Surprise! White Democrats With Kids Are Responsible for Passing Prop 8!

Remember those Yes on 8 TV campaign ads that tried to convince parents that legalizing gay marriage would turn their children gay? Some reporters recently analyzed the Prop 8 election results and found that these ads may have had a much larger impact on voters than we first thought. (@latimes)

Back in November 2008, when Prop 8 was passed, there was a big backlash against African-American voters. A lot of people in the gay community made a bad assumption and accused African-Americans who came out to the polls to support Obama of helping get Prop 8 approved. But the most recent analysis refutes that. I realize some readers skip over large sections of quotes from articles, but read this one. It’s important:

One big question after the election: Who moved? Six weeks before the vote, Proposition 8 was too close to call. But in the final weeks, supporters pulled ahead, and by election day, the outcome was all but certain.

After the election, a misleading finding from exit polls led many to blame African Americans for the loss. But in our new analysis, it appears that African Americans’ views were relatively stable. True, a majority of African Americans opposed same-sex marriage, but that was true at the beginning and at the end of the campaign; few changed their minds in the closing weeks.

The shift, it turns out, was greatest among parents with children under 18 living at home — many of them white Democrats.

The numbers are staggering. In the last six weeks, when both sides saturated the airwaves with television ads, more than 687,000 voters changed their minds and decided to oppose same-sex marriage. More than 500,000 of those, the data suggest, were parents with children under 18 living at home. Because the proposition passed by 600,000 votes, this shift alone more than handed victory to proponents.

So, those ads — the ones that were mocked by supporters of gay rights for being such an obvious attempt to use scare tactics and false information to pit people against gay marriage — they worked. If you don’t remember how ridiculous they were, watch this:

It seems that the advertising campaign was successful in brainwashing lots of parents. Had these parents done some research instead of blindly letting fear control them, the result of Proposition 8 may have been much different.

Also guess who paid for these ads? Mostly, it was the Mormon Church. These TV spots were just one part of their giant misinformation campaign, which you can learn much more about by watching 8: The Mormon Proposition! Seriously, watch it.

So now we’re stuck with a decision rooted in prejudices and hatred. And the decision may be harder to reverse than supporters of same-sex marriage believe. It turns out, the election results weren’t as close as it appeared.

Voter confusion skewed the results, and while it affected both sides, many more of the confused voters were against same-sex marriage:

Polling suggests that half a million people who opposed same-sex marriage mistakenly voted against the proposition. They were confused by the idea that a “no” vote was actually a vote for gay marriage. This “wrong-way voting” affected both sides, but overwhelmingly it helped the “no” side. Our analysis suggests that the division among California voters on same-sex marriage at the time of Proposition 8 was actually 54% to 46% — not so close. We are actually 1 million votes away from being able to reverse Proposition 8.

Back to work, supporters of gay marriage! We’ve got a lot of work to do to change public opinion on same-sex marriage. And perhaps, this time, we should focus on the parents.

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46 Comments

  1. That commercial leaves a lot of questions left to be answered. For instance — what does the mom say to her daughter when it cuts to the sad piano music? What on Earth *could* she say?

    “Yes, it’s legal, but not in this household”?
    “No, you may not marry a princess one day”?
    “Why are you still reading picture books at your age?”

  2. I didn’t find the yes on eight ads rediculous at all. All the incidents portrayed in them actually happenned, including the one depicted here. That happenned in Massachuesetts. I find it interesting that you are so eager to minimize the influence that the african american community had on election results and maximize the the extent of participation the LDS church played. Not sure why you do that. Total financial contributions from the LDS church were less than one million. Most of that was non-monetary. On top of that, church membership as a percentage in California is very small. Bottom line is Americans simply aren’t interested in changing the definition of Marriage and also don’t want homosexuality as a life-style being taught to our kids.

    • Your kids will be gay if they are gay whether they are taught or not. I haven’t heard of one straight person yet who has been brainwashed into being gay, only gay people who are afraid of their identity. And minimize the African-American influence? We are a minority also, and our voting patterns have not changed. It’s so easy to just blame the blacks when the majority changed their mind as a result of propaganda. Propaganda that have been proven to come from the LDS church because of their great monetary support. Trust me, it doesn’t take too much money to air an ad of hate, they could afford it. Us gays, we don’t want your children. We don’t want converts.

