Democrats have been agonizing over how to handle the schism between two major constituencies: Gays on one side of Prop 8 and the Latino/Black vote on the other. This analysis is the best so far showing how the margin of victory to ban gay marriage came from increased voter participation by those minorities.

Turnout made the difference. Historically, black Californians have voted in about the same proportion as their population, in the 6 percent to 7 percent range, while Latinos, although more than a third of the state’s population, have been about 13 percent of voters.

Last week, however, 10 percent of voters were African American while 18 percent were Latino, and applying exit poll data to that extra turnout reveals that the pro-Obama surge among those two groups gave Proposition 8 an extra 500,000-plus votes, slightly more than the measure’s margin of victory.

To put it another way, had Obama not been so popular and had voter turnout been more traditional – meaning the proportion of white voters had been higher – chances are fairly strong that Proposition 8 would have failed.

The outcome should not have been so surprising since Obama made it clear during the campaign that while he supported civil unions, he did not favor gay marriage.

The rest of the story is here.

  1. KevinL says:

    So the same forward-looking people that voted for A’bama are also the back-water haters that voted for Prop 8? And all this is in line with A’bama’s agenda that has now been deleted?

  2. fedup says:


    You funny!

  3. Paddy-O says:

    Stay tuned, the list of DU hypocrites is coming…

  4. Phydeau says:

    #29 fedup

    “…and speak up for any gay or lesbian/transgendered student if they witnessed any harassment of such a student.”

    You’re against this, huh? You think kids should be allowed or even encouraged to harass homosexuals?

    eeeeeuuuuuwwww…. you nasty…

    But you’re a troll anyway, along with Paddy and James Hill. Intellectually dishonest, deliberately misunderstanding trolls. But hey, everyone’s got to have a hobby.

    Either that, or you’re closeted homosexuals trying to deny your true nature. Anyone expending that much energy on something that supposedly doesn’t affect them… suspicious.

  5. Fedup says:


    Thanks for making my point about Homosexual’s wanting to introduce the queer lifestyle to our children. You guys are so easy. I feel like Im fucking with a retarded kid when I banter with you. It’s just so easy and funny as hell. By the way, you didn’t answer the point about why you would choose Barney over Sarah?

  6. Fedup says:


    Thanks for making my point about Homosexual’s wanting to introduce the queer lifestyle to our children. You guys are so easy. I feel like Im fucking with a retarded kid when I banter with you. It’s just so easy and funny as hell. By the way, I choose Sarah not Barney Frank. I didn’t think anybody was in the closet anymore anyway. Why would you – if you were gay? Being Gay in the US today is the cool thing. Why would I pass up my chance to be on the Bravo Network or Home and Garden Channel?

  7. Angel H. Wong says:


    I so wish at least one of your kids grow up to be gay and see that in the end he’s still the same kid you raised and love and that bile you’ve been spilling was nothing but pure, ignorant hate.

  8. Paddy-O says:

    Second hate crime in as many days perpetrated by left wing wackos.

  9. fedup says:


    Again, another example of wanting children to enter the lifestyle….
    So hateful…But then again, Ernst Rhom and the leadership of the SA (Hitler’s Brown Shirts in 1930 Germany) were also gay and very hateful to those that disagreed with them.

    That’s why (wanting to bring children into the homosexual lifestyle), Prop 8 passed and will remain the law of the land. The Gay Mafia has been rudely awakened to the fact that blacks and hispanics are not the useful idiots they had played them to be.

    Now that you mention it though, my son does like to watch “Dancing with the Stars”! OMG!!!

  10. Dallas says:

    Not totally surprised. Blacks and Hispanics are largely God fearing people with deep roots in Christianity and other mythology.

    What the results show is that “my religion” still trumps “your equal access”. Hypocrisy? YES

  11. MikeN says:

    By the way, the basic premise of the post is flawed. Obama’s victory didn’t cause this to pass.

    52.5%-47.5% passage rate,
    If no blacks vote it would be

    So unless you think EVERY black vote was because of Obama, this measure passes.

  12. Digby says:

    Yep. The black voters had no problem denying the gay people of their rights. Pretty funny, that. Now, perhaps that hack Jesse Jackson should appear as he always does to protect the people whose “rights” have been denied. Bottom line, the No on Prop 8 people screwed up and dropped the ball on this BEFORE the election, and now, amazingly, are making a big stink AFTER the election. Really, people! Perhaps after every election, all the losers should always make fools of themselves and march around protesting. Sure. That makes sense…. Time to throw away those old, wrinkled, NO ON 8 signs and accept the ELECTION RESULTS, as the rest of us do. I did not vote for many people and measures that won, but I accept the results as the product of an open and free election. By the way, did we all notice that since Obama won, there was not a SINGLE incident of disenfranchised voters, or ANY irregularities at ANY polling places? Amazing. Simply amazing. Or was it simply that the whiners were satisfied?

