Politics

Same-Sex Unions Supported by Majority of Blacks, New Poll Shows

Thu., May. 24, 2012 8:05 AM EST
by Terry Shropshire

Despite some very vocal opposition to President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex unions by members of the black clergy, the majority of African Americans support homosexual marriages, according to a new poll.

A Washington Post-ABC survey revealed a “shift” in blacks’ views of same-sex unions, with a reported 59 percent now saying that they support it, a sharp 18 percent rise since the president was pretty much forced to take a position on the issue two weeks ago. This compares to 53 percent of all 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.

The Post offers a caveat to the poll, however, admitting that the results are “tentative” because the poll is a small sampling of the black electorate.

Predictably, many members of the black church are not happy with Obama’s stance on same-sex unions, nor how it came about.

“My feelings of disappointment arise not only from the fact that I don’t agree with the president, but also because his announcement came so suddenly, and without any warning to the black church community,” Jamal Bryant, the pastor of a Baltimore mega church, told the Urban Daily after the president’s announcement.

The stance by the president is not likely to have an impact on how blacks will vote in the coming election, despite the misgivings by a large minority of blacks about same-sex unions.

“There is not a chance in God’s green earth that African Americans support same-sex marriage,” Frank Schubert, the national political director of the National Organization for Marriage, which is opposed to gay marriage, told the Post. Schubert said that President Obama’s endorsement has likely “created a lot of angst and conflict in that community, but his opinion of gay marriage is not going to be changing the opinion of African Americans in a significant way.”

Here is a very interesting twist to the story. ABC pollster Gary Langer told the Village Voice that 54 percent of black voters expressing a favorable view of the president’s statement. But Langer said white voters, who expressed stronger approval of gay marriage in a March poll, had a less positive response to the president’s position.

In other words, whites support gay marriages at a higher clip than blacks, but had a much lower support for Obama supporting gay marriages. That doesn’t even begin to make sense. But then again, it does.

terry shropshire

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