November 5, 2008

Re: Marriage Amendments

Justin Katz

As Marc notes, traditional marriage won big, this election, despite a political turnout that would have seemed likely to point in the other direction. For federalist conservatives, these results are pretty close to the ideal of how things should work: The people of each state decide their policies, and when the judiciary over reaches, the people correct it.

Me, I see this heading quickly to the Supreme Court. That's the critical path left to same-sex marriage advocates. The state-by-state strategy is blocked by the will of civilian majorities, but a Constitutional Amendment at the federal level trumps all, and the Supreme Court has transformed itself into a vessel for short-hand amendments.

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Eight years ago, 61 percent of Californians voted against gay marriage.
Yesterday, 52 percent did.
Time is on the side of gay marriage advocates. It'll happen in 2012 (or in two years if the anti-gay folks overplay their hand and try to have the 18,000 legal marriages performed this year erased).
With 63 percent of voters under 30 opposing a ban on gay marriage, it's just a matter of time.

Posted by: rhody at November 5, 2008 10:48 PM

Maybe yes, maybe no, but young people mature, and if you allow for the possibility that consideration and good intentions can lead one to conclude that marriage is and ought to remain a relationship between a man and a woman, then you have to allow for the possibility that even today's indoctrinated young can have their minds' changed.

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 6, 2008 5:43 AM

Actually, in a strange twist of fate for the redefinition crowd, Obama's presidency probably led to the passage of this bill as most African Americans in California voted in favor of the ban. Latinos and whites were split.

Throw in your random-Democrat and this proposition would have likely failed b/c African Americans would have stayed home.

But this definitely was a huge, huge win for marriage. Huge! I was almost in tears about it as the last several years I've become almost resigned to the notion that marriage we mean something different to my children and grandchildren.

But as state after state continues to support marriage, I'm encouraged that the Supreme Court may also do so as well.

It will be intriguing to see over the next four years who leaves the court and who Obama appoints to the Court. That may very well turn the tide either way.

Posted by: donroach at November 6, 2008 6:33 AM

A large percentage of African-Americans who turned out for Obama and a lot of Latinos(many of whom are leaving Catholicism for Pentecostal/Evangelical churches)are socially conservative when the issue of homosexual rights comes up.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 6, 2008 7:13 AM

Justin, if you think that the will of "civilian majorities" will block marriage equality for long in at least a good number of states, you are still in your pre-election delusional stage.

Prop 8 barely passed in California. Public opinion polls on the general issue of gay rights have a clear trajectory, and that trajectory is not in your favor.

I suppose you can hope that religious indoctrination or theocratic imposition of your belief through empty vessels like Saah Palin might stem the tide for a bit. You can stand athwart history yelling stop all you like, but history marches on with or without you.

Posted by: Pragmatist at November 6, 2008 12:34 PM

"Maybe yes, maybe no, but young people mature, and if you allow for the possibility that consideration and good intentions can lead one to conclude that marriage is and ought to remain a relationship between a man and a woman, then you have to allow for the possibility that even today's indoctrinated young can have their minds' changed."

Somehow, I doubt the 59 percent of those 65 and over who supported the amendment were pro-gay marriage when they were younger suddenly "matured." They probably fear it because it wasn't even on the radar when they were under 30.
Hey, old folks didn't abandon Elvis or doo-wop when they matured, either.
Supporters may also have an answer next time for the canard about gay marriage being taight in schools. Here's to the winners for a tactic that caught opponents of the amendment by surprise.
Blacks will present a problem, for gays are opposed by both ends of the spectrum. The cause brings together pious preachers and heinous gangsta rappers.

Posted by: rhody at November 6, 2008 12:34 PM

So Rhody-Black people who don't support same sex marriage are heinous gangsta rappers?Nice try.
I think most of them are actually churchgoers with strong religious attitudes on the subject.Hardly the "gangsta" element.
Do you ever stop and listen to yourself?
A lot of these pro illegal alien activists who are non-Latino and also support same sex marriage are in store for a comeuppance if they think a socially conservative community like the Guatemalans will go for that idea.One hand doesn't always wash the other.
I normally stay out of this subject because since neither myself nor anyone in my immediate family is homosexual,who gives a rat's ass?
The unreal expectations of progressives does interest me however.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 6, 2008 1:27 PM

Joe, you confuse and astound. I'm talking about two different sectors of the black community. But then again, homophobia makes strange bedfellows.
BTW, the Latino community was almost evenly split on the question, which I found somewhat surprising. I thought they'd be stronger in favor of the amendment.
And despite the LDS' and Knights' action, white folks were the strongest supporters of same-sex marriage. I guess I'm just one of those immoral crackers.

Posted by: rhody at November 6, 2008 3:07 PM

Re-reading your post,I see that I may have misread what you said.I guess it got by me that you were talking about opposite poles of the Black community.
A lot of single issue initiatives make strange bedfellows.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 6, 2008 5:13 PM

Rhody: There were two components to my response:

1. That there is a rational case to be made for traditional marriage about which people can be persuaded.

2. The young will mature and become more open to lessons from life and principles outside of their left-wing indoctrination.

I made no claims beyond that. Be Pragmatist's faith-based predictions of the future what they may, my view of marriage is a matter of principle rooted in reason. Whether it prevails is moot to the moral obligation to make the argument. By contrast, declarations of inevitability don't constitute an argument; they indicate zealotry and ought to raise concerns about the beliefs, principles, and intentions of the speaker.

