Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 18, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

GAY MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA....Here's the latest Field Poll on Proposition 8, the initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in California. There are still four months to go before the election, but initiatives have a hard time passing in California these days just generally, and nine points is a big deficit to make up under any circumstances. Given this, I think we can be cautiously optimistic that Prop 8 is going to fail, which means that gay marriage will have been approved by the courts, the governor, the legislature, and the public. There's no way anyone will be able to complain that it's anything but completely legitimate.

I've included the age demographics from the poll because I thought they were intriguing. Normally you see a very distinct age gradient in questions like this, with young people broadly in favor of gay marriage, middle-aged people split, and older people opposed. This time, however, the difference is fairly modest and the ban is opposed by every single age group. Interesting.

Kevin Drum 1:13 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Sweet. This is a good example of why I always thought "stand athwart history, yelling 'stop'" was a stupid idea for a mission.

Posted by: Xenocrypt on July 18, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

"But will it have been approved by god?" is the real question that will be asked.

Posted by: Tom Ames on July 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Congratulations, Californians, for joining the civilized world.

Posted by: Everyman on July 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

That 50-64 seems surprising, until you realize that's the Woodstock generation now.

Posted by: Swan on July 18, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

The 38% of California 50-64 year-olds are the Californians who are (and were) too square for rock 'n' roll.

Posted by: Swan on July 18, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Tom Ames: "But will it have been approved by god?" is the real question that will be asked.

You're right--that question will be asked. My answer is, did God get off his heavenly butt, establish a residence in California, register to vote and then get out there on voting day? If not, he needs to quit complaining. If you choose not to vote, you don't have the right to complain about the outcome.

Posted by: cowalker on July 18, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm in that 50-64 age group, although not a Californian. Are the young'uns finally going to catch up to us in being socially progressive?

Lord, we Boomers did a lousy job passing down progressive values.

Posted by: cowalker on July 18, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. Looks like 46% of old people aren't big on gay sex.

Good. I don't want to think about old people having sex of any kind.

Hurry up and die already, can't you see we're trying to have a civilization here?

Some people are so rude.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

cowalker at 1:28 made me giggle.

GMT: Nice bait. thersites should fall off his chair grabbing at it.

Posted by: on July 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder if some of the 57% of 50-64 year olds reflect people who probably don't have gay friends, but do have gay adult children, or friends with gay adult children.

Posted by: DS on July 18, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't want to think about old people having sex of any kind."

At my age, I’d have no sex life at all if it weren’t for pickpockets.

Posted by: RodneyD on July 18, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I have my doubts that people have suddenly become so tolerant.

Perhaps they they are thinking that no on the proposition means no to legalization.

It happens.

Posted by: gregor on July 18, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin doesn’t have catblogging up yet, but Friday SCATblogging is about a weighty problem with elephants at San Diego Wild Animal Park.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 18, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I love plo-jobs. Men give better plo-jobs than women. Don't tell Maria.

Posted by: Arnold on July 18, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, this is wonderful news -- but it ain't over yet, and every good American should contribute to equalityforall.com to help bring about a large and glorious defeat of this bit of bigotry in California.

Meanwhile, don't forget that the same sort of shit is on the ballot in Florida and Arizona, and should help the fundies get out the vote in both states.

And, of course, wherever same-sex couples can get married matters not at all to the Bush administration because all these marriages will be ignored by the 2010 Census.

Posted by: K on July 18, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Don't get too excited yet, the Repubs haven't started their marketing program yet.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 18, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

kevin, try sam's barbecue before you go. east austin 5 minutes from convention center.

enjoy.

Posted by: mestizo on July 18, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the gap actuall much larger than nine points? I think this is a constitutional amendment that would take 60% to pass.

Posted by: nonplussed on July 18, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

And don't forget, you can get BBQ at the airport. The Salt Lick is fine eating, and so are the other guys (whose name I do not recall, but I have eaten it and enjoyed it).

Posted by: dr2chase on July 18, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is a constitutional amendment that would take 60% to pass

Not in CA. It's 50% for both statutory and constitutional changes. Which is madness, but it is what it is.

Posted by: ResumeMan on July 18, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

An old guy here, affirming that we can learn new tricks.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on July 18, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't get too excited about the age breakdown. The overall sample size is only 627, which means that the sample size for even the largest age cohort (50-64) is

Posted by: PRB on July 18, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

...less than 200.

Posted by: PRB on July 18, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

The only bigger threat to the American way of life than gay marriage is travelers carrying more than 3 oz. of shampoo aboard an airplane. At least the threat from flag burning has subsided this year.

