So Much for the “Black v. Gay Divide”

One of the most disingenuous memes from the post-Prop 8 fallout in California is that “African-Americans don’t get along with gays and vice-versa”. Nothing could be further from the truth… Especially for people who are African-American AND LGBT! Here, take a looksy at this protest in LA’s historically black Leimert Park neighborhood last weekend.

See how everyone’s getting along? See all those beautiful black & queer people marching for civil rights? Yes, it’s for real!

So may be FINALLY stop hearing about this fictitious “black v. gay divide”?! Thanks.

  23 comments for “So Much for the “Black v. Gay Divide”

  1. Steve Kim
    November 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Most divides are fictitious and are propagated by the media.

  2. Revan
    November 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I honestly thought the Gay Vs Black issue was just a joke.
    I mean the only place I’ve heard about this was Fox News and Steven Colbert.
    Hmm…goes to show how much made up news can travel.

  3. Steve Perez
    November 24, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    So we should just ignore the fact that blacks voted for prop 8 on a 7:3 margin, and be relieved because there’s a picture with blacks in it marching for gay rights? Its clear blacks don’t equate their civil rights movement with that of of Gay equality. D.L. Hughley verbalized this general undercurrent to Dan Savage’s face. And the best Dan could counter with was “if we’re already going to hell…”. Please this campaign was the most ineffective run in recent history, and Barack Obama and other black leaders could have done a lot more to help their misguided brethren. The overwhelming black support for prop 8 was one of the reasons we lost this, and a picture isn’t going to change that fact.

  4. November 25, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Steve P- OK, I agree with you that the No on 8 campaign failed horribly to reach out to other minorities. I’m even a little miffed that Obama didn’t do more to dispel the lies that he supported H8. However, I can’t allow false info to go unchallenged.

    The “70% of blacks voted for H8” garbage is just that: garbage. Exit polls released since that flawed CNN poll was released have actually shown that only 57% of black voters were for 8, a much more believable number considering that the overall Yes vote was at 52.3%.

    And if you want to blame African-Americans for H8, you might as well blame Latinos, whites, and Asian-Americans as well. Latinos voted 53% yes, whites 51% yes, and Asian-Americans 50% yes. We’re all at fault for H8! Hell, I didn’t do enough to stop it… And you’ll have to ask yourself if you did.

    It’s not worth it to play “the blame game” & not look at what really went wrong.

    Steve K & Revan-

    Thank you! It’s about time we challenge these right-wing memes that are mainly being used to cause division & drive wedges between the LGBT community & people of color. When we stop listening to the noise & start paying attention to what’s really happening, we see that we all have so much in common.

  5. Damon Tordini
    November 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Like it or not, 70% of African Americans voted for Prop 8. This doesn’t mean that all blacks hate gay people, but they were the minority group that voted for the measure by the highest margin despite voting for Obama, who opposed prop 8, by an astounding margin. We shouldn’t ignore that.

  6. November 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm


    WRONG! The early CNN numbers were flawed. Try the ABC & NBC exit polls. They both show African-American support for 8 at 57%, which makes more sense considering the other ethnic numbers and all of them adding up to 52%.

    So when will we blame Latinos for voting for H8? Or white voters? Or how about we just stop playing “the blame game” and start real dialogue to fix what went wrong with the No on 8 campaign?

  7. Misha Houser
    November 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    The 70% number being bandied about is a myth and biased at best. Look at the numbers for voters in Los Angeles (50-50) and Oakland (62% No, 38% Yes) where we have the greatest density of African American voters.

    More than 883,000 African Americans live in Los Angeles County. Prop H8 passed by only 2904 votes…

    About 189,538 African Americans live in Alameda County (where Oaaklnd resides) and the county voted against H8 overwhelmingly. But what about the heavy Yes votes here in Orange County where we only have 51,630 African Americans, or 1.7 percent of our estimated 3+ million voters?

    So why isn’t anyone looking at the % of voters of other races? Because it’s a way to diminish African American stature in our society in the light of the Obama victory.

    Let’s put the blame squarely where it belongs…on the No on 8 campaign that did a lousy job with messaging, campaign strategy, community outreach…sigh.

    Note to self: when one is campaigning against a very organized group that has a ready, captive audience (church-goers), one has to work doubly hard with community outreach and not merely respond with a diluted campaign message.

  8. November 25, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Olbermann tonight featured a new poll (which I can’t find on line) that shows 8% of Yes on 8 voters regret their vote and would now vote NO. No surprise when they were told so many lies, and didn’t have a chance to hear those lies corrected.

    One of the biggest ones – well, I don’t think this was even a lie from the Yes side but just a common misperception that people still have – is that with a civil union or a domestic partnership, gays can enjoy the same rights married folks have. I conducted a little poll on the OJ a few weeks ago, and was surprised that nearly half the folks who voted Yes on 8 would favor repealing DOMA once it was explained to them that that WOULD give civil unions the same rights as marriages.

