Last year I wrote that Black Christian leaders in Prince George’s County, Maryland, were the political force that blocked the state’s marriage-rights legislation from passing. According to the Washington Post, despite the “state’s reputation as one of the nation’s most liberal states,” the percentage of people here who support gay and lesbian (homogamous) marriage rights is about the same as the national average. That’s because of a large population of Christian African Americans who oppose the law, it appears.
Here is the breakdown of the Post‘s latest poll:
Among Democrats, the gay/lesbian marriage divide has got to be one of the sharpest between Blacks (41% support) and Whites (71% support). Evidence from the General Social Survey (reported here) attributes the race difference to the denominational and religiosity differences between Blacks and Whites. (Of course, 41% Black support is not negligible.)
Those on the wrong side of history appear to be swimming against an insurmountable demographic tide (or whatever). Barring a dramatic turn of events, all the evidence points toward popular support for marriage rights becoming a solid majority in the next few years. That shows in the trend over time, as well as the age split, in the Post poll. Sooner or later, I think, either the churches will decide to change or the population will swim out from under them, dunking them in the drink of political history.