Education played bigger role than race in approving gay marriage ban

  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Sep 28, 2009 10:56 AM GMT
    An interesting study bypassing the familiar factor of religion.

    http://news.ufl.edu/2009/09/01/education-played-bigger-role-than-race-in-approving-gay-marriage-ban/

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The level of voters' education -- not the large numbers of blacks who turned out for the first time to cast ballots for Barack Obama -- best explains the passage of a Florida law banning gay marriage, a new University of Florida study suggests.

    Many pundits claimed that newly registered black voters inspired by Obama's candidacy to flock to the polls resulted in states narrowly approving amendments that opposed legalizing gay unions, said Daniel Smith, a UF political science professor and the study's co-author.

    However, Smith's study found that education levels were about five times as important as race in Florida counties' approval of Amendment 2, which defined marriage as a legal bond strictly between a man and a woman in the state's constitution. Smith is scheduled to present the findings to the American Political Science Association in Toronto on Thursday.

    "Our research challenges the assumption that the surge of black voters who turned out in unusually large numbers in support of Obama were also in favor of banning gay marriage," Smith said. "We found that it really wasn’t race that led to an increased support for a ban on gay marriage but whether or not someone was educated."

    Controlling for other socioeconomic and political factors, for each additional 1 percent of a county's population with a bachelor of arts degree, there was nearly an equal 1 percent decrease in support for Amendment 2, Smith said. By comparison, every 1 percent increase in a county's black population led to only two-tenths of a percentage point increase in support for Amendment 2, he said.

    "Education is so important because it increases exposure to those who are different," he said. "Studies show very clearly that the more educated people are the more tolerant they are of differences."

    Because blacks tend to be conservative on social issues and attend church in large numbers, blacks were expected to hurt prospects for legalizing gay marriage, Smith said. Dozens of post-election news stories and political blogs drew upon exit polls to blame the surge of black voters for the passage of anti-gay marriage measures in California and Florida, he said.

    According to CNN exit polls in Florida, 71 percent of black voters cast ballots for Amendment 2, compared with 60 percent of white voters, Smith said. Even among young people between the ages of 18 and 29, who tend to be more supportive of same-sex marriage, 71 percent of blacks supported the measure, compared with 49 percent of whites, he said.

    But respondents may feel pressured to give socially acceptable answers in exit polls, and the margin of error is high because of the small sample of blacks, Smith said.

    "Our analysis suggests that these public opinion polls may have overstated the extent to which black and white voters differed on the issue of same-sex marriage," he said. "We found that party identification, education and religiosity were much stronger predictors of a respondent's attitude toward gay marriage than race was."

    Gay rights groups have questioned whether the black community is worth engaging in their efforts to win approval for same-sex marriages, Smith said. States that have passed these measures, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Maine, are largely white, he said.

    "A very vibrant debate is going on in the gay and lesbian community about whether there should be any outreach towards minorities, particularly African-Americans," he said. "Our research shows that writing off the black community, especially these newly mobilized voters that Obama brought into the fold, is very short-sighted."

    Equality Florida, one of the two major organizations in the state to campaign against Amendment 2, targeted blacks in its efforts to oppose the measure, Smith said. In studying polling data before the election, the group's leaders believed blacks, though socially conservative, could be persuaded to align themselves with the gay rights cause, he said.

    "They were able to approach and engage the African-American community that this is an issue of importance to the black community by making arguments along civil rights lines," he said. "Equality Florida just lacked the financial resources to make the case to Obama supporters."

    Smith collaborated with Stephanie Slade, a political science graduate student at American University who did the research while an honors undergraduate student at UF.
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Sep 28, 2009 12:38 PM GMT
    It still just amazes me, that those who have been discriminated against for years, can discriminate against others. I know it happens all the time, even with gays, the lack of education and exposure to others appears to be the overriding factor.
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    Sep 28, 2009 1:13 PM GMT
    Ahhh but....

    Race plays a role in likelihood of access to education as well as number of years spent in and overall quality of education

    So therefore it is possible to suggest that race may have indirectly effected the results in ways not considered
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    Sep 28, 2009 2:09 PM GMT
    I won't lie, in many predominantly african american areas homosexuality still has such a negative connotation. Dealing with this ongoing self black stigma that black men should be hardcore and tough, gay is easily made out to be disgusting and weak. One of the reasons why a small portion of my family still doesn't know that I am gay.

    It is no surprise to me at all that many african american men and women, especially the religious ones, could vote against gay marriage. If I my being gay had not changed my mom's opinions about gays years ago, perhaps my mother would have been one of those people too.

