The power of example: Americans of color more likely to support marriage equality

President Obama's stand in favor of marriage equality may not have given him much of a boost in the polls, but it certainly gave marriage equality a boost in public support. As noted on Colorline, The new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows continued if slow growth of support for same sex marriage, but what it really shows is a big uptick in support for marriage equality by people of color. 59% of African Americans, and 61% of minorities overall say that marriage should be available to all loving couples, gay or straight, compared to just 50% of white voters.

How much of a jump is it?
The poll also finds that 59 percent of African Americans say they support same-sex marriage, up from an average of 41 percent in polls leading up to Obama’s announcement of his new position on the matter. Though statistically significant, it is a tentative result because of the relatively small sample of black voters in the poll.
That's the power of leadership. This is why President Obama's endorsement of marriage equality is so crucial, and so much more important than if a white president had done it. The moment President Obama came out in support of marriage equality, the right wing attempt to drive a wedge between gays and people of color fell apart. You could no longer tell people with non-white heritage that being gay was a "white" thing and that the white homosexual agenda was trying to attack their culture. Instead, people saw a non-white president speak to us about something everyone can relate to: families, children, and equal treatment under law.

When President Obama spoke, everyone listened. Everyone, but especially, communities of color. We watched one of our own tell us that culture could no longer be an excuse for opposing equality, that as minorities, we must stand up for everyone's rights - even people who are different from us. We wanted a president who is one of us tell us that our heritage - both as Americans and as minorities - is enriched by supporting equal dignity, and that our families are better when we include all families.

Thank you, again, Mr. President.

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