    • What IS it about the ubiquitous inverse relationship between gay-hating and spelling ability?

      Do homophobes’ brains begin to short wire around age 7 or so when they are being taught basic grammar norms and spelling rules? Is it because the only piece of literature they’ve ever read is the Bible? (see my previous comments) Or is it that they are so overwhelmed by the conflicting feelings of sexual confusion and irrational hatred that their hands start to shake uncontrollably and they forget how to type?

      The world will never know. Until then, at least we have Strunk & White on our side.

      This all reminds me of a sign I saw during a protest in downtown LA. It read “Love not hate, how do you know your kids are straight?”

    • Last time I checked, religion was a lifestyle choice. Sexual orientation, on the other hand “refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions” (American Psychological Association).

      Your wording also seems to imply that individuals (read: tax-paying citizens) who prefer same-sex partners aren’t “Americans.” If I were you, I would seriously consider what that means about your vision of our country.

      I’m also not sure why it is so offensive and terrifying to you that a second-grader might be taught about the fact that some people are attracted to members of the same sex. Have you ever read the book King and King?

    • “Americans”, for which I am going to read “ass-backward bigots” because you have conveniently defined it to exclude everyone else, also didn’t want desegregation. They were wrong then and they’re wrong now. Sorry Velma, this is the future.

        • Because the majority of blacks aren’t gay. The majority (straight people or white people) don’t want the minority (gay people or black people) to have rights. Race isn’t even a factor, here, unless you want to discuss the homophobia associated with minority communities and socio-economic conditions which breeds these conditions.

        • You really don’t get it do you? Maybe for you the gay marriage issue is just an abstract moral-theological argument, but for many people this is about the possibility to live dignified lives as equal members of their community.

          What your view amounts to is that queers are lesser and disgusting and don’t deserve happiness. It is hateful, horrible BULLSHIT, and we have all been forced to “consider” it since childhood!

          • @ Niklas, Do you always launch pejoratives instead of answering the issues your opponent raises? (e.g. in my detailed comments elsewhere in this thread).
            .
            If this were an abstract issue for me, I wouldn’t bother with the debate. I’m concerned with the real-world danger of the government sanctioning the concept that this would be a dignified, equal way for someone to achieve happiness. There’s no hate in me for you, but concern for what I see as you short-changing yourself.

          • What you see as us “short changing” ourselves based on your religious beliefs is irrelevant to our status as citizens under a secular government, and our right to live dignified lives as equal members of our communities.

          • And P.S. Prop 8 just got overturned!!!! Have you been looking at other parts of this website? Breaking news! The separation of church and state is what is “enshrined in our constitution,” NOT discrimination. And you are free to be as Mormon as you want, just don’t push your religious agenda on my freedoms as an AMERICAN CITIZEN

          • I don’t always launch pejoratives, and honestly I think I was pretty fair to you. You do have A LOT of arguments and they are very TL:DR. In such cases I try to cut to the chase. For instance, the whole idea of “supporting marriage” by keeping it from the gays is pretty much incomprehensible unless one is a homophobe to begin with. So in that case I would address your homophobia rather than your argument.

            Above, I was trying to make you see why the things you say might make readers of this site a teensy bit angry. You clearly like to complain about ad hominem attacks but you yourself have not produced anything but. Oh, and here’s a tip: If you’re going to say “If this were an abstract issue for me, I wouldn’t bother with the debate.” then don’t use the word “concept” in the next sentence.

            I should really hope you don’t hate me, or anyone else that you’ve never even met because that would be really fucked up. Alas, you seem somewhat less than sincere on this point and many others. In any case I am done with this trollfest, so you can have the last word if you like.

  3. This doesn’t surprise me much.

    Though while watching the commercial I thought it was so cute the way the girl is like “I can marry a princess.”

    My heart went, “awwwwwwwww.”

