Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Are Republicans on the Wrong Side of History?: Poll Shows Support For Same Sex Marriage Has Risen Sharply Over Past Five Years

Yesterday the Indiana Senate approved a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.  It is the first of a three step process on the road to making the amendment part of Indiana's Constitution.

While some Democrats supported the proposal, the amendment's supporters were overwhelmingly Republican.  I have long posted here that I don't see how same sex marriage undermines the institution of marriage. If marriage and family are fundamental building blocks of our society, which I believe, why would we want to exclude same sex couples?

Today I take a different angle...pure politics. A poll by the The Washington Post/ABC News last month shows that 53% of Americans now support same sex marriage. Five years ago, that same question showed only 31% support for same sex marriage.

I can't see the poll numbers reversing.   Republicans are stuck on the wrong side of history, marginalizing themselves on an issue that could define the party for generations into the future.   It's time to wake up and forget this constitutional amendment nonsense.


Doug said...

The wrinkle in that is the extent to which it's an issue on which people are motivated to vote. If a pro-gay marriage vote is a deal breaker for one group of voters but not for another, then the calculus changes.

Blog Admin said...

While attitudes among the populous at large might be changing, politically, this amendment is virtually a done deal.

Young people, those who have the most liberal views on marriage (many of us are just passing over the whole marriage thing anyway!), often don't vote. In addition to that, to those who do vote, marriage equality is probably low on their list of political priorities.

You often talk about voting issues, Paul. For the proponents of this amendment, it's a BIG voting issue. They'll turn out in droves for this.

Unknown said...

Then we need to educate and inform the ones who will vote in support of same-sex unions! Get the youth out! Get the freedom lovers like the Libertarians I know out to vote this discriminatory legislation down!

An ad campaign practically writes itself. Make the (R) look as bad as possible. Put them up on horses, looking for gays to lynch or run out of town. Make this issue synonymous with the struggle for civil rights for blacks, for the right to vote for women, etc. etc.

We can even spin this to the fundamentalists to get them to vote for same-sex marriage by convincing them that it will help get Jesus back faster, and since they are not the ones getting married to the same sex, Jesus will spare them!

Morning Constitutional said...

Paul, I suspect that if one surveyed the question as to those opposing same sex marriage but open to things like civil unions, the percentages would be even greater against this type of amendment language.

The irony here is that back in 2007the sponsors were telling us how lucky Indiana was that SJR-7 was a poster child of Republican moderation, because it only applied to judges and not the General Assembly. So civil unions were possible.

But then when nobody was really looking they borrowwed what they had previously said was "too strong" from other states.

Hopefully folks like you will continue to say "hey, wait a minute here" will help wake people up to whats been purpetrated on them.

Blog Admin said...

Morning Constitutional, I remember that in 2007 as well (and in previous years; this amendment has been proposed since 2004 or 2005). They were flat out lying. Other states that have passed using language similar to the current and past proposed amendments have had numerous court challenges. I think one state even had to modify their domestic violence laws due to the passing of a similar amendment.

jabberdoodle said...

The voters will be motivated by this and other overreaching legislation and could turn the House back to Democratic hands in 2012. That would stop the required 2nd legisture repeat of this vote and halt this idiotic amendment before it gets to a referendum.

Ellen said...

The big question is: why are the Republicans wasting their time on this idiotic proposal?

Oh, wait: they have no viable ideas about how to improve education or create new jobs or repair Indiana's infrastructure ... or any of the real tasks of government.

Social engineering? You're right, Paul. Republicans ARE on the wrong side of history on this topic.

PoliticoMonk said...

Text, Intent, Precedent, Tradition, and Policy...ALL are on the side of social conservatives. Who are the real extremist?

PoliticoMonk said...

The above is intended for the legal readers to address. I do acknowledge some recent changes such as the possibility of new developing traditions.. But overall (4500+ years of history as a whole), gay marriage cannot be logically defended legally or morally.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I think the Republicans have a lot of great ideas when it comes to education reform. That's one area where the GOP excels.

Paul K. Ogden said...

A lot of people brought up comments I made about "voting issue" in the past. A "voting issue" is an issue that affects the way one votes. You can have 80% on one side of the issue and 20% on the other, and the 20% be more powerful on the issue because they actually go out and vote on the issue.

It's difficult to tell how this issue will ultimately shake out when it comes to voting patterns. My guess is that it will fade as a voting issue for the pro-ban side. Younger people not only aren't as supportive of the ban as older people, even those who support the ban don't view the issue with the same level of intensity as older people. The enthusiasm of the pro-side will fade.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to poll intensity of support and how the issue will shake out in the voting booth.