Aurelio Rojas, Sacramento Bee, November 19, 2008
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass said today she is “appalled” at the hostility that has been directed at African-Americans since the passage of Proposition 8.
According to exit polls, 70 percent of black voters supported the gay marriage ban measure, which has caused friction between gays and blacks.
“I have friends in Los Angeles, who are African-Americans in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, and they went out to protest the vote and had racial epithets hurled at them,” Bass said. “A couple of them were fearful and they left because they were threatened.”
“I do think that people have pulled back a way from some of the hostility—I mean it got out of hand,” [Bass] said.
Bass said supporters leaders in the gay community need to do a better job of outreach in the black community.
She said that while campaigning for an Assembly candidate in San Diego, she was surprised when a group of African-American ministers told her they supported Proposition 8 because of “liability” concerns.
The speakers said the ministers were worried they would be sued by gay church members if they declined to marry them.