March 13, 2012
By Matt Baume
Sorry we missed an episode last week — we were a little busy livestreaming Brad Pitt and George Clooney to the entire world. Meanwhile, there’s been a ton of new polling data from around the country, and it’s all encouraging. And more bad news for NOM: they’re under investigation by the Minnesota Elections Board, and the US Supreme Court has refused to play along with their attempts to hide donors. And after a brief flurry of activity, efforts to overturn a marriage ban in Ohio appear to have stalled out.
Well it was a sold-out crowd at the Wilshire Ebell for last week’s production of “8,” but the show went global with a livestream on YouTube. A quarter million people tuned in to see it live, and since then a half million more have watched. And there new developments in case: last week lawyers for the plaintiffs asked the Ninth Circuit to deny a rehearing and to let our decisive victory stand.
In national news, another poll shows increasing support for marriage equality. The latest is from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, and gives us a 49 to 40 percent advantage. This follows eight other polls over the last two years that show a majority supports the freedom to marry.
State polls are also encouraging, with a survey in Maryland showing 54 to 44 support for marriage equality. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a marriage bill last week, but anti-gay opponents are likely to force it to a referendum.
New polls in Maine are still close, showing that 51 to 41 percent support overturning that state’s marriage ban. And last week the US Supreme Court put an end to NOM’s attempts to hide their donors. It’s unclear when those donors’ identities will finally be revealed, but it’s likely to be before the November elections.
In Iowa, voters favor keeping marriage equality, 56 to 36 percent. And the final survey of the week comes from California, which shows us with 59% support.
These numbers are all pretty good — but it’s important to keep in mind that surveys aren’t the same as votes. None of these states currently have anti-gay campaign ads running, so the numbers are likely to change dramatically as we approach November. There’s still a lot of work to do.
And last this week, there’s been a bump in the road in Ohio. Organizers there had attempted to overturn the state’s marriage ban. But this week the Attorney General announced that their measure lacked an adequate description, which means we may have to wait until next year. In the mean time, Equality Ohio will continue its work promoting safe schools and non-discrimination.
Those are the headlines, visit us over at MarriageNewsWatch.com for more on all these stories and more. And AFER.org for more on the fight to win full federal marriage equality. I’m Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights. We’ll see you next week.