African Americans Among Groups That Spur Gay Marriage Revolution

Last Tuesday’s election was a watershed moment for the gay marriage movement. Voters in three states voted to legalize it — something no state had done before — and a fourth state voted against a proposed ban.

And if the movement catches on in other states, African Americans and Latinos will be a big reason why. In fact, exit polls now show a majority of both groups now favor gay marriage.

Maine, Maryland and Washington state all passed new gay marriage laws on Tuesday, while voters in Minnesota defeated a ban.

In some ways, the pro-gay marriage votes were a long time coming, with polls showing more and more Americans moving in support of gay marriage in recent years. But the fact that voters in multiple states signed off on gay marriage all at once on Tuesday suggests a significant leap forward, in addition to the incremental progress.

And while the usual suspects continue to favor gay marriage — young people and non-religious people — exit polls show the most important shifts in support among two key communities: African Americans and Hispanics.