and if less than half of whites (45%) voted for Prop 8 and basically half of other minorities voted for Prop 8, that means had you excluded the African American vote, the Prop would have failed. Period. End of story.
Wow, I'm sooo shocked to hear such homophobic and racist statements coming from the people on this comments thread. :-(
Whatever all i can say is stop war,be patient...!
Why celebrate an Obama win yet be disappointed in prop 8? Because at the same time we're taking a step forward, we've made no progress with this parcticular issue of discrimination.One person who commented says we are getting a bellyache over 2 percent of the population. Why should the fact that it's 2 percent of the population make it any less relevant? Asians are only about 5 percent of the US population. Does that mean we shouldn't care how Asians are treated or if Asians face discrimination?I don't think being gay is a preference. I also don't think it's so one or the other. Sexuality is a continuum. Some people are very attracted to the opposite sex, some to the same sex, and some are in between. I too have known people who had a same-sex partner and then got into a heterosexual relationship, or vice versa. But I don't think it means they "decided to go straight," as RELAX says. Maybe they are bi-sexual. People fall in love with who they fall in love with.We are spending a lot of time debating if being gay is a preference or not, but is it really that relevant? People choose their religions. Does that mean we should be allowed to discriminate again someone's religious belief because they made a choice?The bottom line is people are being treated differently. Law-abiding, tax-paying people don't have the same legal rights as the rest of us because of who they love. That makes it discrimination.I can understand that if you're brought up to believe marriage is only between a man and a woman, that it's hard to change they way you think. But does it make you a bigot, you ask? Let me ask you this: If you were brought up your whole life to think ______ people (enter whatever race or ethnicity) were stupid, does that make you a bigot?Calling people bigots is not very helpful. Neither is clinging to everything we were brought up to believe. Let's all try to have an open mind.
I do appreciate the attempts at analysis, but it's very important to keep in mind where this information comes from, and how accurate the delivery might (or might not) be.Quite simply, the 70% number that's being thrown around is inaccurate at best. It's been taken from an exit poll of about 2000 people. That's neither a large enough group to be meaningful statistically, nor is it rigorous in any real way--exit polls depend entirely on self reporting, and are not able to be an accurate representation of the whole state.Now that the battle has become more heated, it is more important that we stand together, rather than letting people tear us apart. The tide is turning, and change is coming. It is by no means over, so let's not waste our precious resources tearing each other apart.As Alice Walker said in her letter to President-Elect Obama (still makes me smile to type that...):"We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise.We are the ones we have been waiting for."
claire--just a follow up, couldn't bear to read the comments, but just did, and you make an additional point:
whether or not poc are to blame for passing prop 8 (and i don't say anywhere in my post that poc ARE to blame for passing prop 8; i said that poc were a PART of the forces of bigotry that passed prop 8)...or are you all denying that there's homophobia in our communities, or denying that we're responsible for the bigotry of our votes?
you are correct, you don't say that poc are to blame. i'm reacting at least in part to the fact that the media keeps throwing these numbers around, without clarifying exactly how accurate or inaccurate they are. and then they become emblematic of a larger-than-life rift in the community.i'm certainly not denying the homophobia or bigotry in our communities--my parents, my boss, and some of my neighbors were all part of the yes crowd. and yes, i took time to talk to anyone i could. and yes, we absolutely need to step up and into our communities and talk with people.thanks for your post, and looking forward to your responses...
thanks for your comments ewee.i just want people to keep in mind that, although it's important to make the point that poc--and blacks in particular--aren't TO BLAME for passing prop 8, it's even more important for us in poc communities to take responsibility for the bigotry we see in our own communities, to talk about it, and to take action.if the exit poll is anywhere near correct (and i'm willing to entertain the possibility that it isn't; for instance, i suspect the asian american vote was actually higher in favor of prop 8) about half of asian americans voted in favor of prop 8. that's unacceptable. there are going to be actions in the coming months against prop 8 and i'll be posting about those here. the best thing to do is to keep an eye out for calls to action and to promote these in your community ... and to keep talking about queer issues in your community, to keep the dialogue going.
