Black Voters Remain Divided on Same-Sex Marriage

Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:46 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Only time will tell if black voters will continue to stick with President Barack Obama after his statement of support for same-sex marriage, but recent polls indicate they are more divided than ever on the issue.
 
According to a report in Politico Thursday, there is still “broad resistance to legalization” within the African-American community, as proved by their 2-to-1 support Tuesday in North Carolina of an amendment banning gay marriage.

But a national poll by the Pew Center released in April indicated a shift in views among African-Americans on the issue, with 49 percent saying they oppose gay marriage. A similar poll taken in 2008 found that 67 percent of African-Americans were not in favor of same-sex couples marrying.

Aisha Moodie-Mills, an African-American and gay-rights activist, told Politico she believes there has been a change in attitude within the black community on the issue.

“I do not believe the black community is any more homophobic than any other community. It is not in my experience,” said Moodie-Mills, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

But there is still “an education process that needs to happen,” she said, given the vote in North Carolina.

Obama won North Carolina in 2008, capturing 95 percent of the black vote. Democratic pollster Cornel Belcher told Politico the president would likely have strong support again from African-Americans, regardless of his new position on same-sex marriage.

“The fairness argument — that gays are being discriminated against — is one that gives African Americans a great deal of pause,” Belcher said. “The history of black people in this country had been one of fighting for fairness and equality.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s a non-issue,” he added. “But on the list of things that keep me up at night worrying about Obama’s re-election, it’s really low on the list.”

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