Monday, November 20, 2006

Gays, blacks, Andrew Sullivan.

Andrew Sullivan says that blacks hate gays, and he has proof:

Check out this exit poll analysis of the first anti-gay-union amendment to fail. It's from Arizona. You find some obvious data that bear out what we already know. Women are marginally more in favor of gay unions than men - but it's not that big a gender gap. Men split 50-50. Women broke 53 - 47 against a constitutional ban. The under-30s voted against the amendment by a whopping 61 to 39 percent. I expect in a decade or so that many of these amendments will be repealed by similar margins. Education is a key indicator of being anti-gay or not. Those with dropped out of high school favored the amendment by a huge 65 to 35 percent. Those who graduated college opposed it by a narrow margin. Post-grads were overwhelmingly opposed.

The only ethnic group to favor the amendment by a large margin was black, by 61 - 39 percent. Karl Rove's attempt to peel off a few black votes by gay-bashing was not stupid. It was based on the data.

In fact, this is the first exit poll to show that black voters are substantially more willing than white voters to vote for anti-marriage initiatives. Compare to other anti-marriage initiatives:

StateYes %
WhiteBlackWhite - Black
Arkansas, 2004: 77%66%+11%
Georgia, 2004: 76%80%-4%
Kentucky, 2004: 76%70%+6%
Michigan, 2004: 60%59%+1%
Mississippi, 2004: 89%77%+12%
Ohio, 2004: 63%61%+2%
Oklahoma, 2004: 76%74%+2%
Arizona, 2006: 48%61%-13%
Tennessee, 2006: 80%86%-6%
Virginia, 2006: 58%56%+2%

In only three of ten cases - Georgia, Arizona, and Tennessee - were black voters more supportive of anti-marriage initiatives than white voters. In the rest, black voters were less supportive than white voters.

Normally, I wouldn't say that a conservative blogger who uncritically repeats conservative spin on race is necessarily racist - but this is Andrew Sullivan, he who proudly excerpted and publicized The Bell Curve in The New Republic. For him, I think I could make an exception.

In any case, Arizona may be unique: opponents of the anti-marriage amendment focused on its effect on different-sex couples, rather than same-sex couples:

Critics have said that opponents were disingenuous because they seemed to avoid talking about gay couples or same-sex unions at all. None of the couples featured in Arizona Together's commercial were same-sex, but much of the funding came from gay couples and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's leading gay rights group.

"There was clearly a pro-homosexual agenda at work in the effort to derail a marriage amendment and they hid behind health benefits," said Nathan Sproul, a political consultant to the Protect Marriage Arizona campaign.

Marty Rouse, national field director of the Human Rights Campaign, said it wasn't deception but necessity that led the campaign to focus more on straight couples.

"One can say they didn't focus on gay couples, but in order to make sure people understood this impacted straight couples, too, you had to be clear and consistent and focus on straight couples," he said.