Ballot Initiative of the Day: Will Voters Side with Gay Marriage for the First Time?

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For the first time in American history, voters in three states are poised to legalize gay marriage via popular vote. So far, only state legislatures and courts have sanctified same-sex marriage–it has failed to pass every time it has appeared on a U.S. ballot. All that could change Tuesday, when voters in Maryland, Washington and Maine are expected to approve gay marriage via referendum.

Gay marriage advocates say the stakes could not be higher. “We think we are at a turning point, and while we believe that civil rights should not be put to a vote, now that we are in this we need to win,” says Brian Ellner, co-founder of The Four 2012, a campaign to support gay marriage in Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota, where a constitutional amendment is on the ballot to define marriage as between one man and one woman. “In order to make our case to the Supreme Court, in order to continue to make our case to public officials and others who support us, we need to prove in at least one of these states that we can win a popular vote.”

Polls show voters in these states favor approving gay marriage, but the margins aren’t huge. In Washington, support for gay marriage leads 58% to 37%, according to an Oct. 31 Washington Poll.  Support in Maine, where voters narrowly rejected a same-sex marriage law in 2009, is similarly strong. According to a Critical Insights poll last week, likely voters in Maine support the referendum 55% to 42%, but opposition this time has increased 7% since the same poll was conducted in June. Marylanders narrowly support gay marriage 52% to 43% according to a recent Washington Post poll.

Opponents of gay marriage however say that a loss won’t spell trouble for their movement. “We are being outspent by an average of four-to-one,” says Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. “If our opponents were to succeed in winning somewhere, it would be a result of the heavy Democratic majorities in those states that are on the ballot, and their ability to marshal tremendous resources behind their campaigns. It won’t reflect any fundamental shift.” Even if they do not win this time, Brown argues, “Marriage cannot be redefined through political means.”

39 comments
73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are within one percentage point of each other in Gallup's final pre-election survey of likely voters, with Romney holding 49% of the vote and Obama 48%.  

Read more at GALLUP.com.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Washington has always been a pretty interesting state when it comes to social issues.

sacredh
sacredh

I'm sorry. I really am. I can't help myself though. If gay marriage passes, the sh!t is going to hit the fan.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Ballot Initiative of the Day: Will Voters Side with Gay Marriage for the First Time?.

No.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

History will reflect on this time in our history and mark my words, it won't be kind to the zealots, misogynists and xenophobes that form the heart of the modern Republican party.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

My gosh, a Ballot Initiative of the Day that doesn't reflect the stupidity of our country?  Am I dreaming this?  It'll be nice when Americans finally decide to get behind this (no pun intended).

fitty_three
fitty_three

R74 here will pass with an estimated 60 to 70% yes.

sacredh
sacredh

It's only a matter of time. Public opinion continues to shift towards allowing gay/lesbian couples the same rights that everyone else has.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@73yearoldVet Oh, hon, you're still betting on Gallup?

Wednesday is truly gonna suck for you.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@53_3 

A city with a space needle is kind of the right symbol for passage. Just saying.

Rugger
Rugger

Why would the sh!t hit the fan?  Please explain in detail.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

Hutchinson, Rush Limbaugh's meat flogging right hand man, will have a heart attack.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Hay dumb dumbs. Even California voted it down.

Tero
Tero

@73yearoldVet 

What a surprise that this old bigot has a problem with equality. You are on the wrong side of history gramps.

NP042
NP042

@73yearoldVet Because you say so?

Please join the rest of us in the 21st century, gramps.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@73yearoldVet 

Eventually they will. When the troglodytes are gone evolved people will decide.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@73yearoldVet  

You're going to be sadly disappointed, 3x.

The projections are for passage by a wide margin.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@mantisdragon91 I tend to gauge such things by my daughters. I have two – a 19YO and a 15YO. The 15YO is every bit the political junkie that I am, and she's already making herself conversant with issues in preparation for when she can vote four years from now. She spent every debate fact-checking.

My 19YO, on the other hand, is the most apolitical creature on God's earth. In the past, whenever I'd start talking politics, she'd find a way to be anywhere else in the house, even if it meant volunteering to do laundry. And this child, this most apolitical of beings, is absolutely appalled by the GOP and what it stands for. She simply cannot understand how people in the 21st century can take the stands this party does. She actually texted me about Todd Akin. She has texted me about some of Ann and Willard's little gems. And she spent much of her freshman year (at an out-of-state college) apologizing for Rick Perry.

How bad is the GOP? They managed to convince my daughter that politics is important, and they have pissed her off. My two daughters, and countless others like them, are the reason Texas will eventually go blue and the GOP will become extinct.

sacredh
sacredh

fitty, I quit partying myself over a quarter of a century ago. I'd always thought that if weed was legalized that I's start again. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't now though even if it was legalized. I don't even drink beer. A good buzz would probably just put me to sleep.

.

OT, but my mother is the hospital. She will probably be there another two days. I just talked to her and she wanted to know if I thought Obama would win re-election. I told her I thought he was shoo-in. What did she say? "Call me the minute that arrogant pr1ck Romney concedes".  She'll be 88 in a few months.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

502's gonna pass here, too, sacred.  

I haven't smoked weed in 40 years, and when I did, I didn't inhale!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MrObvious @53_3  

It is phallic. It can be interpreted in several ways that makes everyone happy.

'cept for GOPers, but that's not new news.  NOTHING makes them happy.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

@Tero @73yearoldVet  

So an American citizen who believes in marrage being between a man and a women in your opinion is a bigot.

You're entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that you are an A*S HOLE.

sacredh
sacredh

Don, I briefly tried a ton or five over a period of  17-18 years but decided to quit when I took up wood working. The first joint I ever smoked was the day Sgt. Pepper came out. I was 11. A splendid time was guaranteed for all.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@sacredh 

I feel like an odd man out in that I've never even tried pot and yet I'm very pro-legalization simply as a practicality.

sacredh
sacredh

fitty, I only got two friends left that still partake. They say it's at least 10 times as strong as it was in the old days. Both say it puts them right to sleep. As much as that stuff costs nowadays, I'll stick to Tylenol PM. lol.

fitty_three
fitty_three

If they do legalize it, I'm going over to my neighbors house to smoke weed and see if it's still like what I remembered.

Then I'll put it down again.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

That sounds like a wonderful get well gesture, sacred.

I hope your mom has a speedy recovery.

FYI, I offered to take people to the ballot drop off box downtown today.  Republicans have to sit in the back.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

@forgottenlord @73yearoldVet  

If a majority of our citizens believe marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman that's the way it should be.

I have no problem with civil unions with all the benefits of a married couple. But it is still not a marriage.

 Until the supreme court redefines marriage to include same sex, it is not a marriage.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@73yearoldVet

A Supreme Court Justice once said "Your ability to throw a punch ends where my face begins"

Well this should be the same thing: your right to define marriage as between a man and a woman ends where two consenting adults who happen to be of the same sex begins.  You should not have the right to deny them.

doddeb
doddeb

@Sue_N @DonQuixotic @sacredh: I 'm with you Sue, I really cannot believe that these cash -strapped States are not selling and taxing it. That day is coming. Meantime, since my job is subject to 'random ' drug testing (random, hell, me and one other guy are the only ones that ever get the call) .... Which is fine since I never could stand the stuff.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@DonQuixotic @sacredh Oh, phew, Don, I don't feel quite so alone any more, lol. The most I've ever gotten is a contact high (alcohol was my drug of choice in high school and college), but I say legalize and tax it.

In my God-fearin', Bible-thumpin' county alone, we'd take in a fortune. ;)