March 19, 2012
By Matt Baume
It’s coming down the wire in North Carolina. Meanwhile Denver Republicans vote to support civil unions, we’ll get a vote this week on ending marriage equality in New Hampshire, and President Obama speaks out against an anti-gay ballot measure.
A close call this week in Washington. The state will likely vote on marriage this November, and the proposed ballot measure contained the phrase “redefine marriage.” But this week a judge rejected that language, opting for a more neutral tone.
Those two words may seem like a minor quibble, but nowhere has their importance been more evident than in the UK. This week the respected Populus poll showed that 65 percent of voters support the freedom to marry when it’s described as an “equal right.” But at the same time, a push poll by the group Catholic Voices found just the opposite: by asking loaded questions, they were able to get 70% of respondents to turn against LGBTs.
So with signature-gathering starting last week in Washington, that ballot language is pretty important.
Signature-gathering has also started in Maryland. Like Washington, that state’s marriage equality bill is on hold while opponents gather signatures.
But we’re making progress in Colorado, where 56% of Denver Republicans voted to support civil unions.
And a measure in New Hampshire that would end marriage equality finally has a voting date: this Wednesday, March 21. The bill is very unpopular with voters, with about 60% opposed, but it remains to be seen how legislators will handle it.
And hundreds rallied in Raleigh, North Carolina this week. The crowd opposes Amendment One, which would add a double-ban on marriage to the state Constitution. Our opponents have been talking about activist judges and gays, but Amendment One goes beyond those issues and has the potential to harm all families, gay and straight.
So far, the polling in North Carolina is not looking good. But this week President Obama spoke out against the measure, calling it discriminatory.
And finally this week, the Prime Minister of Denmark has promised to enact marriage equality legislation by June, so mark your calendars and book your flights.