  4. The section S51933 the ad cites (at about :25) says “teaching respect for marriage.” So “respect for marriage” = “turning children into big fat homos?”

    Didn’t quite make the connection there. Are there lines that I’m not reading between, NOM?

  5. I’m surprised that you used the word “seriously” in any kind of reference to a movie that is itself a measure of the gullibility of Prop 8’s opponents.
    .
    Consider the following:
    .
    * 10% more money was contributed to oppose Prop 8 than to support it ($44 million vs. $40 million). Any LDS influence on donations to support Prop 8 only served to narrow Prop 8’s disavantage, but did not overcome it. Now we have this film that would have us believe that the side spending LESS money bought the election.
    .
    * The LDS Church donated less than $200k in cash for this election: 0.2% of the total spent by both sides — hardly a dominating share.
    .
    * Donations from outside of California opposing Prop 8 were double the amount supporting it. This means that Californian donations were more supportive of Prop 8 than were funds from the outsiders who sought to influence us. This is another indicator that Californians supported Prop 8 generally — not just the Mormon minority — in opposition to the noisy minority that sought to buy this election with greater spending.
    .
    * Some say that Mormons donated too much in this election. By what standard? I agree that others did not donate their fair share but I do not see how our donations should be curtailed because of others’ stinginess — at least until celebrity donors also are curtailed.
    .
    * Given that Prop 8 won 52% to 48% and that total donations were $40 million in favor to $44 million against: $1.20 was donated for every opposing vote vs. $1.00 donated for every supporting vote. So, which side donated in excess? It would be more reasonable to complain that the losing side donated too much, based upon their spending per vote.
    .
    * The total adult Mormon population in California only equals about half Prop 8’s margin of victory. If all of us had voted and had voted for Prop 8 (polls showed that 1 in 10 Mormons opposed it), our votes still would not have affected the outcome.
    .
    * The kind of pressure to support Prop 8 this film propounds was not known among us in reality. E.g., in my local ward (congregation), a man that spoke out against Prop 8 in our scripture class every week was allowed to drone on uncensured and uncensored. Shortly after the election, he was called to be president of our Sunday School (which admittedly could be seen as punishment).
    .
    * The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco contacted the Mormon leaders to ask for our help with Prop 8. We were happy to make common cause with them (well, as noted above, 9/10 of us were).
    .
    * Mormon support for Prop 8 is based in, as the bumper stickers said, supporting marriage. The Church supports equal civil rights for homosexuals, including parity of civil unions: the Salt Lake City council recently passed an anti-homosexual-discrimination measure. The LDS Church endorsed it; apparently, there wasn’t room in this film for this inconvenient truth
    .
    * Polls showed that 70% of California’s black voters and ~ 52% of our Hispanic voters supported Prop 8 and their votes — not the pro-Prop-8 90% of the 2% Mormons make of California’s population — are enough to account for Prop 8’s margin of victory.
    .
    * Prop 8 garnered 1 million more votes in favor than did the similar Prop 22 in 1998.
    .
    Film makers are free to write and produce whatever they want. I just wish they wouldn’t confuse the audiences of this one with their street theater of *acting* like this was a documentary.
    .
    It seems that the movie was successful in brainwashing lots of Prop 8’s opponents. Had opponents done some research instead of blindly letting fear control them, the result of “8” may have been much different.

    • I haven’t watched 8: A Mormon Proposition, or done any research on the nitty-gritty of campaign funding, but what I do know is this: during all of the campaigning leading up to that election, I got to see the Yes on 8 sticker on the back of the minivan that belonged to my friend’s family.

      These were the same people I held friendly, cursory conversations with whenever I ran into them, yet with that sticker they were implying that my right to marry was somehow threatening their marriage and children. “Restoring Marriage and Protecting California Children” is one of the major Yes on 8 slogans. (I suppose I didn’t count as a California Child.)

      Can you explain to me please — not in airy theoretical terms, but concrete and applicable ones — how exactly my right to marry affects my friend’s family at all? How does it damage their marriage or endanger their children?

