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The Victory for Gay Marriage Was Bigger Than You Realized

From David Weigel on Slate.com:

It's probably best just to list the ways in which conservatives were routed on gay marriage yesterday.

Maine: Question 1, which legalizes gay marriage after a 2009 vote struck it down, has been approved by a 53-47 margin.

Maryland: Question 6, which legalizes gay marriage in the state, has been approved by a 52-48 margin.

Minnesota: Amendment 1, which would have defined "traditional marriage" in the state Constitution, has failed by a 49-51 margin.

Washington: Referendum 74, which legalizes gay marriage, is leading by a 52-48 margin, and is expected to pass.

Iowa: This is the victory few people were paying attention to. Republicans worked themselves raw to take the state Senate, targeting Democratic Senate Leader Mike Gronstal in his western Iowa district. Rick Santorum made nearly weekly trips to the state to stump for Republicans. The potential prize: A new vote on gay marriage, which conservatives figured they could win. But Democrats have held the state Senate. And Justice David Wiggins, one of those who affirmed gay marriage, was retained.

New York: And this is the surprise: Democrats will take the state Senate, edging past suburban Republicans who seemed to be locked in. The National Organization for Marriage had published a three-part plan for repealing gay marriage there, starting with wins this year. They didn't get them.

I'm at a loss to think of any recent rout this decisive for any issue group.

by David Weigel reply 2211/12/2012

Is this the "death nail" for the narrow minded conservatives?

by David Weigel reply 111/07/2012

California looks especially foolish now. We better get it together.

by David Weigel reply 211/07/2012

great article

by David Weigel reply 311/07/2012

I'd pay to see Marcus Bachmann's ballot in Minnesota.

by David Weigel reply 411/07/2012

gt

by David Weigel reply 511/08/2012

And that's without noting one of the biggest implications of Tuesday's vote on marriage equality issues: the pending petitions for review before the Supreme Court on Prop. 8 and DOMA.

The Court (and particularly swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy) has historically been reluctant to lead the way on social issues. Traditionally, the preference has been to let the country get used to the idea of something before articulating a right never before recognized in the case law. It's not necessary, of course, but it gives the justices cover.

Marriage equality took off as a thing with the Hawaii Supreme Court's 1993 Baehr v. Lewin case. Nearly 20 years later, marriage equality has now been legalized through the courts, through the state legislative process, and now by popular vote in three separate states. Add to that the fact that national polling suggests that a majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage, and Justice Kennedy (author of Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans) should be more than comfortable that a decision favoring SSM on due process or equal protection grounds has achieved sufficient popular acceptance that the Court's legitimacy will not widely be questioned. (Oh, sure, there will inevitably be howls of judicial activism from the social conservatives, but that didn't stop Kennedy before.)

by David Weigel reply 611/08/2012

As much as I'm for anyone marrying anyone they want, I think it is too premature in my state (Ohio). A few restless activists are going to push it on the ballot (thank god they didn't try it this Fall) in 2013.

But Ohio is not New York. Hell, we're not even Maine. Except for a few metro areas, this is redneck country, and they will all line-up to kick the gay dog next year in retalliation for Ohio going for Obama. You watch.

I lived in Seattle in 1997 and watched the crushing defeat of gay marriage there, and remember the pain of basically being fag-bashed at the polls. No fun.

Gay marriage will happen. But not in Ohio (or sister states like Indiana, Kentucky or Michigan). Not next year. Please reconsider this foolhardy venture.

Patience.

by David Weigel reply 711/10/2012

CA would have been smart to have gotten a proposition on the 2012 ballot adding a new constitutional amendment overturning Prop 8.

by David Weigel reply 811/10/2012

R8. That's 20/20 hindsight now. I tend to agree with you, but in 2010/2011 when they would have tried to get a new Prop 8 campaign up and running, it was politicallly unsure at the time.

