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.
I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married…
President Barack Obama, May 9, 2012
Source: Washington Post
Truly, a moment in time we will all remember. I was sitting at my desk when an email alert popped up on my computer. I immediately clicked the link and read the news. Even as I type this, I have goosebumps. I’ll post an additional blog tomorrow, but wanted to at least get the President’s statement out there.
Last week, I posted an article that did some analysis on whether or not the President would “come out” on the topic of Gay Marriage in an election year. Since that time, several additional articles have been published on this topic. According to The Washington Post, it may not make sense to speak out on this topic considering how controversy over birth control earlier this year took away from the President’s main message. While he is comfortable talking about wins (think Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal) I don’t believe the President is yet ready to send a strong message on gay marriage… yet.
A great article from the Washington Post describing how the Maryland House passed a same-sex marriage bill – but just barely. As part of a “Plan B” measure, a civil unions bill was on the table for a short time. However, fortunately, the Maryland House came through and passed the bill this past Friday (2/17/12).
Friday’s tally would have fallen short without at least one Republican vote as well. After weeks of outreach, O’Malley got two: Robert A. Costa of Anne Arundel County and A. Wade Kach of Baltimore County.
You may recall that yesterday I posted a link to a news story on how it was reported that Dick Cheney may have been one of the influencers of a certain Mr. Kach. Interesting to watch this all unfold.
The bill will go to the Senate next week and it is expected to pass there as a similar measure was passed by the senate last year.