Posted in response to the comments on Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog:
As a gay white activist for many different sorts of causes, all I have to say is this: if, in fact, African-Americans voted overwhelmingly to pass Prop 8, as seems to have been the case, then that choice has far, far less to do with the color of anyone's skin than with the potent influence of religion on African-American culture.
We could all sit around for an eternity debating the minutiae of the results, who turned out to vote, how they voted, etc. In the end, we as a community either have to reach out to people of faith (of *all* varieties), or hope that the courts will overturn what seems to be an unconstitutional implementation of religious principle as public policy. Maybe better, both.
It's important to note that people of faith understand the fear of persecution just as powerfully as those who are perhaps more genuinely oppressed in our times. However, they have been taught to believe that we want to take away something that God gave especially to them... That sense of privilege will be difficult to overcome.
If it turns out that the judicial system has not yet evolved enough to fully support the equal recognition of the gay community, then our "target" should be the faith community, and the application should be one of outreach and establishing common ground, not blind rage.
I don't mean to say that the effort will be won on the ground, because like all other equal protection issues, this one will have to be decided in the courts in order to find enforcement. Regardless, we *can* benefit from broader support on the ground, and however amusing it may be to laugh at Mormons' magic underwear, or however easy it may be to target statistics about the African-American vote, directing our collective anger at narrow groups of people can hardly broaden our coalition. We have to channel this passion in productive directions.