  13. Hmeyers says:

    The % of Latino voters is just going to keep rising as time goes on.

    No one with a good conscience would want gay couple to have lesser legal rights and as a result most people are fine with civil unions.

    Meanwhile, I believe conservative types are concerned that calling it marriage opens up some sort of unexplored and unknown path leading to unknown territory and the fear that judges and courts will make strange decisions.

    One example would be the fear mongering about the possibility that kindergardeners and first graders would be taught about gay marriage and other things many parents don’t want the schools doing.

    It is due to that lack of predictability and the way government always gets out of control that I don’t believe gay marriage using the word marriage will ever be mainstream nor inevitable.

    Immigration and demographics shifts will continue and pursuading Latinos on this idea would be a rather tough sell.

  14. Dallas says:

    #45 Agree completely.
    I’m gay and want nothing to do with marriage. As I’ve stated many times before, ‘marriage’ is a religious relic that has worked its way into government by the religious taliban in this country.

    What need to happen is the government should stay the hell away from the business of human relationships. If they want to provide special (tax) considerations like they do today, then call it ‘civil unions’ and make that gender neutral.

    In that way, the christian taliban can have ‘marriage’ and go about their business of exploiting their worshipers by charging them money by having a guy in skirt sprinkle them with holy water.

  15. SnotLikeBlasterpoop says:

    The only thing more irrelevant than gay marriage one way or the other is the idea that we have to do something about climate change.

    None of it matters. Yawn.

  16. Angel H. Wong says:


    And Rush Limbaugh only speaks about love and forgiveness.

    #40 & #41

    Get it out of your heads: It’s not a lifestyle. Life’s more complicated that you pretend it to be. Between being exclusively heterosexual and being exclusively homosexual there’s something called bisexuality.

  17. Super O says:

    California is just doomed. Pollution alone cost the state $28 billion a year. You guys call it a freeway, I do believe. You need a new slogan. “State of Denial” sounds about right. What a mess and more mortgage foreclosures ahead.

    California Democrats who control the state Assembly said on Tuesday they would push for a 120-day moratorium on foreclosures after mortgage default notices have been filed, compared with a 90-day stay proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    The people owed all this money don’t get paid and can’t have their house you didn’t pay for back. It’s robbery with the government helping people steal homes. You can keep the house or keep the cash. You can’t keep both. Try not making your car and boat payment and see how long it takes to lose them. Maybe the state can void all car payments so you can keep that new Lexus and not pay for it. Hey, cash to spend the weekend in Vegas with! Let the good times roll.

  18. Rick Cain says:

    And as we all know, banning marriage for gays will stop all that gay sex going on.

  19. Mormons to blame:

    Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage
    New Yok Times November 15, 2008

    SACRAMENTO — Less than two weeks before Election Day, the chief strategist behind a ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California called an emergency meeting here.

    “We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.

    The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $5 million, including a $1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. The money allowed the drive to intensify a sharp-elbowed advertising campaign, and support for the measure was catapulted ahead; it ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote.

    As proponents of same-sex marriage across the country planned protests on Saturday against the ban, interviews with the main forces behind the ballot measure showed how close its backers believe it came to defeat — and the extraordinary role Mormons played in helping to pass it with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteers.

    “We’ve spoken out on other issues, we’ve spoken out on abortion, we’ve spoken out on those other kinds of things,” said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. “But we don’t get involved to the degree we did on this.”

    The California measure, Proposition 8, was to many Mormons a kind of firewall to be held at all costs.

    “California is a huge state, often seen as a bellwether — this was seen as a very, very important test,” Mr. Otterson said.

    First approached by the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco a few weeks after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in May, the Mormons were the last major religious group to join the campaign, and the final spice in an unusual stew that included Catholics, evangelical Christians, conservative black and Latino pastors, and myriad smaller ethnic groups with strong religious ties.

    Shortly after receiving the invitation from the San Francisco Archdiocese, the Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City issued a four-paragraph decree to be read to congregations, saying “the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan,” and urging members to become involved with the cause.

    “And they sure did,” Mr. Schubert said.

    Jeff Flint, another strategist with Protect Marriage, estimated that Mormons made up 80 percent to 90 percent of the early volunteers who walked door-to-door in election precincts.

    The canvass work could be exacting and highly detailed. Many Mormon wards in California, not unlike Roman Catholic parishes, were assigned two ZIP codes to cover. Volunteers in one ward, according to training documents written by a Protect Marriage volunteer, obtained by people opposed to Proposition 8 and shown to The New York Times, had tasks ranging from “walkers,” assigned to knock on doors; to “sellers,” who would work with undecided voters later on; and to “closers,” who would get people to the polls on Election Day.

    Suggested talking points were equally precise. If initial contact indicated a prospective voter believed God created marriage, the church volunteers were instructed to emphasize that Proposition 8 would restore the definition of marriage God intended.

