22.On another subject, do you think it should
be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples
to get married? Do you feel that way strongly
or somewhat? --------- Legal --------- NET Strongly Somewhat 1/28/10 56 42 13 White 83 70 14 Black 37 24 13 -------- Illegal -------- No NET Somewhat Strongly opinion 1/28/10 35 5 30 9 White 12 4 9 4
Black 51 7 44 12
23. As you may have heard, the D.C. Council
passed and the mayor signed legislation to permit
same-sex marriages in the District.
Do you think this issue should be put on a city-wide
ballot, so District voters could vote yes or no
on a referendum on same-sex marriage? Should be on Should not be on No city-wide ballot city-wide ballot opinion 1/28/10 59 37 4 White 39 58 3 Black 70 25 6
The disturbing results on Question 22 & Question 23 suggest, by a significant margin, that most of Washington, DC's African-American residents would like to vote on the civil rights of the gay and lesbian community. It may seem ridiculous to divide the population on unscientific, fabricated notions of race, but these results (if accurate) infer that those who self-identify as black continue to be opposed to same-sex marriages. Only 1 in 4 said there should be no referendum. Those who identify as white tended to say no vote was necessary, but nearly 2 in 5 still said there should be a referendum. Neighborhoods in Washington, DC, as most residents will agree, are largely self-segregated along ethnic lines as well as economic ones.
During public hearings on the DC marriage bill, those who were opposed mostly stated that their bias was based on conservative religious viewpoints. Fortunately, most testimony heard favored extending marriage to gay couples, and those supporting public witnesses crossed the lines of ethnicity, spirituality, and sexual-orientation. The DC Council passed the bill in December. It was quickly signed by Mayor Fenty, and it now awaits Federal review before becoming law. The fact that "black" and "gay" are not mutually exclusive identities had been presented at the hearings and subsequent rallies, but that point seems to be falling on deaf ears.
According to US Census Data, the District is 55.6% black and 37.3% white. Recent estimates indicate that marriage in the District is not on most people's radar at all. Only 29% of males (15 and older) are currently married, and an even lower 24% of females indicated that they are currently married (not separated). 8.4% of men are divorced and 10.7% of females are divorced. More than half of women here have never been married, and among men, it rises to a whopping 57% who have never been married.
Asians and Latinos were not mentioned in the Post's results for this question. And there is no data from either the Post or the Census to indicate how many of the respondents and residents of DC are gay or lesbian. Most do believe the city has a substantially higher than average number of LGBT citizens.
The issues of racial minorities vs. gay marriage equality began to boil over in 2008 when it became apparent that California's African-American citizens voted in favor of Proposition 8. The difference here is: African-American's make up the largest ethic population of DC; whereas the black community of California represents less than 7% of that state's overall total.