Instapundit links to Aaron Hicklin’s (editor of Out Magazine) article in The Guardian:
For months, pro-gay marriage campaigners fretted that a big turnout for Obama would tip the scales in favour of Proposition 8 because it would bring out record numbers of African-Americans, who tend to hold more conservative social views. A CNN poll seems to suggest that’s exactly what happened, with African-Americans voting 69 to 31 in favour. It goes without saying that we wouldn’t be seeing the election of a black American today had the civil rights battles of the 1960s been decided by public referenda – a message we would do well to play up more.
And like those civil rights activists in the 1960s, we need to be both angry and organised. We could do worse than take a page out of the playbook of Harvey Milk, the gay San Francisco politician murdered 30 years ago; he recognised the power of the ballot box as well as the crowd. An elected official, he was nevertheless prepared to let his supporters riot in 1978 had Proposition Six – which would have made firing gay teachers and their supporters mandatory – passed. We’re more comfortable, more secure, than we were in 1978, but less than we believed yesterday.
Roger Simon, CEO of Pajamas Media:
But wait. Only eight years ago, the similar Proposition 22 passed by a whopping 23%. There’s a trend here alright – and it is in favor of gay marriage. In California at least, with young people increasingly accepting of their gay peers, in a very few years same sex marriage should be a done deal. And by popular vote, not court fiat.
I’m more optimistic than he is about the timetable, because attitudes are changing rapidly and, to be crass about it, there’s a big enough generation gap that normal mortality works in our favor. But I’d still give it six to eight years, assuming we make an effort to persuade, or at least desensitize, the public rather than relying on the flim-flam of hiding the gays under the carpet while Dianne Feinstein opines that “no matter what you think about marriage” you should “vote against discrimination.” No matter what you think about marriage???? Who the hell came up with that inane line? (The only voters it makes any sense for are the rare birds who think the state should stay out of the “marriage” business and only establish standard civil-union contracts. Not a bad policy–but let’s apply it evenly.)
Megan McCardle (via Rod Dreher):
In general, courts are the wrong place to press these sorts of claims. The courts were appropriate for civil rights because blacks were literally denied the right to participate in the legislative democratic process. And on a practical level, they worked because a majority of people in the country were more than happy to force civil rights on an unhappy white southern minority. Unfortunately, too many groups have decided that the success of civil rights can be widely applied to circumvent the electorate on issues where there is no public consensus. Now widespread gay marriage seems quite a bit less likely for the near term than it would have been had we attacked the issue legislatively.
Jonah Goldberg (not a libertarian, but pro same-sex “marriage”):
The ban in California was particularly intriguing. Proposition 8 would have failed in the Golden State if it were up to white voters, who opposed it by a 51-49 ratio. What carried it over the top was enormous support from black voters, with about 70 percent of them backing it. Hispanics also supported the ban by significant, though smaller, margins. In Florida, where a similar ban required a 60 percent margin, Amendment 2 just barely passed, getting 60 percent of the white vote. The cushion came from blacks, who voted 71 percent in favor, and Latinos, who voted 64 percent in favor.
In other words, Obama had some major un-progressive coattails. The tidal wave of black and Hispanic voters who came out to support Obama voted in enormous numbers against what most white liberals consider to be the foremost civil rights issue of the day.