Black Americans Shifting on Marriage For Gays
Many observers thought that Obama's endorsement of marriage equality this month was unnecessarily risky in an election year. Analysts looked at public opinion in important swing states and worried that he would alienate the voters he needed the most.
But the public in not an inert lump. The public is fully able to change its opinion in response to leadership. And it is presently appearing that the consequences of Obama's bold statement are positive. Here's Huffington Post:
The expected backlash among blacks to President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage has yet to materialize. And a new Washington Post-ABC survey suggests that black opinion is very quickly moving the other way, with a majority of African Americans now saying they support same-sex marriage.There is an interesting dynamic regarding black Americans' position on this issue. It is controversial to compare the struggle for gay rights to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, though the similarities are inescapable (and check this out). Black pastors have a tendency to promote the straight-and-narrow and have been at times a powerful force against gay rights. Groups like NOM have intentionally stirred up anti-gay animosity in the black community.
Fifty-nine percent of blacks now say they support same-sex marriage, an 18-point jump since the president's announcement of his own support two weeks ago. Fifty-three percent of Americans now believe that same-sex marriage should be legalized, which also marks a substantial spike since 2006, when just 39 percent of those polled thought it should be legalized. Poll: Majority Of Blacks Support Gay Marriage After Obama's Endorsement
On the other hand, 96 percent of black voters favored Barack Obama in the last election. And when he takes a position on something like this, they will take him seriously and reconsider their own attitudes. His statement was risky but in the long run it was the right thing to do on several levels.