There's been a lot of discussion about how the high turnout in the African-American community for Barack Obama could bring out a lot of religious people who will vote for Prop 8 in California -- the "Obama effect" is what they're calling it. I've thought this was overblown because African-American turnout is usually quite high anyway, and I can't imagine how many more people would turn out to make a huge difference. Who is to say, after all, that the high turnout means more of those people who are very religious? I would think it would tend to be all kinds of people, including those who are more pro-gay and also those who are not religious. LaDoris Cordell, writing in Salon, doesn't believe the "Obama effect" is going to transpire:
Not long ago, in a speech to a predominately black congregation, it was with some trepidation that I introduced myself as gay. I was not seeking the congregation's approval. Rather, I did it because I had never before had the courage to publicly identify myself as such before a black audience. It was time. At the conclusion of my talk, I received a standing ovation that left me stunned and deeply touched, and convinced that the African-American electorate will come through. Black voters will, I predict, view same-sex marriage as the constitutional guarantee that it is, thereby giving new meaning to the "Obama Effect."