      • Your question and my answer will show the gap in perception between our two sides.
        .
        No one’s right to marry is affected by Prop 8. Prop 8 included in California’s constitution the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman that Prop 22 for California and DOMA for the U.S. already had set out. You and anyone else legally are unhindered from marrying; marriage is with someone of the opposite sex.
        .
        I take your implied meaning to be the right to have California recognize a homosexual union as a “marriage.” There is no such a right and these propositions clarified that. It is well-established that having a proclivity does not create a legal right to claim the State’s marriage sanction for a relationship, be it for: bestiality, homosexuality, polygamy, inanimate objects, or a mature person deemed underage.
        .
        As for how such a State sanction would affect your friend’s family, damage their marriage, or endanger their children, first, this is a red herring that Prop 8’s opponents brandished frequently during the election. They kept stepping past that it was to defend the institution of marriage although our electioneering kept stating so. Please consider:
        * 44% of the graduating class of an ivy-league school some years had a 4.0 grade-point average,
        * Jerry Rubin, the 60’s activist, appeared for trial in a judge’s robe claiming that was all it took to be a judge,
        * Several English knights resigned their knighthood when the Beatles were knighted.
        The “A” average of someone in the top of their class, the judgeship of the legally-appointed judge, and the knighthood of the earlier knights were not damaged by the offending actions so a protest would be to defend the institutions of “A” grades, legal judgeships, and knighthood. So it is with Prop 22, Prop 8, and Prop Next.
        .
        Second, looking beyond Prop 8 to answer your question about what injury such legal recognition would incur, my answer @ August 4, 2010 at 4:50 am covered part of that; please note my comments about the difference between not restricting personal behavior and officially endorsing it in the name of *all* the State’s citizens. As the TV ad embedded above explains, this would not only give sanction, but result in schools teaching “respect for marriage” that includes recognition of homosexual unions. This, of course, would result in the schools teaching directly in contradiction to what parents teach in their homes. I hope that you can understand how we see this teaching our children false values as damaging to our children. I hope that you can see how compelling us to pay taxes — at the threat of incarceration and property confiscation for not paying them — to support schools teaching our children that we are wrong would be damaging to our families.
        .
        Those who believe that homosexual unions are wrong include among our reasons the lack of personal fulfillment that comes from the complementary union of both sexes, the lack of the mother-father relationship in nurturing children (which studies have shown to be more-beneficial for children), and teaching our children that this relationship with the other sex is an optional proclivity and not a fundamental and natural benefit.
        .
        I understand that we disagree on these points — that’s the point of Prop 8 and of this discussion — but to resolve these, you actually would need to answer them. Failing to answer and constantly reverting to tossing at us ad hominem attacks and red herrings reinforces in my mind your inability to answer; ignoring the basis of my position — not the explanations in your caricatures — and declaring I’m wrong is not persuasive.

        • “This, of course, would result in the schools teaching directly in contradiction to what parents teach in their homes.”

          Schools teaching evolution, the holocaust, creation, atheism, desegregation, equality of all people regardless of religion or race, and open-mindedness are in direct contradiction to what kids are taught at home. A public school should seek to create conscientious citizens, and the only way to adequately do this is to educate young people about every minority in acceptance, because only when a government and a people understand each other can the government and society seek to find common ground and a successful way of governing. Keeping people hard-hearted and ignorant isn’t going to solve anyone’s problems. The gays pay taxes, too, my friend.

          “lack of personal fulfillment that comes from the complementary union of both sexes”

          I can guarantee you that no gay person will find fulfillment in heterosexual relationships. That’s why they’re gay.

          “the lack of the mother-father relationship in nurturing children (which studies have shown to be more-beneficial for children)”

          I understand your concern, but I see these “studies” being thrown around, and I have no clue where they’re from, who they’re funded by, and who they’re surveying. I doubt that a long-term study of children raised by gay parents is being cited, here, and I’d be willing to bet that, instead, what’s being looked at is a dysfunctional version of a traditional family rather than a non-traditional one. I would like to know more about them before I completely dismiss them, but at this point, I have a hard time believing they’re objective.