  9. Steve Perez
    November 25, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    It’s funny seeing two people delude themselves regarding election results. Why is it so hard to believe that a group of people can deny another group something that they themselves had to fight to ascertain? The numbers are there, a majority of blacks supported prop 8. That’s all I need to know, a MAJORITY of BLACKS supported prop 8. It was a disgusting and shameful election result seeing as how blacks just got their civil right’s in their entirety not 60 years ago. No one is trying to diminish anything about “black’s stature” and to say that about an opposing opinion is easily akin to the tactics of the other side. Andrew just because you like your specific exit poll result doesn’t mean we should all subscribe that one as fact. I think CNN’s reflects the outcome more closely. It didn’t come as a surprise to me to hear that statistic, in fact I predicted it. Liberals weren’t the only ones Barack brought out to vote for him.

  10. Steve Perez
    November 25, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Furthermore, my comments above apply to every majority that approved this measure. It’s shameful, it’s disgusting, it’s marriage segregation, and it’s wrong. Shame on you, most groups of every possible persuasion!

  11. Misha Houser
    November 25, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Steve, the election hasn’t been certified, and it appears that the CNN poll was not only incorrect but purposely misleading to diminish the strength of the black vote.

    A SLIM majority of blacks, NO DIFFERENT THAN THE REST OF THE POPULATION, voted Yes on H8. Having talked to members of the NAACP who have been threatened and harassed by those who opposed H8, it’s not only false to perpetuate such a statistic, it’s dangerous.

    I hope that you can understand that this myth is being promoted by conservatives who have motivation to split Democrats and progressives along racial lines. It’s our responsibility to stop the promotion of mistrust between races. Haven’t we learned anything about the righties’ tactics to be able to see what is going on here?

    Steve, didn’t you see the numbers I posted for Alameda county? There is NO WAY that you can say that African American voters voted in the majority for H8 in Oakland. 62% of voters said NO to H8 in that county, so there goes that theory…

    Why is it that people think CNN is a purveyor of unbiased news? Remember the scandal in which they hired military members as interns to help promote the propaganda of the Iraq war? They fired those folks after their tacit agreement to be a mouthpiece for the Bush administration was brought to light. Just because CNN reports it as fact doesn’t mean that it’s any more truthful than Faux News…

  12. November 26, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Nate Silver, a numbers geek who runs the web site that has been consistently the most accurate in tracking the polls and predicting election results has an excellent assessment of this very issue. Take the time to read it here . The gist of the article is that contrary to the perception of racial divisions driving the results, it was generational. He goes on to say that had turnout resembled that of 2004, the margin of loss would have been greater. It was new voters that made the results closer.

    The villains here are not the voters who passed Prop 8. Voters generally are too often under-informed on initiatives (and judges and…and…etc.). When the little bit of information voters did get about Prop 8 is false, distorted and misleading, how can one blame them for their vote? I would agree that voters ought to make the appropriate effort to become informed but too many don’t and that’s just reality.

    No, the villains are the nitwits who “ran” the No campaign and utterly failed at every aspect of it. They permitted the Yes people to define and frame the discussion. They neglected to do any outreach of any kind. Prominent campaign people took month-long vacations during the campaign (I was going to call them leaders, but calling them that gives them too much credit: they didn’t lead at all). The field operation sucked. And it goes on ad nauseum.

    Scapegoating voters will make it more difficult to persuade them next time.

  13. November 26, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Misha & Mr. Bill-

    Thank you, both. It’s important for all of us to combat misinformation & speak the truth. And unfortunately, there’s so much misinformation surrounding H8.

    The best way for us to move forward is NOT to attack other minority groups, but rather to reach out to them & work with them to advance civil rights for all.

  14. Eric
    November 29, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    ” Andrew just because you like your specific exit poll result doesn’t mean we should all subscribe that one as fact. I think CNN’s reflects the outcome more closely. didn’t come as a surprise to me to hear that statistic, in fact I predicted it.”

    Doesn’t this say it all really? You accept and defend the CNN poll without question, simply because you want it to be true. It fits well within your “blacks are homo-haters narrative.” It’s clear that you don’t care much for black people to begin with, and this mythical “70 percent” allows you to express your disdain without guilt. Based on black voting patterns nationwide on similar measures 57 percent support for Prop 8 is clearly more realistic.

    Aside from that, where is this 70 percent support from black Californians coming from? Certainly not from LA or Alameda county. The two counties with the highest black populations. The counties with the highest support for Prop 8, incidently have the lowest black populations in the state. So again, where is the 70 percent black support for Prop 8 coming from?

  15. Eric
    November 29, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Also, the 57 percent figure is consistent with the pre-election polling done by The Field Poll and SurveyUSA. If both of these polling organizations were off the mark by 20+ points, well…they need to find a new line of work.

