Black vote helped gay marriage ban

Nov. 8, 2008 at 11:43 AM

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Black voters in California who supported Barack Obama for president voted overwhelmingly to ban same-sex marriage in the state, say election analysts.

Exit polls in California suggested black voters favored Proposition 8 -- which called for banning same-sex marriage -- by a ratio of more than 2 to 1, The New York Times reported Saturday.

African-Americans comprise about 10 percent of California's electorate and turned out in large numbers to support Obama's historic bid for president, the Times reported, noting Proposition 8 was approved Tuesday by 52.5 percent of the voters.

Obama had called Proposition 8 "divisive and discriminatory" but in public speeches he also said he opposes same-sex marriage, which supporters of Proposition 8 were quick to use in advertising messages.

One pro Proposition 8 "robo-call" used Obama in his own words saying, "I believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union."

Those who opposed Proposition 8 clearly did not do enough in reaching out to black voters, said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "That is a real lesson learned," Kendell said.

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