    I think education is irrelevant when it comes down to this matter. At least the academic sort. No, this is much more about sociolization and upbringing.
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    Sep 28, 2009 2:11 PM GMT

    This report is just supid and biased in of it's self. It suggests that only 29% percent of all African Amercans who attend church are educated and the rest are ignorant! That is beyond insulting.

    Here this is again and another poll dumping this issue back on the African American community....please give me a freakin break!

    Perhaps when this issue comes up again the gay community would actually do what the Mormans did and actually go into the community that has the strongest voting bloack and do actual out-reach and education.

    The celebrity media blitz isn't all that effective! It's a lot better than playing the blame game.



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    Sep 28, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    Ducky45 said
    This report is just supid and biased in of it's self. It suggests that only 29% percent of all African Amercans who attend church are educated and the rest are ignorant! That is beyond insulting.


    Wha? You are reading a bit too much into this. This is based on polling which measures education by degree earned. A question on a poll would probably look like this:

    what is the highest education level you have achieved?
    1) >high school
    2) high school
    3) Some college
    4) College Graduate
    5) Advanced degree

    While this write up didn't link to the actual report (grrrrr) it seems like it is moving the conversation into the right direction. Instead of the media's 'yeah Whites, booo Blacks' reporting, it is shifting the focus to the bigger issue of class.
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    Sep 28, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
    slickguystyle saidAn interesting study bypassing the familiar factor of religion.

    http://news.ufl.edu/2009/09/01/education-played-bigger-role-than-race-in-approving-gay-marriage-ban/

    "Our analysis suggests that these public opinion polls may have overstated the extent to which black and white voters differed on the issue of same-sex marriage," he said. "We found that party identification, education and religiosity were much stronger predictors of a respondent's attitude toward gay marriage than race was."

    Gay rights groups have questioned whether the black community is worth engaging in their efforts to win approval for same-sex marriages, Smith said. States that have passed these measures, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Maine, are largely white, he said.

    "A very vibrant debate is going on in the gay and lesbian community about whether there should be any outreach towards minorities, particularly African-Americans," he said. "Our research shows that writing off the black community, especially these newly mobilized voters that Obama brought into the fold, is very short-sighted."

    Equality Florida, one of the two major organizations in the state to campaign against Amendment 2, targeted blacks in its efforts to oppose the measure, Smith said. In studying polling data before the election, the group's leaders believed blacks, though socially conservative, could be persuaded to align themselves with the gay rights cause, he said.

    "They were able to approach and engage the African-American community that this is an issue of importance to the black community by making arguments along civil rights lines," he said. "Equality Florida just lacked the financial resources to make the case to Obama supporters."

    Smith collaborated with Stephanie Slade, a political science graduate student at American University who did the research while an honors undergraduate student at UF.


    i found this part quite interesting. write off the minority/black community... exactly what would be abnormal with this?
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    Sep 28, 2009 8:45 PM GMT
    well in Florida...there is another minority that are predominately anti-gay: hispanics. The reason why blacks and latinos are generally anti-gay isn't race, it's just the society in general. for both minorities being gay is generally seen as weak, feminine, soft, and what have you. espcially in miami-dade county, where the majority of people are latino, it's still seen as taboo.
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Sep 28, 2009 9:04 PM GMT
    This thread has resulted in so many interesting observations and opinions, i love it when we can just converse like adults without the name calling...
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    Sep 28, 2009 9:04 PM GMT
    Blackguy4you said
    i found this part quite interesting. write off the minority/black community... exactly what would be abnormal with this?


    I think it's more that it's part of a traditionally minded but often foolish political strategy: try to get out the base of people who you think will vote your way rather than trying to change the minds of those who don't.

    Howard Dean fought this traditional mindset among the Democrats. He insisted on fighting the Republicans in states that the Democrats had written off. Obama agreed. They turned out to be right.

    I think the same thing is true here. When you have limited resources, what's the best way to spend those resources? More of the resources should have been devoted to trying to persuade black and Hispanic voters, but I can understand why they might have felt it was not the best strategy.

    Now that the Democrats have learned from their mistakes, we can only hope that organizations fighting for the right to marry will learn from theirs.
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    Sep 28, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
    jgymnast733 saidThis thread has resulted in so many interesting observations and opinions, i love it when we can just converse like adults without the name calling...



    you're stupid!!! blah blah blah liberal blah blah blah conservative blah blah blah glenn beck blah blah ann coulter blah blah ignorant blah blah blah blah purplemonkeydishwasher
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 28, 2009 11:06 PM GMT
    Yeah it is crazy that any minority group particularly blacks would vote discriminatory policies into place and ones that mirrored their own mistreatment in some ways so recently in time.