The Prop 8 trial was underway. And CA had received a stunning loss in 2008. It was not as politically risky in the states that won on Tuesday.

by David Weigel reply 911/10/2012

YAY!

by David Weigel reply 1011/11/2012

[quote] New York: And this is the surprise: Democrats will take the state Senate, edging past suburban Republicans who seemed to be locked in.

This isn't quite right. There is a group of democrats in tne state senate that caucuses with the GOP. And there might be a 31-31 spilt.

[quote] The National Organization for Marriage had published a three-part plan for repealing gay marriage there (NY), starting with wins this year.

This would never have happened. Cuomo made some very serious deals with the Republicans in the state senate to pass gay marriage. Even if there was a GOP majority, they wouldn't give this NOM plan a second look.

by David Weigel reply 1111/11/2012

Also the thing not mentioned in the article, but discussed everywhere, including in other threads on DL:

Obama had a very difficult election-- bad economy, bad job numbers, etc, but he still came out in favor of gay marriage. And he won. He was the first sitting president to come out in favor gay marriage, and the pro-gay marriage position didn't hurt him.

He set the standard for all future Democratic presidential nominees on this issue.

by David Weigel reply 1211/11/2012

What I also think is interesting is how the Republican Party has basically realized they are on the losing side of this issue. The Romney campaign did not go after Obama on same-sex marriage AT ALL. They basically never brought it up.

This was a historic and liberal stance he took that was polar opposite of their stance, and they never mentioned it because they know being antigay isn't good politics anymore. It really was an amazing thing we witnessed with this election.

by David Weigel reply 1311/11/2012

Indeed, r13. In the past, the right wing would use anti-gay legislation to encourage republicans to get out and vote.

I really think this ploy greatly helped Bush to win.

by David Weigel reply 1411/11/2012

The president's support of same-sex marriage has made a huge difference to this cause. Thank god Romney wasn't able to turn back the clock on this issue.

by David Weigel reply 1511/11/2012

You can't have it both ways. Either Romney was someone that didn't make gay issues an issue (which means he isn't the homophobic prick you claim him to be) or he was all about destroying the gays and was going to set the country back 50 years?

Some of you can't seem to keep your stories straight.

by David Weigel reply 1611/11/2012

Bush used this as a big time wedge issue in 2004.

by David Weigel reply 1711/11/2012

R16, are you really that ignorant and clueless? Seriously?

Did you pay attention at all during the campaign?

by David Weigel reply 1811/11/2012

r19 nails it! The South would still have segregation today if it had been left up to the states.

by David Weigel reply 2011/11/2012

[quote]You can't have it both ways. Either Romney was someone that didn't make gay issues an issue (which means he isn't the homophobic prick you claim him to be) or he was all about destroying the gays and was going to set the country back 50 years?

You're not very bright are you? Romney's policy stance was he supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay people from getting married.

That he chose not to talk about that on the campaign trail does not change what his policy was. Just shows that he knows that sounds like extreme right wing ideology and will turn off independent voters.

I'm not sure what you find confusing about both those things being true. Just a statement of the facts.

by David Weigel reply 2111/12/2012

Romney tried to have it both ways during the campaign, telling conservatives he was antigay and saying "some people would not like" what he would do to us; and then appointing a gay advisor when a liberal primary was on the line, who was then junked before the next primary.

Nonetheless, since Obama said he supports gay marriage, conservatives had nowhere else to turn than Romney and they supported them to the very last degree.

But here you see the significance of the president's support. Many "independents" were comfortable voting against gays as long as they thought the "grownups" in their party were against us. Remember, the Catholic church took a hardline against gays for this election, and it's still true that there is an unhealthy symbiosis between Dem politicians in urban areas and the Catholic church. This nexus of evil completely failed this time around. Having the president in our camp changed the social status equation entirely. It was no longer a question of gays being contemptible nobodies.

by David Weigel reply 2211/12/2012
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