A new report released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force this week analyzing the Prop 8 vote paints a stark picture of the work that must be done by the gay rights community to change hearts and minds. The report shows that four main factors – party affiliation, political ideology (no surprise here), frequency of attending worship services and age – drove the “yes” vote on Prop 8.
- More than 70 percent of voters who were Republican, identified themselves as conservative, or who attended religious services at least weekly supported Proposition 8. Conversely, 70 percent or more of voters who were Democrat, identified themselves as liberal, or who rarely attended religious services opposed the measure. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of voters 65 or older supported Proposition 8, while majorities under 65 opposed it.
- When religious service attendance was factored out, however, there was no significant difference between African Americans and other groups. In other words, people of all races and ethnicities who worship at least once a week overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, with support among white, Asian and Latino frequent churchgoers actually being greater than among African Americans.
- Overall support for marriage equality has increased by 9 percent since 2000, with support increasing among every age group under age 65, across all racial and ethnic groups and among Protestants, Catholics and Jews. There are three “holdout” groups where voting patterns have not changed: Republicans, conservatives, and those 65 and older. The largest gain — up 16 percent — was among voters 45-64 years of age, followed by a 13 percent increase among voters 18-29.