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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good News Out of California

posted by on May 28 at 9:26 AM

For the first time ever polls show that a majority of Californians back same-sex marriage. Poor Tony Perkins must be crapping his pants.

Signaling a generational shift in attitudes, a new Field Poll on Tuesday said California voters now support legal marriage between same-sex couples and oppose a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

By 51 to 42 percent, state voters believe gay couples have the right to marry, according to a May 17-26 poll of 1,052 registered voters.

However, the same poll revealed a California electorate that remains sharply divided over gay marriage—split by age, political affiliation, religion and the regions where they live.

The right-wingers are losing the argument about same-sex marriage—a.k.a. marriage equality—and they damn well know it. The longer we engage in a national discussion about same-sex marriage—and the more people are exposed to same-sex couples and gay families—the harder it becomes for religious bigots to claim that we’re somehow a threat to the nation, to the family, to the children, to the Gulf Coast, etc. Which is why the right has worked so hard—and, in most states, so successfully—to write current prejudices into state constitutions. They know they have no choice but to lock in anti-gay prejudice now because their most reliable anti-gay voters (and donors) are dying off. That’s what the Sacramento Bee means by “generational shift,” and “split by age.”

Ironically the right’s own strategy is backfiring: one of the reasons our national conversation about same-sex marriage continues to roar along is the right’s strategy of placing unnecessary and frequently redundant anti-same-sex-marriage amendments before voters even in states where courts and legislatures haven’t moved to legalize same-sex marriage. Even in states that we’ve “lost,” even in states that have approved gay marriage bans, polls show movement toward support for marriage equality after the passage of anti-gay-marriage amendments. How’s this for irony: One day we’ll be able to repeal these amendments thanks, in large part, to the debate instigated by the passage of these amendments. Campaigns to pass anti-gay marriage amendments expose voters to pro-gay marriage arguments. Unfortunately it seems to take a while for those arguments to sink in—usually years after the vote—but the arguments do sink in. And we have the religious right to thank for all this consciousness raising.

But the polls out of California, while heartening, doesn’t get us out of the woods. On civil rights issues, people tend to tell pollsters what they think the pollsters want to hear; and younger people enjoy being polled more than they enjoying going to the polls. Still, good news out of California today.

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there was a good midmorning on MPR all about gay marriage. Still, I found myself mentally screaming at the radio. The opponent argued that gays already have equal civil rights, and no one called the asshole on it. Anyone catch it?

PS - dammit I am posting it myself. I really liked this one....

Posted by ZWBush | May 28, 2008 9:58 AM

I've always thought that this (w)hole issue was just waiting for the DADT policy to fall. Troops with partners can scream like no other mos and Uncle Sam won't have much choice but to listen, y'know, with all the yellow ribbons, post combat freak outs, flags on caskets and stuff. And what happens when married sailors from San Diego get transferred to Florida? Becomes kinda a Federal case, doesn't it?

Posted by Cat in Chicago | May 28, 2008 10:24 AM

from the crooks and liars comments:

"Marriage is an archaic practice of property transfer. The Repubs are only against gay marriage because it leaves less men for them to cruise in restrooms."

Posted by scary tyler moore | May 28, 2008 10:27 AM

Most initiatives in California are won by the group with the most money to spend on advertising. That's a fact.

The religious right nasties and others of their ilk say they're aiming for a budget of $10 million, but if that's what they're saying they know they'll get a whole lot more and then can brag about exceeding their budget.

How much will the good guys have to spend? Oh, and by the way, have you contributed? If not, get out your plastic and hop over to You don't have to be from California to contributed, you don't have to be gay, all you need is a desire to be on the right side of history.

Posted by K | May 28, 2008 10:39 AM

Wasn't Tony Perkins banging James Dean?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 28, 2008 10:53 AM

Crapping his pants? Nah, sounds like he has that retentive thing down to a fine art.

Posted by Bauhaus | May 28, 2008 11:02 AM

"younger people enjoy being polled more than they enjoying going to the polls."

I'm sick of the homosexual mafias hidden agenda

Posted by Bud Dickman | May 28, 2008 11:15 AM

Thanks Dan for saying the religious right; there are those of us in the religion biz who think they're nuts too. The words they say in the name of Christ are not of a Christ I've EVER known!

Posted by dawicksta | May 28, 2008 11:42 AM

Only old people seem to get upset about it.

They should just stay in their backyards and guard their gnomes from kidnappers and MYOB.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 28, 2008 12:36 PM

The right wing's motivation isn't to save marriage. Just like throwing gays and lesbians out of the military isn't about "unit cohesion". It's motivation is bigotry and hate in every case. The more "out" we are, the more people see the right for what it is: ignorant bigotry based on flawed and intrinsically disordered religious fundamentalism. It all goes back to the Catholic Church and it's need to recruit gays for the priesthood. Nobody else would live with a cabal of other men and observe a ban on marriage. If it could shame gay men and ostrasize them from society it could then take them and use them for it's own purpose. As long as we stayed ignorant and oppressed, everything went swimingly. Well, not anymore. And equal justice means just that: equal justice.

Posted by Vince | May 28, 2008 3:55 PM

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