The majority of African American community do not support gay marriage. This, of course, makes parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and the movement to legalize gay marriage a be a bit problematic.
In today’s New York Times, Frank Bruni chronicles African American resistance to gay marriage. Here is a taste:
In some perfect world where human nature is less messy and history less fraught, any and all people who had ever suffered discrimination would find common cause, gathering together under one big anti-bigotry banner.
In our world there are divisions and even tensions among minority groups, and the quest to legalize same-sex marriage — now permitted in six states and Washington, D.C. — has met particular resistance from African-Americans.
This isn’t a topic that advocates for gay rights or their many black supporters relish discussing, because it focuses on a wedge where they wish there was a tighter bond. But polls indicate that support for same-sex marriage lags among black Americans.
In 2008 Californians passed Proposition 8, which prohibited state recognition of same-sex marriage, with a 52 percent majority. Voting analyses suggest that between 58 and 70 percent of black voters backed the prohibition.
Last April, as the successful push for same-sex marriage in New York picked up speed, a survey of state voters by the Siena College Research Institute found that 62 percent of white voters and 54 percent of Latino voters favored it. Only 46 percent of black voters did.
And in Maryland, which is almost certain to debate same-sex marriage next year, a recent poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies depicted a split among the state’s residents, with 48 percent in favor and 49 opposed. Among black Marylanders, though, support fell to 41 percent and opposition rose to 59.