One of the only groups that showed an increase in voting for the Republican Party the 2008 election cycle was GLBTs. The 27% of the GLBT vote that went for the McCain/Palin ticket has been cited as further evidence of racism in the GLBT movement generally, and in GLBT voting patterns for Barack Obama, specifically.
Let's put this baby to rest.
According to a Gay and Lesbian Times story published 2 days after the presidential election:
* While 61 percent of Californians supported Obama versus 37 percent for McCain, 85 percent of heavily gay San Francisco supported Obama versus 13 percent for McCain and two percent for others.
3 weeks later, Bay Windows published it's survey of the “GLB” vote in the 2008 elections. I cannot tell if they used exit polls, precinct tallies or both. The Bay Windows survey of the 2008 election results yielded similar data to the Gay and Lesbian Times study but included one additional city to note:
In Houston, 66 percent of heavily gay precinct voters supported Obama, 33 percent McCain, and one percent others.
My point is that a charge of racism in the gay community that is based solely on the increased amount of GLBT support for the Republican ticket is misleading and unjust if one does not take into account regional factors. Heavily gay precincts in Provincetown, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, San Francisco (94% Obama!), and West Hollywood appear to all have voted in the 80-90% range for Barack Obama. It is in Southern cities like Miami, Dallas, and Houston where 1 in 3 GLB voters punched the McCain/Palin ticket. The South seems to be where huge chunks of the 27% vote for McCain/Palin comes from.
Leaving aside the incidents of overt racism that broke out in California following the passing of Proposition 8, it is important to note: the gay communities in San Francisco and West Hollywood, specifically and, indeed, the national LGBT community seem to have been unfairly accused of racism in the sole respect of the election of Barack Obama, at least according to the poll numbers. Any accusations of racism in sole regards to the 27% national GLBT vote for McCain/Palin needs to be challenged and amended to account for regional voting tendencies. The defamation of the San Francisco and West Hollywood communities in the sole regards of what may have been punched in the privacy of the voting booth is wrong and needs to stop.
In light of these poll results, it is also clear that a regional disconnect exists in the GLBT movement; several outbreaks of regional factionalism have occured in the Blend and in other blogspots this week alone. As we move forward with our civil rights movement, the increasingly regional nature of the movement needs to be noted and dealt with.