Last week, I shared a story from MPR that spoke about the strong support marriage amendments have received from the African American community. In response to the post, some have asked the question, “Why would we single out the African American community, when we don’t do that with other groups?” In response, I would say that analysis does indeed single out many groups’ level of support. Polling numbers are sliced and diced in a plethora of ways. When we do that, we continue to see common trends around the support for marriage amendments:
- Higher support among older Americans
- Higher support among Republicans
- Slightly higher support from males
- Higher support from those that have less education
- Higher support from those that identify as Catholic
Now, does this mean that all Republicans will vote for the amendment? Of course not! Thankfully, we’ve got many Republicans on our side (we’d have no hope of defeating this thing in Minnesota if we didn’t). Similarly, it does not mean that all African Americans will vote for the amendment either. However, ignoring trends from previous elections because we don’t want anyone to feel singled out is a sure way to lose this election.
We need to talk about what the reality is and find ways to influence those voters. Just the other day, the Washington Post shared the story titled: “Obama and same-sex marriage: Will his stance cost him the African-American vote?” In the article, the Post shares the words of Reverend William Owens, a minister and vocal opponent of marriage equality:
Claiming to speak for thousands, he connected the prevalence of same-sex marriage to the collapse of the African-American family. And he threatened the president with a widespread revolt by black voters on Election Day. “He has not done a smart thing,” Owens said.
The Post references how other news organizations had picked up the story with headlines like, “Obama’s support for gay marriage ‘might cost him the election’” and then goes on to talk about how that reality is not a likely outcome.
However, if pre-polling and exit polling numbers are any indication, it is likely that many African Americans will vote for the marriage amendment (along with Republicans, males, older voters, less-educated voters and others). The question that we need to ask is: How do we make sure we amp up the conversations we’re having with ALL of these folks.
I still don’t fully understand how anyone (regardless of who it may be) could vote to limit the freedoms of another group within the state constitution.
Note: As I find analysis of polling numbers, I’ll continue to post. It’s not to single out any group (Republicans, Catholics, African Americans, etc.), but rather to highlight where we may need to do some extra work. If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you understand that my approach through all of this centers around two things: 1) Defeating this amendment and 2) Love. We all need to come together and figure out how we defeat this thing, and sometimes, that’s going to require us to have some uncomfortable conversations. Through all of this though, we need to remember why we’re fighting: because of love. Together, I think we can beat this thing in Minnesota, but make no mistake, it’s going to require a lot of work to do it. I hope you’re with me.