Comparing Sexual and Ethnic Minority Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage


  • This project was supported by a research grant from the UCLA Institute for Social Research to the first author. The authors thank Anne Peplau and the Social Perception lab for comments on an earlier draft, the research assistants for their help, and all the participants.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Negin Ghavami, UCLA Department of Psychology, 1285 Franz Hall, Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095–156 [e-mail:].


We examined views on same-sex marriage in the context of California's Proposition 8 among a community sample of non-Black gay men, lesbians, and bisexual men and women (GLBs) as well as Black heterosexuals. Additionally, we investigated whether GLBs’ perception of Blacks’ views on same-sex marriage influenced the extent to which they blamed Blacks for the passage of Proposition 8. As expected, GLBs viewed same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue significantly more than a moral issue and as analogous to the 1960s Civil Rights Campaign. The views of Black heterosexuals, however, varied greatly by their vote on Proposition 8. Furthermore, the more GLBs perceived Blacks to view same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue, the less they blamed Blacks for the passage of Proposition 8. These findings suggest that GLBs and Blacks frame the issue of same-sex marriage differently and point to important intergroup consequences of perceived views of others.