Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Taking two steps forward and four steps back?

While race relations may have taken a step into the 21st century with yesterday's election, gay rights took a big step backwards. Gay marriage was on the ballot in three states, and all three states, California most surprisingly of all, voted againast the right of same sex couples to marry. Besides California, Arizona and Florida voted by rather large margins againast same sex marriage, but California, where same sex marriage was just legalized by the state Supreme Court in May, is certainly a bit of a surprise.

As Radley Balko notes on Reason, a major factor in all of these same sex marriage ballot initiatives was the overwhelming opposition of blacks to same sex marriage. In California, the no's wouldn't have had enough votes if not for the 70% support from black voters.

Sure it says something about us that the nation is ready to accept a black president. But what does it say about us when we're unwilling to accept equal treatment for different sorts of loving couples?

(On a side note- this is exactly why I disagree with the judicial imposition of gay marriage. What happened in California is exactly what I said would happen and what could well happen here in Connecticut. Imposition of gay marriage by judicial fiat arouses the ire of even those who may have mixed feelings on the subject and what you get is this sort of broad grassroots opposition. Pass it democratically, through the legislature, and people don't get as worked up- remember how people tend not to vote out their representatives?)


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