    Obama doesn't think gays should be allowed to marry either and his parents were forbidden from being married in many states when he was born for being interracial!
    And that, despite his education! icon_sad.gif


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    Sep 28, 2009 11:07 PM GMT
    Ducky45 said
    This report is just supid and biased in of it's self. It suggests that only 29% percent of all African Amercans who attend church are educated and the rest are ignorant! That is beyond insulting.

    Here this is again and another poll dumping this issue back on the African American community....please give me a freakin break!

    Perhaps when this issue comes up again the gay community would actually do what the Mormans did and actually go into the community that has the strongest voting bloack and do actual out-reach and education.

    The celebrity media blitz isn't all that effective! It's a lot better than playing the blame game.



    29% is likely a low number. West Virginia has the highest rate of high school graduation for African-Americans at 74%. Not that I would associate graduating from a public high school as a sign of intelligence. At the other end......Georgia has a high school graduation rate for African Americans at 47%.

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 28, 2009 11:14 PM GMT
    Do people really need a serious formal education in order to treat another human being humanely and respectfully or to look upon others as equals?

    No. Like I said above, look at Obama and how he views gay marriage. Wasn't he educated at Harvard?

    Formal education can help but it's not really what the problem is.
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    Sep 28, 2009 11:27 PM GMT
    Koaa2 saidIt still just amazes me, that those who have been discriminated against for years, can discriminate against others. I know it happens all the time, even with gays, the lack of education and exposure to others appears to be the overriding factor.



    In my opinion, the overhelming vote in the black community is more connected to the anti-church rhetoric that comes out of the gay community. Black gays are caught in the middle. It's a tough predicament because church isn't really the place to have a discussion about sex but obviously the church is where the opposition is centered and black gay people tend to be very much involved in the church.
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Sep 29, 2009 8:29 PM GMT
    inmate_6655321 said
    jgymnast733 saidThis thread has resulted in so many interesting observations and opinions, i love it when we can just converse like adults without the name calling...



    you're stupid!!! blah blah blah liberal blah blah blah conservative blah blah blah glenn beck blah blah ann coulter blah blah ignorant blah blah blah blah purplemonkeydishwasher

    I knew it wouldnt take long...icon_rolleyes.gif
    I feel way too good about myself to stoop to your childish level...
    Do us all a favour, either grow up or turn str8...
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Sep 29, 2009 8:42 PM GMT
    joeyveras said
    Koaa2 saidIt still just amazes me, that those who have been discriminated against for years, can discriminate against others. I know it happens all the time, even with gays, the lack of education and exposure to others appears to be the overriding factor.



    In my opinion, the overhelming vote in the black community is more connected to the anti-church rhetoric that comes out of the gay community. Black gays are caught in the middle. It's a tough predicament because church isn't really the place to have a discussion about sex but obviously the church is where the opposition is centered and black gay people tend to be very much involved in the church.


    With the exception of those raised in remote rural backcountry, white people are unable to comprehend the magnitude of the role the Church plays in the black community. There is no comparable institution in white society, except the aforementioned people of Appalachia, the Deep South and thinly populated Plains and Mountain West regions. This overwhelming influence is part and parcel of AA homophobia, but only part of it. One does not have to go too far back into history to see the other reasons.

    During the Jim Crow era, black men were routinely referred to as "boy." The reasons for this are clear - to keep the man in his place, to emasculate him so that he would not rape white women, the dominant fear of the era. AA men have in the intervening years developed a hypersensitivity to any perception of weakness or unmanliness. Homosexuality, being the ultimate expression of unmanliness in their eyes, carries a stigma far greater than it does for white people.

    I say this as a man with a foot in both camps. I am biracial, raised by an adoptive black family, and therefore in the bosom of the black community. As a young adult in the South, I made efforts to conceal my heritage in order to gain entree into the lily white segregated gay community of Houston, a place I would not be welcome otherwise (this is referred to as "passing" for those of you too young to be familiar with the concept)...
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    Sep 29, 2009 9:04 PM GMT
    You there has been all of this finger pointing which appears to be the only thing our community and our country is good at now.

    When something does not go our way we blame someone else.When you know who is responsible we are because we underestimated the Morman church. We did not care or even think that the African American community would be a factor.

    Why because they don't vote. With what was at stake, it was stupid to over look that factor.The African American voting block was not even considered.
    Which was poor planning.

    No one even bothered to do a community poll in the African American community because they head they would have found out what the pule of the community was and maybe the proper out-reach would have been don and maybe the results would have been diffrent in Califnornia. As usual the the African American community was conisdered to be a throw away community.

    Do you think for one second that Harvey Milk would be doing this NO!
    He would galvanzied the voting block that he did not get and make sure it did not happen again!

