St. Louis Oracle

St. Louis-based political forecasting plus commentary on politics and events from a grassroots veteran with a mature, progressive anti-establishment perspective.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Betrayal?: Blacks backed Amendment 2

A breach in progressive solidarity?

The dirty little secret is out: A majority of African American voters, in the privacy of their voting booths, opposed civil rights for same-sex couples and voted for Constitutional Amendment 2, putting a restrictive “man plus woman” definition of marriage in the Missouri Constitution.

Amendment 2 carried 13 of 14 black-majority wards in the City of St. Louis and five of six black-majority townships in St. Louis County. The only exceptions were the City’s 6th Ward and University Township in the County, both central-corridor areas whose substantial white minorities consist primarily of the young liberals who formed the core of opposition to the amendment.

In both the city and the county, the black-majority wards and townships supported the controversial amendment by greater margins than white-majority areas in those jurisdictions. In fact, in the city, the black wards (excluding the 6th) supported the amendment by a greater percentage than the three most conservative lily-white southwest city wards (where less than 11% of the population cast nearly a third of the city’s Republican primary votes).

The 13 black wards that backed the measure did so with over 55% of the vote. The five county black townships doing so posted a 64% majority for the amendment. Both figures are well ahead of the support percentages for the entire city (where the amendment lost) and the entire county (60%).

Both major African American weekly newspapers, the St. Louis American and the St. Louis Argus, had remained editorially silent on the ballot measure.

Doug Gray, campaign manager for the Constitutional Defense League, told St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Bill Smith that he was disappointed that those people who historically have supported civil rights issues -- labor unions, African Americans and Democrats -- largely decided to sit out the Amendment 2 election. "Being silent and saying nothing is no longer good enough."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should read today's issue of the St. Louis Argus.

August 12, 2004 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is this surprising? The black community has never been allied with gay rights. It's an ongoing tension within the Democratic Party. Black churches preached for Amendment 2 just like the white fundamentalist churches.

August 13, 2004 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is no suprise to me!! Just because Blacks have supported civil rights, doesn't mean gay marriage is a civil rights issue! Blacks (middle class blacks who vote) are for the most part conservative!!! We do not support abortion, and we hate mass welfare. But for some reason, most blacks vote the Democratic ticket. That is disturbing, because the Democrats are not a conservative party. But this is changing. My husband and I are black, and middle class, and we are seeing a backlash amongst our peers against voting with the Dems. I look forward to more of my friends and peers voting the issues, which will place the middle class black vote squarely with the Republican party.

Stacy Washington

September 4, 2004 at 11:19 AM  

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