  16. Steve Perez
    November 30, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Eric, for you to say I don’t care about blacks is disgusting and I’m glad for both of our sakes that you made that comment with the protection of being behind a computer screen, as I don’t appreciate my character being assassinated.
    Furthermore, don’t put words in my mouth, like you obviously put fake facts in your head.

    I’m not going to be maneuvered into being a cheerleader for CNN. I think their exit poll is accurate, that’s all. I said the ratio of the black vote for voting for prop 8 is close to 70%, and you say it’s closer to 57%, and yet with the same breath, you say I’m 20% off. A 7 year old can tell you the difference of our opinion can be measured by 13%. You and others clearly have an inability to allow slightly opposing dialogue without going into a diatribe about how anyone who disagrees with your opinion, however slightly, is obviously racist, ignorant and committed to divisiveness.

  17. Revan
    November 30, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Such a touchy issue.
    And on the liberal oc none the less.

  18. Eric
    November 30, 2008 at 9:47 am


    I can gurantee you that I don’t need the protection of anything, I’m not easily intimidated by bigots, I promise you that. Also, you made it clear with what you’ve written here that you have preconcieved notions about blacks, you didn’t think highly of them to begin with and that’s why you so easily and willingly believe the worst about them. I don’t see how that is even debatable.

    The Field Poll and SurveyUSA pre-election polls both had black support for prop 8 around 50 percent. 50 percent is a lot closer to 57 than it is to 70, hence the “If both of these polling organizations were off the mark by 20+ points, well…they need to find a new line of work.” Yeah….”a 7 year old.” Again, please share with us where the 70 percent black support for Prop 8 is coming from?

    Once more it can’t be from Alameda and Los Angeles counties, you know the counties with the highest percentages of black residents in the state. I mean 17.5 of all blacks in the state of California live and vote in Los Angeles county. A Loyola Marymount exit poll found that only 52 percent(again consistent with pre-election polling) of black voters in Los Angeles supported prop 8. So are we to believe that blacks who live outside of Los Angeles supported Prop 8 by as much as 75 percent? Please share where in the state they are, I’ve yet to find this population.

  19. November 30, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve been scratching my head, trying to understand why this Perez guy is so attached to that one hasty CNN poll. Is it just stubbornness?

  20. Steve Perez
    November 30, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Well actually Vern, the reason I’m so attached to that specific poll is because they had more respondents in their “hasty” poll then any other exit poll (2,240 to be exact). More importantly, I fail to see any evidence that one exit poll is better then another. Actually, there is a criteria that I value, and that’s more respondents. If all variables are the same except for one that has more respondents, well I’ll go with that one. I have rational deductions on my side. My fellow liberals who are disagreeing with me on this issue just have little snippets like, don’t denegrate blacks, don’t be divisive, and CNN is evil!

  21. Eric
    November 30, 2008 at 10:16 pm


    You are so transparent. I’ve visited various blogs regarding this whole fiasco and I’ve continually come across posters like yourself, who when faced with the fact that the CNN polling data was flawed, they disregard the information and conclude that the CNN poll is correct simply because “they say so.” I have no reason to believe they are actually liberal and every reason to believe that they are indeed our friends from the right trying to stir the pot.

    “Actually there is a criteria that I value, and that’s more respondents. If all variables are the same except for one that has more respondents, well I’ll go with that one.”

    I assume that you are aware that of those 2,240 respondents only 224 were black and all 224 were surveryed in a single precinct? And since “more respondents” is an incredibly important factor for you, The Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles exit poll collected 2,700 exit poll surveys in 50 precints. In fact that claimed to have been the largest per capita exit polling done on election night. The Leavey exit poll found that less than 50 percent of black voters in Los Angeles supported Prop 8. Since the Leavey exit poll had “more respondents”, by your own admission it’s far more accurate than the CNN exit poll.

    I’m still waiting for you to show us where the 70 percent black support for Prop 8 came from.

    If we’re are going to address this issue face on, we need to make sure that all facts are indeed factual. If we continue to throw around this 70 percent figure when in fact it is more like 56 percent. All we are doing is turning supporters into opponents. Maybe some don’t see the harm in that, but I do.

  22. December 1, 2008 at 6:47 am


    Thanks for injecting some reason back into this discussion. It’s pitiful that the GOP really thinks this can be the new “wedge issue” they can use to win elections, and even worse that some in our community are making it easy for them to try. It’s easy for us to just write off minority communities as “H8ers”, but it’s not right & not even politically savvy. We’re better off knowing what really happened, learning from our mistakes, and doing a better job next time to earn the African-American vote, the Latino vote, and the Asian-American vote.

    If we simply win over people who should be our natural allies, we win. It’s really that simple.

  23. Eric
    December 1, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Well said Andrew. I completely agree. Besides, I see the 52/47 split as progress, I’m not sure a vote on gay marriage has ever been that close in any state.

Comments are closed.