Cheryl Weston once attended a wedding ceremony for gay friends, but on Election Day, she voted for a constitutional amendment to declare marriage in California as only between a man and a woman.
"It was called a holy union, but I don't know how holy it was," said Weston, a Sacramento barber.
Weston, 44, is one of an overwhelming number – 70 percent – of black voters in California who voted for Proposition 8 and helped secure its passage, according to exit polling conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.
African Americans, energized by Barack Obama's presidential bid, boosted their numbers at the polls this year to 10 percent of the state's electorate, up from 6 percent in 2004.
"The Obama people were thrilled to turn out high percentages of African Americans, but (Proposition 8) literally wouldn't have passed without those voters," said Gary Dietrich, president of Citizen Voice, a nonpartisan voter awareness organization.
Latinos were 18 percent of California's voters, and through sheer numbers also contributed to Proposition 8's success. But 53 percent of Latino voters supported the measure, a much lower percentage than black voters. Among white and Asian voters, 49 percent voted for the measure.
Opponents of Proposition 8 appealed to voters to reject the measure as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
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