Posted by: AJB on July 18, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Congratulations, Californians, for joining the civilized world."

Sorry, Everyman, but let me edit that for you:

Congratulations, Californians, for again leading America."

In Massachusetts, the right is still claiming that lefties won't put gay marriage before voters because they know the public will vote it down.

California is going to show their argument is total bullshit.

Posted by: Auto on July 18, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I was surprised by the small difference among age groups.
Maybe the racial/class demographics are different among different age groups? (Of course, that would only matter if there was a difference in attitudes among different classes/races.)

Posted by: Jessica on July 18, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

The only bigger threat to the American way of life than gay marriage is travelers carrying more than 3 oz. of shampoo aboard an airplane. At least the threat from flag burning has subsided this year.

Outstanding.

Posted by: shortstop on July 18, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

When asked by a pollster, who want's to sound like a homophobe.

In the booth, it might be a different answer.

Posted by: Harry B Heisler on July 18, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

"There's no way anyone will be able to complain that it's anything but completely legitimate."

Wow Kevin, even for you this is stupid. Maybe we can hand over all making of laws to judges, and then, if the citizens fail to overturn them, they're legitimate! That way, they can do whatever they want unless more than 50% are pissed off enough to vote it down on the one election held per year! You're right, totally legitimate. No one can argue otherwise. No one. At all. Ever.

Posted by: Brad on July 18, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

The people who oppose gay marriage would not be upset about being called a homophobe. They think it's EVIL.

Posted by: lynn on July 18, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

So Brad,

Haven't you run out of branches of government to appeal to in order to get your way? Who else is there to appeal to for legitimacy, if not the courts, the legislative and executive branches and the direct decision of voters?

Oh yeah, we didn't get the stamp of approval from the christian equivalent of the mullahs.

Here's an idea for you: just because you and your coreligionists disagree with a law, that DOESN'T MAKE THE LAW ILLEGITIMATE. Not in the State of California, anyway.

Posted by: Tom Ames on July 18, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'd throw out the weird blip in the 50-64 age category here, except that I've seen it before, in a poll of support for Obama.

He has big support among the younger voters, gradually declining to a slightly lower support from the 65+. But the again, 50-60 category is more pro-Obama than the ones just younger.

What gives? Just two polls that are blippy (a definite statistical possibility). Or have other people seen this a lot?

Posted by: anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

edited to add: "gradually declining to a slightly lower support from the 65+ than McCain has."

Posted by: anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Tom Ames: Will it be approved by God?. . . .
Why limit God? God created all of us, irrespective of sexual preference. It's tiresome to hear people who think they know God, want to limit God/Divine Creator's creation, or create God in their own limited belief systems. Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself. Go, Californians---Vote No on Prop. 8 in November.

Posted by: Prem on July 18, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK
Good. I don't want to think about old people having sex of any kind. Hurry up and die already, can't you see we're trying to have a civilization here?

Yeah, Grand Moff Texan

That explains the health care system here in Texas. The elder need to die young and the children of the poor should not survive. The Republican Legislature is making damned sure that happens.

Posted by: Rick B on July 18, 2008 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is good news for McCain!

Posted by: bobbo on July 18, 2008 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's subsample error again. Don't put too much faith in a poll's internals.

I'm cautiously optimistic about defeating Prop. 8,
but beware of "Bradley" effects.

Posted by: mikeel on July 18, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

If there's so much "support", then why couldn't those who favor gay "marriage" have simply put the case to the voters, instead of ramming it through 5-4 via state judges wielding absolute power?

I've heard that judicial activism is sometimes "necessary" when change will take "too long", etc. But now the gays claim they had the votes, so it doesn't matter?

Instead of working in the best democratic traditions of this country, the gays have simply usurped the longstanding tradition of marriage with lawyers and courts. And they are making decent folks have to fight to amend the constitution just to restore the natural law?

This is an abomination of democracy that has set back even further equal rights for people who choose to live gay lifestyles.

Posted by: unitra on July 18, 2008 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Those who point out that we have not yet vanquished the pile of bigoted bilge that is Prop 8 are 100% right. Hate ain't beaten 'til it's beaten. So I strongly urge y'all to get off yer rockin' asses and get to work on this campaign!

I, myself, will be doing 4 hours of phone banking on July 27th for No On Prop 8... and July 27th happens to be my damn birthday! Also, me and some folk from my church'll be hitting the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade, trolling the Farmer's Market, recruiting volunteers for Equality for All. Why don't you join us?