          The only context in which “marriage” is definitively defined is within the confines of western religion. Despite the deeply religious proclivities of Americans, we tend to hold the separation of church and state highly, but this isn’t what’s happening in this debate. One group is demanding that their religious perspective be imposed on others who do not share their religious piety. It’s wrong on the basis of the constitution.

          No one is asking you to be gay, or even accept gays in your congregation or life. We’re asking the government for equal protection, equal tax breaks, equal opportunities as people with the “optional proclivity” for straight relationships. This has nothing to do with you or your religion, but you and your religion have made it about that.

          I wish I could show you the pain that isn’t caused by being gay, but caused by other people denying you what everyone else has, knowing that even if your state lets you get married the federal government won’t acknowledge it, that you might not be able to adopt a kid and try to give them a good life, that you might lose friends or be abused because you love your wife, that you could lose your job if you aren’t cisgendered or presenting the right way. I know you know all of this, but you don’t feel it.

          I respect your disagreement, but I wish you would respect people and be tolerant of them.

        • “No one’s right to marry is affected by Prop 8.”

          Yes, mine is. I also understand that the “gap in perception between our two sides” is characterized by the fact that you not only consider me wrong — for living my life honestly instead of repressing my feelings and submitting to your religious lifestyle — but also consider it your right to encroach upon my life.

          “I hope that you can see how compelling us to pay taxes — at the threat of incarceration and property confiscation for not paying them — to support schools teaching our children that we are wrong would be damaging to our families.”

          I hope you can see the way your statement above applies to gay families and individuals on a much more significant level than it does to Mormon families (or any others who have chosen, or were born into other anti-gay religions as their family’s lifestyle). While your children will be told that it is wrong to discriminate, and that in the eyes of the secular world a same-sex partner is a completely viable option, as a child I was told that my sexual orientation (my emotional, romantic, and sexual attraction to other women as potential companions) was not viable. I was taught that I did not deserve to be included or protected in a public, secular school because it might offend religious practices that were not even my own.

          Your children will be taught that the religious lifestyle choices of their family are different than other options in the secular world. Your family would not be damaged. I think we can agree that there is a very big difference between being told that one of your family’s religious beliefs is not upheld by the secular government (which exists to serve a multitude of citizens: gay, straight, trans, Mormon, Christian, Muslim, atheist, pagan, etc.), and being told that one of the very fundamentals of your existence is not legally viable.

          Again: a Mormon child will be taught that the secular government and secular public recognizes and respects same-sex marriage. On the other hand, a gay child or a child of gay parents (or with any gay family members) will be taught that their family is not legally or socially legitimate in the secular world because of the religious beliefs of others.

          Which of those things sounds damaging to you?

  6. claireskies @ August 4, 2010 at 12:46 am
    .
    I don’t see it as “between the lines.” I’ll try to give you a bridge to our view. Prop 8 did not curb anyone’s behavioral choices; it did not place any restrictions on the acting out of the definition shared by Fit @ August 4, 2010 at 12:32 am; neither creation nor enforcement of sodomy laws was part of Prop 8.
    .
    What Prop 8 did was codify the clear majority of the electorate’s choice to not have our representative government *sanction* these activities; it’s the difference between granting the freedom to do that with which a majority disagrees and endorsing it in the name of all, including the majority.
    .
    In this light, were Prop 8 to fail, “teaching respect for marriage” would have included this endorsement.
    .
    On a tangent, I’ve been wondering what happened to Pres. Obama’s idea, some time before his election, of having government only perform civil unions for anyone and leaving each religion or anyone else to decide whether they recognized that as a marriage.

    • Let’s be clear, the only reason your camp no longer advocates sodomy laws (as you seem to imply) is that it’s no longer politically feasible. Since you can’t put american gays in jails or mental institutions any more, you’re content for the moment to cement their status as second-class citizens. Your talk of restrictions and sanctions seem to me only an overly complex way of saying the very same thing. I don’t necessarily disagree with you that this is what the majority of Californians want (I wouldn’t know), but that’s irrelevant: the rights of a minority should not be left to be decided by the majority. Right now I feel pretty confident that your courts will also agree with me.