"slanty: actually, i was kinda grossed out by how you kept hinting, but wouldn't actually MAKE your point. you still haven't made your point and you really seem to be afraid to make it outright. seriously? are you that scared to speak plainly? i'm not gonna do it for you. but you're "out" now, right?"Like I said in my first comment - maybe I missed something or misunderstood what I was reading, or there was more to it - because there was room for discussion in what I was reading and what you were saying - but instead of a dialogue where you could have actually spoken to what I was asking, instead you decided to come out with some lame-ass-spoken-like-a-toddler-who-crapped-their-pants-hey-did-you-know-this-blog-is-about-race comments instead of actually engaging me -- because I was quite clear in what I was asking - because it's important - because this blog does talk about race among other things and it's a fair question in light of everyone blaming the black voter over Prop 8.Does that mean you are? No. But you focus on it more so than anything else in regard to race and all you can come up with is the 70% number w/o any other information or reason, and combine that with your headline which reads how communities of color showed the white community how discrimination is done - my questions to you have been more than valid and fair. Are you a person who's of mixed race and identifies also as a black American? Do you have a personal stake in the black community which might make you want to focus on it more so than other communities in regard to this subject? Do you just think there needs to be more work done in the black community versus the Asian community? I don't know, but I was looking for more on what you spoke too other than the simple 70% number. And again - this is pretty valid to ask and bring up and I'm not sure why you think it isn't when having an honest discussion about race and Prop 8 because it's not me who's been doing the running - it's you - and if you can't handle questions and comments that come your way on what you've posted and that challenge or want to delve deeper into what you say or how you say it - maybe you shouldn't be talking about race.On a side note (because I don't separate the two) - I just have to put out there that I think it's kind of funny how you decided to interact with me on this thread versus when you asked me to post something up on my blog to hype what you were involved in.Kind of funny how the tone changes when you want something don't you think?
To anonymous who wrote the long post I wish you had put your name so I could give you a big THANK YOU!! You put your words so much better than I could have and even IF black people were the main ones who voted no on Prop.8 so damn what?!! Gay people who are white are some of the MOST racist bitches on the damn planet and I say that because that's what I've heard a NUMBER of gay men who are black say. And who the hell are they kidding with this 'we voted for Obama' only because he served your interests if he were a Republican they would have said 'no' themselves. The gay and white community wasn't doing him ANY 'favor' by voting for him seeing how their e-n-t-i-r-e history has been associate with 'them' when we need them and have token friends and pretend we are all allies but that's bullshit. If anyone needs to check their bigotry and prejudice it's white people who are gay!!
hey, "Anonymous" who Posted on Nov 28th at 11:44 PM.Here's what I have to tell you:Many congrats to your kid who's 10 and is honored by Duke for whatever reason. I happen to be a gay guy at Cornell University; here's to say other people have extremely strong ambitions in term of their lives and what they want to express in this world. Your son might have a burning desire to understand quantum mechanics and that's fine in my book. But if you're going to expect it to happen, and not expect from yourself that I will want to marry (no harm in marrying), then you, your son, Duke and everyone who backs you just ought to go straight to hell. And I don't mean it the Christian way. I mean right here, right now, you are going to be tortured until you let us be. We're not going anywhere, and the first people to leave this country won't be me. It will be you and your son.Conservatives are not fighting against the "sexualization of our youth". They are fighting against people who don't share their beliefs; conservatives wish to censor the teaching that in this world, some people are NOT Christian, ARE NOT so psychologically imbalanced that they need the other energy (masculine or feminine) to be a visibly rendered opposite (male or female). If you think everyone has to be like you, you're GREATLY mistaken.And please don't try to change the subject. Don't insult people's intelligence. Don't twist this into conservatives fighting 'sexualization of whatever'.Children are deeply sexual beings. If you don't know that you're in for a rude awakening.
