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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fighting gay marriage just ain't what it used to be.

During the 2004 election cycle, the GOP grabbed onto the issue of same-sex marriage as a way to mobilize religious fundamentalists, and successfully parlayed a heavy turnout among that group into a second term for Dubya. The same tactic is being used for this year's congressional election, with anti-gay marriage ballot measures going before the voters in eight states. Unfortunately for homophobes and the GOP, it appears that same-sex marriage just isn't the hot-button issue it was even two years ago.

[The] biggest change, people on both sides of the issue say, is that supporters of same-sex marriage this year are likely to be as mobilized as the opponents.

The social conservatives ... have been offset by equally committed and organized opposition. Slick advertising, paid staff and get-out-the-vote drives have become a two-way street.

"The opponents of these measures have had a lot more time to organize and fund their efforts; that has made for a bit of a different complexion," said Julaine K. Appling, the executive director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, which supports a constitutional amendment in that state defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Proposals like Wisconsin?s are also on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia. And while most of the measures are expected to pass, their emotional force in drawing committed, conservative voters to the polls, many political experts say, has been muted or spent.

Recent polls in Arizona, Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin, for example, have suggested only narrow majorities in support, in contrast to the 60 to 70 percent or more majorities in most states that voted on the issue in 2004. Two recent polls in South Dakota suggested that the same-sex marriage amendment might actually lose, while a third said it seemed likely to pass.

"As it stands right now, conservative turnout is not going to be as strong as it has traditionally been," said Jon Paul, the executive director of Coloradans for Marriage, which is supporting a ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage.

Some pollsters say people might just be burned out on the subject of marriage and its boundaries.
[Emphasis mine]

Another factor making a difference in how anti-gay measures are faring is the fact that more straight people than ever know someone who is lesbian or gay. It's much harder to demonize a group of people after you've had personal contact with them.

Via NY Times.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:55 PM | Get permalink




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