    • But what the commercial implies is that “teaching respect for marriage” will make an impression on children that they can marry one of their own sex solely because it’s legal. This further supports the entire notion that being LGBT is a choice, therefore making the concept of actually being gay some sort of joke. These ads promoted the fear that children would make that “choice” because they were exposed to a lifestyle different than their own, which, really, is silly and unfounded.

  7. Katie @ August 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm
    .
    Are you aware that we don’t give your comments much weight when they mostly are caricaturizations of us? Have you considered that ad hominem attacks generally are seen as the writer ceding the argument on its merits?
    .
    BTW, my copy of Strunk and White does not teach spelling; it only has a single page admonishing the use of orthodox spellings, but also allowing that variants appear with use.

    • It really seems like you’re the one creating a caricaturization of yourself.

      The section you just cited from Elements of Style actually says “use orthodox spelling” (4th edition, 108). The authors go on to explain: “The practical objection to unaccepted and oversimplified spellings is the disfavor with which they are received by the reader” (122).

      Strunk and White also include “ridiculous” in their list of words often misspelled. It’s like they knew this was going to happen.

      • I have the 3rd edition which also includes your second quotation about “spellings.” This comment argues well against using misspelling(s). It doesn’t offer any assistance to Katie’s attempt to connect her caricaturizaton with defending marriage.

        • Have you heard of irony or sarcasm before? I simply mentioned Strunk and White as a general example of a text that promotes good writing–something people from your camp seem overwhelmingly to disregard. And nit-picking me does nothing to make your argument stronger, either. But since you appear eager for a war of words, I’m happy to engage.

          You must have gone to law school–that would explain for your heavy reliance on legal fallacies to justify the relentless forcing of your religious beliefs through a non-sectarian governmental process, i.e. voting.

          The whole “but you still CAN get married, you silly gay” argument is one of the most flawed and ludicrous fall-back talking points that the homophobes have–and the one they usually revert to when they sense they are slipping from a pinnacle of “moral righteousness” and being exposed for who they truly are: people who unconditionally and irrationally hate those who were not built like them.

          You want to talk about a logical failing? How about telling an entire group of people who were BORN with a predisposition to be attracted to their own sex, much like a group of people who were born with a predisposition to baldness or color blindness, that there is something inherently wrong with the way they were made and they need to set aside, cover up, or deny to the point of psychological damage or suicide, their own biological drives and genetic expression in order to relieve the unproven fears of the majority who happens to possess the state approved heterosexual alleles.

          Newsflash: telling me to go marry the boy who lives down my street will not make me straight, nor will it bring me any happiness or “rights”–it will simply result in a sexless, unhappy, unfullfilling, forced marriage that will damage him and our children as much as it does me. This is because it will be a lie. You want me to ruin some guy’s life for the sake of straight marriage? Or do you think it would be better if this man married a straight woman who was actually invested in the relationship, both sexually and romantically, and allowed me to continue to be with the WOMAN I fell in love with more than four years ago? This really should not even BE a question.

          Marriage was once about land ownership, enforcement of the patriarchy, dowries, political alliances, and was arranged by families (mainly fathers) without the two people’s consent anyway. Do you think this definition is applicable today? Do you think the man and woman who promise to tend to each other in sickness and in health, who have amazing NON-procreative sex throughout the course of their marriage (because who is going to believe that they only made love the three times it took them to conceive three children), are getting married solely to serve some greater good? No–people choose to get married because they fall in love with each other and they believe that a lifelong partnership and marriage is the most fulfilling and mutually beneficial way to express this love. No one stands on the alter thinking, “Man, I am doing such a great thing for the State!” Marriage is not about dowries and camels today–marriage is about LOVE and equal treatment under the law, neither which are a heterosexual privilege.

          So no matter how much you scream and kick, and try to couch your clear homophobia in legal jargon that is tangential and non-applicable, I WILL marry my girlfriend someday. We WILL promise to love and keep each other safe through every twist that life throws us, including holding each other and kissing away the tears when people like you hurt us and try to trample our rights. We WILL raise well-adjusted, amazing children who will enter the world with simple morality and kindness on their side. And our love WILL win over your hate, whether you like it or not.

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