    But if a voter indicated human beings created marriage, Script B would roll instead, emphasizing that Proposition 8 was about marriage, not about attacking gay people, and about restoring into law an earlier ban struck down by the State Supreme Court in May.

    “It is not our goal in this campaign to attack the homosexual lifestyle or to convince gays and lesbians that their behavior is wrong — the less we refer to homosexuality, the better,” one of the ward training documents said. “We are pro-marriage, not anti-gay.”

    Leaders were also acutely conscious of not crossing the line from being a church-based volunteer effort to an actual political organization.

    “No work will take place at the church, including no meeting there to hand out precinct walking assignments so as to not even give the appearance of politicking at the church,” one of the documents said.

    By mid-October, most independent polls showed support for the proposition was growing, but it was still trailing. Opponents had brought on new media consultants in the face of the slipping poll numbers, but they were still effectively raising money, including $3.9 million at a star-studded fund-raiser held at the Beverly Hills home of Ron Burkle, the supermarket billionaire and longtime Democratic fund-raiser.

    It was then that Mr. Schubert called his meeting in Sacramento. “I said, ‘As good as our stuff is, it can’t withstand that kind of funding,’ ” he recalled.

    The response was a desperate e-mail message sent to 92,000 people who had registered at the group’s Web site declaring a “code blue” — an urgent plea for money to save traditional marriage from “cardiac arrest.” Mr. Schubert also sent an e-mail message to the three top religious members of his executive committee, representing Catholics, evangelicals and Mormons.

    “I ask for your prayers that this e-mail will open the hearts and minds of the faithful to make a further sacrifice of their funds at this urgent moment so that God’s precious gift of marriage is preserved,” he wrote.

    On Oct. 28, Mr. Ashton, the grandson of the former Mormon president David O. McKay, donated $1 million. Mr. Ashton, who made his fortune as co-founder of the WordPerfect Corporation, said he was following his personal beliefs and the direction of the church.

    “I think it was just our realizing that we heard a number of stories about members of the church who had worked long hours and lobbied long and hard,” he said in a telephone interview from Orem, Utah.

    In the end, Protect Marriage estimates, as much as half of the nearly $40 million raised on behalf of the measure was contributed by Mormons.

    Even with the Mormons’ contributions and the strong support of other religious groups, Proposition 8 strategists said they had taken pains to distance themselves from what Mr. Flint called “more extreme elements” opposed to rights for gay men and lesbians.

    To that end, the group that put the issue on the ballot rebuffed efforts by some groups to include a ban on domestic partnership rights, which are granted in California. Mr. Schubert cautioned his side not to stage protests and risk alienating voters when same-sex marriages began being performed in June.

    “We could not have this as a battle between people of faith and the gays,” Mr. Schubert said. “That was a losing formula.”

    But the “Yes” side also initially faced apathy from middle-of-the-road California voters who were largely unconcerned about same-sex marriage. The overall sense of the voters in the beginning of the campaign, Mr. Schubert said, was “Who cares? I’m not gay.”

    To counter that, advertisements for the “Yes” campaign also used hypothetical consequences of same-sex marriage, painting the specter of churches’ losing tax exempt status or people “sued for personal beliefs” or objections to same-sex marriage, claims that were made with little explanation.

    Another of the advertisements used video of an elementary school field trip to a teacher’s same-sex wedding in San Francisco to reinforce the idea that same-sex marriage would be taught to young children.

    “We bet the campaign on education,” Mr. Schubert said.

    The “Yes” campaign was denounced by opponents as dishonest and divisive, but the passage of Proposition 8 has led to second-guessing about the “No” campaign, too, as well as talk about a possible ballot measure to repeal the ban. Several legal challenges have been filed, and the question of the legality of the same-sex marriages performed from June to Election Day could also be settled in court.

    For his part, Mr. Schubert said he is neither anti-gay — his sister is a lesbian — nor happy that some same-sex couples’ marriages are now in question. But, he said, he has no regrets about his campaign.

    “They had a lot going for them,” Mr. Schubert said of his opponents. “And they couldn’t get it done.”

    Mr. Otterson said it was too early to tell what the long-term implications might be for the church, but in any case, he added, none of that factored into the decision by church leaders to order a march into battle. “They felt there was only one way we could stand on such a fundamental moral issue, and they took that stand,” he said. “It was a matter of standing up for what the church believes is right.”

    That said, the extent of the protests has taken many Mormons by surprise. On Friday, the church’s leadership took the unusual step of issuing a statement calling for “respect” and “civility” in the aftermath of the vote.

    “Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues,” the statement said. “People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal.”

    Mr. Ashton described the protests by same-sex marriage advocates as off-putting. “I think that shows colors,” Mr. Ashton said. “By their fruit, ye shall know them.”


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