If you're in Southern Cali, you can hop right into the fight by contacting Equality for All. One of the LA-based organizers is named Nakhone Keodara, and his email is nakhone@gmail.com

If you're outside of the L.A. area, you can find other ways to help by visiting http://www.equalityforall.com/

How 'bout it, guys? Let's go kick discrimination right in the ass!

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on July 18, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

The selfishness of certain portions of the movement are screwing over those who advocated waiting until society was willing to take an affirmative step in extended the right.


So, we should have waited on that whole Civil Rights Act thing until the South was on board?

Posted by: Art Eclectic on July 18, 2008 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Autoerotic wrote:
"Congratulations, Californians, for again leading America."

Sorry, Auto, there's no gay pride in leading a country that's trailing the civilized world.

Posted by: Out and About on July 19, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

The selfishness of certain portions of the movement are screwing over those who advocated waiting until society was willing to take an affirmative step in extended the right.

Because history shows us, doesn't it, that tomorrow always is a better day for addressing bigotry and intolerance, and that everybody will wake up and get on board if we wait just a little longer? Can we put this argument out of its pathetic misery? It wasn't any more effective when used against "selfish" women who wanted to vote, "selfish" blacks who wanted to avail themselves of education, public services and public facilities, etc.

This stuff involves upheaval and controversy no matter when you do it, despite the blindered self-absorption of the few--curiously, almost none of whom are ever people actually subject to the discrimination in question--to pretend it doesn't. Extra points for using the Republican MO of shamelessly and preemptively projecting your own vices onto those who disagree with you.

decent folks

Yum, some tasty retro there. Has anyone else used that phrase with a straight face since about 1955?

Posted by: shortstop on July 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

If there's so much "support", then why couldn't those who favor gay "marriage" have simply put the case to the voters, instead of ramming it down our throats 5-4 via state judges wielding absolute power?

Fixed.

Posted by: commie atheist on July 19, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe there is hope yet that at least parts of the United States will petition to rejoin the real world in the medium term future. Certainly hope so.

Also delighted to see the late 1960s generation has kept their nerve, their convictions and their determination alive after all this time. Who would have thought morality and fundamental human decency would have been their hallmark after almost 40 years of ugliness intervening. Tends to restore my faith in the power of personal politics.

Love the one you're with....

Posted by: on July 19, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Civil rights aren't properly subject to the whims of the majority, so putting marriage on the ballot should not even be an issue.

Posted by: Qbert on July 19, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Not in CA. It's 50% for both statutory and constitutional changes.

It's 50% for Constitutional "amendments". Because of both the breadth and depth of this ballot measure to our constitution (this is a prima facie major change with respect to both the quantity and quality of the proposed change as evidenced by the fact that every single newspaper in the world reported on the recent story that our constitution already guarantees us equal access), this is, instead, a constitutional "revision".

As it is a revision, Prop. 8 in its currently faulty and flawed form, as simply an amendment, will be removed from the November ballot.

It cannot be valid until this proposed change has gone through the required process for a revision, which is significantly (and rightly so to make such a dramatic and major change as redefining something as fundamental as equal access) more cumbersome.

Please remember, always refer to Prop. 8 as an initiative to "revise the California constitution" or as a "constitutional revision".

Posted by: Harry R. Sohl on July 19, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I've been told that the marriage licenses in CA since mid-June have no gender identification on them, but refer to 'party A' and 'party B'.

So if gay marriages after 6/17 are to be invalidated at some future date, how will the state know which are gay and which are hetero?

If they can't know, all must be invalidated if the proposition passes, or none, so why bother, eh?

Posted by: Sittig on July 19, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

"If there's so much 'support', then why couldn't those who favor gay 'marriage' have simply put the case to the voters, instead of ramming it through 5-4 via state judges wielding absolute power?"

They did, through their elected representatives. An "activist" governor vetoed it. So when are we going to hear you whining about Schwarzenegger's actions in disregarding the voters and their elected representatives?

Posted by: PaulB on July 20, 2008 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

50-60 category...What gives?

We came of age in the '70s.

Posted by: on July 21, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

The Bible has other instances of intolerance besides homosexuality. I found this on religioustolerance.org in regard to slavery...

http://www.religioustolerance.org/sla_bibl.htm

If in today's age we can accept slavery as immoral, even though the Bible permits it, then why should homosexuality be treated any differently? Opponents to gay marriage feel homosexuality will damage families, ruin the sanctity of marriage, and will cause social decline. But forcing people to renounce who they are, be dishonest and secretive, marry people of the opposite sex to fit in, and to deprive them of an opportunity to experience true love can only harm society as a whole. Please consider your opinions strongly - they affect peoples' livelihoods and the climate of society as a whole.

Posted by: Patrick on August 3, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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