Friday, November 16, 2012

Gay Marriage at the Ballot: How You Like Me Now?

Couldn't let this year's post-election experience depart without highlighting this thought from Ta-Nehisi Coats:

It was only four years ago that the advocates of same-sex marriage stood tentative before the ballot. Then came The Great Mauling.

So how you like me now?
Nine states and Washington, D.C., have now legalized same-sex marriage. Though it remains unpopular in the South, rights campaigners see the potential for legislative gains in Delaware; Hawaii; Illinois; Rhode Island; Minnesota, where they beat back a restrictive amendment last Tuesday; and New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in February.
A rapid shift in public opinion is bolstering their cause as more people grow used to the idea of same-sex marriage and become acquainted with openly gay people and couples. "The pace of the change in opinions has picked up over the last few years," said Michael Dimock, associate research director of the Pew Research Center in Washington, "and as the younger generation becomes a larger share of the electorate, the writing is on the wall."
This is the great civil-rights struggle of our time. Again, it shouldn't be subject to the ballot. Whatever. Nothing quite matches the thrill of seizing your opponent's crooked rule-book, thumbing through the pages, and then throttling him senseless with the thing.

Sometimes even your schadenfreude is respectable.
Great stuff. Here in Maryland, marriage equality passed both houses of the legislature and was supported by the governor, but opponents got enough signatures to put it on the ballot, as every equality measure most be personally approved by voters, you know, just like every other single piece of legislation. Anyway, the opponents failed at the ballot box, just as they did in Minnesota, Washington State, and Maine last week.