Blacks, gays, and immutability.
From prenatal hormones to genetics to birth order, scientists have been sifting data to nail down homosexuality's biological origins. As they advance, it will become easier and easier to persuade African-Americans that being gay is a lot like being black. The lesson of Proposition 8 isn't that blacks have stopped the march of gay rights. The lesson is that when they turn, the fight in blue America will essentially be over.
Correction, Nov. 13, 2008: I originally wrote that blacks "made the difference" on Prop 8. I calculated this based on a margin of passage of 4 percent. This was erroneous, because the final margin was 4.6 percent. To prevent Prop 8's passage, blacks would have had to vote against it by a margin of something like 53 percent to 47 percent. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
Illustration by Robert Neubecker.