That, in fact, is one of the lessons that kids can learn as they move beyond their incubators: that markers of poor thought and anti-intellectual tendencies are not solely observed among theists.

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 6, 2008 6:04 PM

If I had never "matured" and moved beyond my incubators, I'd have stayed conservative.
Maturity, like political correctness, is in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by: rhody at November 6, 2008 9:14 PM

Again: my point had two components. I know you like one better, but there were, in fact, two.

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 6, 2008 9:20 PM

I was a young know-it-all liberal once. Then I grew up. Having kids changed EVERYTHING. Suddenly my own parents didn't seem so stupid...

You can stand athwart history yelling stop all you like, but history marches on with or without you.

Yeah, kinda makes you wonder what they have planned next, after SSM becomes normal.

The slippery slope slides on...

Posted by: Marty at November 7, 2008 11:40 AM

If having kids automatically made us more conservative, President-elect Romney would be bringing the hammer down on Comedy Central trying to run "South Park" off the air (and having a kid in the house, I'd be "supposed to" support him).
Thank God the Taliban didn't make it through the GOP primary season.

Posted by: rhody at November 7, 2008 12:29 PM

"Taliban"-LOL-Rhody you got a lot of nerve thinking I overstate things.You don't hear me pissing and moaning because McCain lost.Neither did he.
Selecting Palin was an egregiously boneheaded move and it cost him.Maybe he still wouldn't have won with Ridge or Romney but it wouldn't have been a six point spread.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 7, 2008 4:56 PM

GLB and Nonreligious voters helped pass California's Protect Marriage amendment?

Exit polls can be unreliable for many reasons, but bloggers and pundits have been making much hay over the reportedly heavy support for the Yes on 8 side (the pro-marriage side) delivered by the African American segment of the electorate in that state.

The largest exit poll for Election 2008 was undertaken for the big newsmedia services on television and in print. The CNN website has made the details available on-line: See here.

The final vote tally on Proposition 8 was Yes 52% to No 48%.

The margin of victory on the marriage amendment is 2% (i.e. 50% to reject - 48% against = 2% margin). In other words, to defeat the proposition, the No side needed one vote more than 50% of the total but fell short by 2%.

According to the exit poll, 5% of voters in California were GLB voters and 95% were non-GLB (or "straight") voters.

This indicates that of all the votes cast on the marriage amendment, 44% were No votes cast by non-GLB people.

But what about the GLB votes?

The GLB sample is very small, however, the poll results suggest that of all the votes cast, 1% were Yes votes from GLB people and 4% were No votes cast by GLB people. The GLB voters may have split 1 Yes for every 4 No.

The upshot is that it appears that GLB voters supplied about one-half of the margin of victory for the Yes side.

* * *

Also, according to the exit poll, 16% of Proposition 8 voters were nonreligious and 84% were religious.

Of all the votes cast on the amendment, half of the Yes votes were from religious voters and 2% (the margin of victory) was supplied by nonreligious voters.

The upshot here is that the nonreligous voters denied the No side the 2% that might have defeated the marriage amendment.

No doubt that there probably is a lot of overlap between GLB and nonreligious voters, however, it appears that the Yes voters from these two segments of the electorate combined to push the marriage amendment past the 50% mark.

* * *

Exit polls have their flaws, some of which are insurmountable, however, the No side could stop complaining about blacks and Catholics and Mormons and, instead, focus on where a few more No votes could have been found to defeat Proposition 8.

I think that the pro-SSM bias of the newsmedia delivered 5% points; and the blatantly biased rewrite of the amendment's title delivered another 5-10% points. That made the result very close -- close enought that the Yes votes from the GLB and nonreligious voters may have become decisive.

Instead of complaining about blacks and Mormons and religious people, perhaps the Gay Marriage protestors could look to GLB voters and nonreligous-- those assumed to be natural No votes -- who supported the marriage amendment.

It is very possible that for the defenders of marriage, these segments may have growth potential, as well, especially among those who'd rather have peace than yet another round of identity politics.

As we've said here at Opine, the pro-marriage movement is not bound by identity politics and it cuts the across the religious/nonreligious lines.

Once again, more Liberals/Moderates voted for the marriage amendment than did Conservatives; and more Democrats/Independants than Republicans.

Supporters of both major presidential candidates combined to boost the Yes side to victory: of all votes cast, 19% were Yes votes from Obama supporters and 32% were Yes votes from McCain supporters.

Of all the votes cast on Proposition 8, around 37% voted Yes and said that they believed race relations will stay about the same or will get better in the next few years. That's better than 3/5ths of the Yes side's total votes.

Meanwhile 37% of all votes cast were Yes votes from married people and 15% were Yes votes from unmarried people, for a total of 52% for Yes.

As society strives toward a re-strengthened marriage culture, the pro-marriage side will gain. The married voters -- especially those with children -- were overwhelmingly in favor of the Protect Marriage amendment in California. And the numbers were even better in Arizona and Florida.

Meanwhile the coaliton in favor of marriage amendments is pluralistic -- it even incudes nonreligious and GLB voters. The pro-SSM side has slipped among their so-called natural No's.

Posted by: Chairm at November 11, 2008 12:47 PM
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