Proposition 8 and the Blame Game

Wendy Cadge offers some sound advice in the context of the retrenchment of rights in California, in The Immanent Frame:

There is also tremendous diversity around homosexuality and gay marriage among local religious leaders today…Personal exposure to gay and lesbian people in family networks, seminary contexts, and local congregations was the single most important factor shaping clergy’s supportive opinions. Diversity of opinion about homosexuality and gay marriage was evident not just across groups but within every religious group we studied.

Rather than pointing fingers at African-Americans or people of faith for passing Proposition 8, we who support gay marriage across the country need to recognize two things. First, the vote—52% voted yes and 48% voted no—in California was closer than you would expect based on national public opinion surveys about gay marriage. And second, this diversity of opinion exists within families, communities, churches, and racial and ethnic groups. This will not make those of us who lost the right to marry feel better. This is a loss. But as we make our signs and plan our protests, we must do so in groups that include everyone who supports gay marriage—African Americans, people of faith, and others—rather than pointing fingers. Marriage is not a finite resource. Unfortunately, neither is blame.

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