Sunday, September 20, 2009

Same-sex marriage debate in Washington DC fractures along racial lines, which no one likes to admit

Robert McCartney has an important lead-off article in the Metro Section on p C1 of the Washington Post, Sunday September 20, 2009, “Same-sex Marriage: Exploring the Racial Divide”, link here.

Caucasians in the District support same-sex marriage by a classroom ratio of 8:1, whereas African-Americans oppose it by a proportion of 24:17. The City as a whole supports gay marriage 27:17 (these sound like football scores). It’s pretty obvious that there are cultural differences, and that the “collective” notion of the nuclear family (as explained in the Carlson "Natural Family" book I reviewed Friday on my books blog) is more important in the African American community. And demographically, young gay men often prefer to live in cities or close-in suburbs (like Arlington, which (as a “Blue” zone in a “Red” state) obviously has a large gay population), often in apartments, condos or townhomes, rather than in larger homes farther out suitable for raising large families. So a larger proportion of a white urban population (especially younger men) is likely to be gay. On the other hand, the District has a large African American majority, as it has long had, although the margin of majority has decreased somewhat with aggressive real estate development including “gentrification” of previously poor neighborhoods (some of them torn up in 1968 with the riots) like U-Street or Shaw and SouthEast, near Nationals Park, where many new condos for relatively high income people, often single, have been built. (Unfortunately the poor people have been driven to low-income sections of Prince Georges County, MD.) Look at “Demographics” on Wikipedia here for a history.

The McCartney article today does lead to some interesting expansion.

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