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Before that, lets do everything we can to stop the scapegoating of black voters. Read the Daily Kos article on this.
To supplement that article, I do believe we need to address the pervasive homophobia that does exist in communities of color that could be caused by factors such as low-income, low education levels and religious affiliation, NOT by merely belonging to a particular group. Read Black homophobia vs. Prop 8 for a holistic view of the debate and emotions raging back and forth. Excerpt here:
Did black voters pass prop 8 on their own? Absolutely not. They had the help of hateful religious voters from very demographic. And, yes, black people are a minority and made up 10% of the electorate on November 4, 2008, so it was impossible mathematically for them to pass prop 8 on their own. However, the numbers show that homophobia is an EVEN GREATER problem in the black community than in any other community. It is not racist to point that out and talk about it. Homophobia in the black community has finally come out of the closet. It will never go away if we ignore or make excuses for it.
And lets defy the black/white binary. See why Latinos should support gay marriage.
The attention on ethnic minority groups in favor of Prop. 8 is a little misdirected — we must not lose sight of the fact that the H8 passed by a mere 500,000 votes. Why isn’t anyone blogging about blaming the low-income, less educated white voter who is also likely to vote for H8? We are told that we should not expect communities of color to vote against discrimination just by affiliation to groups that have been historically discriminated against (Check out Israel and the United States of America). At the same time, is it really ridiculous for the LGBT community to expect ethnic minorities to support the idea of equal rights under the law? Do we really need to take on the ‘colonial’ role of ‘educating’ voters? A lot of us were probably naive enough to think we were past that, but no doubt that heterosexism is alive in 52% of the electorate and our task is to address that.
Lets stop battling against ‘identity politics’ with more identity politics. It does not help the cause of civil rights for all and risks backlash from individuals that are supportive.
Lets also not lose sight of the fact that Prop 8 is likely to be struck down by the California Supreme Court that has already ruled in re Marriage Cases:
“We conclude that, under this state’s Constitution, the constitutionally based right to marry properly must be understood to encompass the core set of basic substantive legal rights and attributes traditionally associated with marriage that are so integral to an individual’s liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature or by the electorate through the statutory initiative process.“
When the courts struck down Prop. 22, they were quite clear that these substantive legal rights COULD NOT be taken away by putting them to majority vote, also known as the statutory initiative process.
The proponents of H8 are living a pipe-dream if they believe that stripping away basic constitutional protections considered ‘substantive legal rights’ from a particular social group or ‘suspect class’ merely by majority vote (an amendment) will withstand the legal challenge