Politics and Public Opinion

Obama’s gay marriage gamble

President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage has been met with cheers from his supporters and raised eyebrows from some election analysts. To say the least, it’s a gamble. In many of the 2012 swing states, constitutional bans on same sex marriage have passed by large margins. Of the commonly discussed swing states for the 2012 election, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Iowa, and New Hampshire have not had same sex marriage amendments on the ballot. In the rest, amendments to ban it have passed, often by large margins. The narrowest margin was a 2006 amendment in Colorado, which passed by 12 points.

Since 1998, state amendments to ban or expand same sex marriage or domestic partnerships have been voted on 33 times. Only once has an effort to ban gay marriage failed, and only once has an amendment expanding domestic partnerships succeeded. In 2006, a proposition to ban gay marriage and civil unions failed in Arizona, 48 percent in favor and 52 percent opposed. Arizona would later pass a similar amendment in 2008. In 2009, Washington passed a referendum to expand domestic partnerships. The referendum passed 53 percent in favor to 47 percent opposed. However, Washington is not considered a swing state. Arizona, while considered a swing state by some, is listed as a likely Republican state by many experts, including Charlie Cook.

National polls have shown Americans are equally divided on the question of gay marriage. In a Gallup poll this week, 50 percent of national adults agreed that “marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.” Forty-eight percent disagreed. Gallup’s trend shows support gradually ticking upward since the mid-1990s. However, the realities of the Electoral College make Obama’s endorsement a questionable election year gamble. But after the headlines fade on Obama’s endorsement, the impact on the election is likely to be little. Less than 1 percent told Gallup that gay rights issues were the most important problem in the country. Thirty-two percent listed the economy and 25 percent said jobs.

3 thoughts on “Obama’s gay marriage gamble

  1. Can someone more intelligent than me please explain why those voters on the right of American politics (“libertarians”, whatever that means) simultaneously want less interference from “big government” whilst also trying to get government to determine what kind of marriage is acceptable? Surely the point of being freed from the constraints of government control also means that one must accept that others are free to do as they please? Such as two people of the same sex marrying one another?

    • Erik,

      In my view, the battle line is on keeping government from reacting to an organized, vocal minority set on passing laws to dictate what we must think or do in our private individual lives and private businesses.

      Libertarians are focused on an individual’s choices in contrast to government mandates driven by public opinion. (See the difference between a Republic and Democracy.) Libertarians accept that the individual is free to do as they please as long as it only effects them.

      However, part of the gay community’s campaign is to force their moral standards on the rest of us, to redefine the GL lifestyle as normal and to use the corrosive power of the federal government to protect their ideology and enforce their agenda on our lives and businesses.

      Does that sound like they are accepting others as free to do and think as they please?

      Rather than new laws and social engineering, healthcare surrogates and a power of attorney are simple, in place solutions to most complaints.

  2. A “GAY” supporter only means one thing…..The end of Humanity as we know it. Last time I checked you still need “One Man and One Woman” to have a child to be born. Not adopted, Not Injected into a Womb, Not made in a test tube. But born the way God intended. Is this country as STUPID as I think we are. We will be DESTROYED….. Just keep accepting WRONG
    Romans 1:26-27 Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

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