Reality Check

Jul 29 2013 @ 1:09pm

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New numbers from Gallup show marriage equality continuing to gain ground:

Gallup used two separate approaches to measure public support for gay marriage this month, and they produced similar results: 52% would vote for a federal law legalizing same-sex marriages in all 50 states, and 54% think gay marriages should be recognized as valid, with the same rights as marriages between men and women. … [G]roups showing at least 60% support for legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide include Democrats, adults aged 18 to 34, those who rarely or never attend a church or other place of worship, moderates, Easterners, and Catholics.

The new poll doesn’t change much on the generic question as to approval of marriage equality. But what’s truly striking to me is how a majority would be happy to extend marriage equality to all fifty states. If that trend continues, I can easily imagine Anthony Kennedy writing a Loving vs Virginia decision in a few years’ time. I’ve always been a federalist on this, and remain so. But the public may be out-stripping even me now on this question.

And, of course, this is yet another crisis for the GOP.

Their core, white evangelical base is fanatically opposed to all things gay – let alone marriage equality – because their religious literalism and fundamentalism prevent them from exercizing any political pragmatism. So-called “conservatives” in the poll are opposed to marriage equality by 67 – 30 percent. The same number for “Republicans.” That akes the GOP base more reactionary than the South in general, which opposes marriage equality by 51 – 43 percent. The GOP is a fanatical minority within a minority.

And again, Catholics are at the forefront of the push for equality 60 – 36, defying the theocons and far more in tune with the new Pope than the old one. The moderates? They favor equality by 63 – 32 percent. They are people who once may have voted Republican. This issue is one reason they’ve switched sides.