Hey guys,Sorry about my getting too heated in this debate (above). I'm glad most of you have kept your heads and maintained a courteous standard of discussion. I'll endeavor to do the same in the future.To those of you who have asked why I called homophobia "bigotry": all the studies that have been done on this question show that sexual orientation is not a choice. While sexuality can be fluid, the amount of fluidity each individual experiences is also not a choice.Race, gender, and disability are not choices; this is why these identities are protected legally and morally from being the basis of discrimination. A lot of the debate around sexual orientation hinges on it being a choice. I cannot say enough: it is not a choice. It is not chosen.So, to discriminate against queers because of something they did not choose is bigotry.
Lessons from my parents:1) People can't control who they fall in love with.2) There is hope for people who oppose LGBT rights to realize that they do not want to be oppressors anymore.As a straight, Muslim, mixed pakistani/british, women who has grown up in the United States and taught to be proud of my identity, learning about the Loving vs. Virginia case (legalizing interracial marriages between white folks and people of color in 1967) was a deeply painful experience. Find out that the last anti-miscegenation law was taken off the books in 2000 was a complete shock for our family.My parents got married in England in 1983. What if they had gotten married in the US in 1967, just 16 years earlier? Or if we happened to immigrate to this town where interracial marriage was still illegal in 2000?!?I had a mexican/jewish american professor whose parents were married before the Loving vs. Virginia decision. One of the issues they faced was not being allowed to stay in hotel rooms together, and that was on the less discriminatory end of things.Just as some people are concerned about having gay children because they are opposed to same-sex love, relationships and thus marriages, my mother faced rejection from her parents for marrying a brown man.A few years ago, I had a white neighbor in Southern California tell me that she likes my parents but believes their marriage is wrong. She also said she would never allow her 3 year old daughter to grow up and date, marry, or even love a black man.When I first read "White Priviledge: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," I couldn't help but wonder if my dad was attracted to my mom's white privilege. Why didn't he marry a woman of color? Wouldn't life be easier if they both just CHOSE to marry within their own race or ethnic group? My dad said to me, "Sweetheart, love is complicated and people don't control who they fall in love with."Marriage has not always been about love historically. However I think that most Americans see love as a central to marriage. If LGBT folks are not allowed to decide to marry the person they love, then they are being treated as second class citizens.For those implying that domestic partnerships and civil unions are fine, but same-sex marriage should be off limits. I think you may have heard about historic systems promoting "separate but equal." And we all know that separate is NOT equal.Anyway, with all that my parents went through with their interracial marriage, why did they sign the petition in 2000 to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman?Because that campaign spent money messaging to my parents and had canvassers come to our home to have a long conversation about "protecting" marriage.Because my parents didn't know about Loving vs. Virginia and they hadn't connected their struggle with that of the LGBT community.My parents made mistakes in the 2000 election, voting for George W. Bush and voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.Eight years later, they voted for Obama and vote No on 8. What changed?They realized that in 2000, they were voting against their own interests.They started understanding that our muslim/catholic, brown/white/mixed, lower-middle class family isn't part of the tiny percentage of families raking it in under the Bush Administration. They got fed up of the Christian Right making all religious and spiritual people look like backwards hate-mongers. And they had more interactions with people such as my neighbor who didn't like interracial marriages in the same way that she didn't like LGBT folks marrying each other.Most importantly we had a lot of hard, long conversations about privilege, identity politics, and oppression.Why were (are) people so concerned about interracial marriages between people of color and white folks?Because the mixed people that sometimes result from these relationships make it very hard to draw the line at where the "white race" ends and people of color begin. And that ultimately presents a challenge for people that maintain power through racial hierarchy.If you are having a hard time drawing the parallel as to why some people are so threatened by same-sex marriages and equality for LGBT couples, spend some time honestly thinking about sexuality and gender in the context of power and privilege in our society.I can't control the forces that attempt to oppress me and my identities, but I can take responsibility for myself and avoid reproducing structures that oppress human beings because of their differing identities.
RELAX said:...the Bible and the Koran are against same sex marriages...A note to RELAX:Show me where in the Quran says same-sex couples are not allowed marry. I've looked and I didn't find it.Here is something the Quran actually says:O you who believe, stand for God and be witnesses for justice, and let not the hatred towards a people make you avoid being just. Be just, for it is closer to righteousness, and be aware of God. God is expert over what you do. (5:8)