    Did you guys learn nothing from the movie! When I first sawe the ads on televison when I was home I asked my friend is that it is anyone going out in the community to do out reach.

    "he said know the polls are high enough that we got this, besides who going to caught dead south of Wilshire". Two things happened that friendship was over and I knew the prop would fail.

    The message was not getting to te right people.

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    Sep 29, 2009 9:37 PM GMT
    Anto saidDo people really need a serious formal education in order to treat another human being humanely and respectfully or to look upon others as equals?



    How many white guys look at other minorities as their equal? How many white gay guys look at black guys as their equal?
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    Sep 29, 2009 10:24 PM GMT
    Im aware of the struggles, trials, fights, ballots, etc etc that go along with gay marriage, and i applaud all efforts.
    With that being said, I can't help but ask: Do we really want to be "married" now that it has such a negative view towards us? I know i don't. I would love a garriage (gay marriage) lol. Just tell the straightys they cant have one. That outta get em shakin in their minivans. This proposed "garriage" would carry all the legalities of a marriage and be performed wherever the hell we want.

    icon_neutral.gif whos with me? icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 29, 2009 10:49 PM GMT
    whosyourpaddy saidIm aware of the struggles, trials, fights, ballots, etc etc that go along with gay marriage, and i applaud all efforts.
    With that being said, I can't help but ask: Do we really want to be "married" now that it has such a negative view towards us? I know i don't. I would love a garriage (gay marriage) lol. Just tell the straightys they cant have one. That outta get em shakin in their minivans. This proposed "garriage" would carry all the legalities of a marriage and be performed wherever the hell we want.

    icon_neutral.gif whos with me? icon_wink.gif


    i'm with you. definitely down for that.
    one question though will these garriages be until death do us part?
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    Sep 29, 2009 11:11 PM GMT
    jgymnast733 said
    inmate_6655321 said
    jgymnast733 saidThis thread has resulted in so many interesting observations and opinions, i love it when we can just converse like adults without the name calling...



    you're stupid!!! blah blah blah liberal blah blah blah conservative blah blah blah glenn beck blah blah ann coulter blah blah ignorant blah blah blah blah purplemonkeydishwasher

    I knew it wouldnt take long...icon_rolleyes.gif
    I feel way too good about myself to stoop to your childish level...
    Do us all a favour, either grow up or turn str8...


    icon_sad.gif i was joking, mostly since you said people weren't name calling. sorry if you took it seriously, it sucks that people can't be sarcastic/joke around online

    again, it was a joke, I wasn't really calling you stupid
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    Sep 29, 2009 11:30 PM GMT
    Interesting stats. Yes I believe embracing a wider populace of diverse cultures through education is a factor in finding an understanding of others but I'm sure a few of those that voted to ban gay marriage would be insulted they were called stupid.

    In California I was shocked that the gay community seemed almost scared to go into the AA and Latino communities to open up a dialogue. If it wasn't fear it was stupidity. It seemed there was an assumption that if you just mentioned the word discrimination they'd naturally vote down prop 8. What a big mistake to assume that.

    The AA community largely regard homosexuality as a choice not something acquired at conception so they feel no association with the gay community and the complaints of discrimination. The idea being we can either pick to be discriminated against by choosing to be gay or we can simply pick not to and avoid any type of discrimination. The Latino community is reared with a strong "traditional" sense of family and feels homosexuality voids the process of that family unit. In both cases it's up to the gay community to educate on these issues that being gay is not a choice and that the family unit is not at all destroyed when two people of the same sex come together in legal marriage. Both communities also carry deep religious roots to support their feelings.
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    Sep 29, 2009 11:43 PM GMT
    Blackguy4you said
    whosyourpaddy saidIm aware of the struggles, trials, fights, ballots, etc etc that go along with gay marriage, and i applaud all efforts.
    With that being said, I can't help but ask: Do we really want to be "married" now that it has such a negative view towards us? I know i don't. I would love a garriage (gay marriage) lol. Just tell the straightys they cant have one. That outta get em shakin in their minivans. This proposed "garriage" would carry all the legalities of a marriage and be performed wherever the hell we want.

    icon_neutral.gif whos with me? icon_wink.gif


    i'm with you. definitely down for that.
    one question though will these garriages be until death do us part?



    Oh for sure, but the gays love their "events" lol, so we might as well make it for 20 years, and if we still love em, we do the whole ceremony again!!!
    If not, well . . . lets put it this way, garriaged people will have to work a lot more at their relationships since they cant use the excuse of "you took a vow!" (oh god, parental fighting memories/flashback...yuck, lol)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 30, 2009 12:31 AM GMT
    Surprise! Bigotry comes from ignorance, not skin color.

    Next!