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A Record Low for Anti-Gay Groups

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By Matt Baume

President Obama’s leadership on marriage equality is proving to have a major impact, form national organizations and local polling. Anti-equality forces set a record, but it’s probably not one they wanted. And DOMA is ruled unconstitutional in a fifth federal case.

There’ve been more high-profile endorsements for marriage equality, starting with the NAACP. NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous told reporters, “The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”

Within days of that announcement, former Secretary of State Colin Powell stated his support President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality. Powell told CNN that this “it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country.”

These attitudes are becoming increasingly commonplace. A new poll shows Americans support marriage equality by a margin of 53 to 39 percent. That puts anti-equality forces at their lowest ever recorded levels.

Those national numbers are consistent with new numbers coming out of individual states. In Maryland, marriage is likely to be on the ballot this fall. And a new survey shows voters upholding equality by 57 to 37 percent.

Among Maryland’s African Americans, 55 percent say they’ll vote for the marriage equality law, with 36 percent opposed. That’s a complete reversal from two months ago, when the measure was losing by 39 to 56.

A federal district court in California has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the United States Constitution. Judge Claudia Wilken’s ruling was based heavily on AFER’s victories in the case against Proposition 8. As multiple judges have now found with Prop 8, Wilken ruled that DOMA does not advance a “legitimate government interest.” This is now the fifth federal case in which a court has ruled against DOMA.

 

15 Comments

  • 1. DaveP  |  May 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I'm seeing a lot of news articles stating that the recent DOMA ruling by Judge Wilkins in the third ruling against DOMA, not the fifth. Can anyone clarify?

  • 2. Scott Wooledge  |  May 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Sloppy news reporting? There could be distinctions being made that the Bankruptcy Court is not an Article III constitutional court, Chris Geidner made that distinction, which may have legal implications. As a talking point, not so important IMO.

  • 3. Bill S.  |  May 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    2 different Article III courts have ruled it unconstitutional via 3 different judges in 4 different decisions. lol

    Both Dragovich v. Dept. of the Treasury and Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management were tried before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, with Judge Wilkins and Judge White presiding, respectively.

    Judge Tauro of the District Court for Massachusetts issued both decisions in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

    All of these cases except Mass. v. HHS struck down DOMA on 5th Amendment equal protection grounds. Mass v. HHS struck down DOMA on 10th Amendment grounds.

    It is not proper to include the bankruptcy court's decision in this list as they are an Article I tribunal, not an Article III court. The judges sitting on those tribunals do not serve life terms and their decisions create no precedent.

  • 4. Sagesse  |  May 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    @

  • 5. Puzzled  |  May 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    We are constantly told that a majority of the public favors marriage equality, yet they vote it down every time it's on the ballot. What's up with that?

  • 6. Jeff  |  May 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Too many of the people that favor marriage equality are not voting. Only the opinion of those that vote really mean anything.

  • 7. Eric  |  May 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Not every time, Prop 107 in Arizona failed.

  • 8. DonG90806  |  May 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    The first time, but not the second.

  • 9. Stefan  |  May 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    The first banned all relationship recognition. The second banned just marriage.

  • 10. jpmassar  |  May 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    It's trivially simple to explain.

    First, voters are not the same as adults. National polls that ask about marriage equality adults, not registered voters. Registered voters are, as a rule, more conservative than the entire set of adults.

    Second, almost all of these votes took place years ago, and attitudes have changed. Examples: If a vote in NC had been taken in 2004, for example, it probably would have passed with 75%, like some of them did in the South, instead of the 60% it got last month. If a vote were taken now in California, there is no doubt in my mind marriage equality would win, versus the vote taken in 2008.

  • 11. jpmassar  |  May 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    "National polls that ask about marriage equality poll adults…"

  • 12. Jamie  |  May 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    People that vote aren't necessarily representative of America.

    If you are referring to NC, of course it was going to pass there. There is one pastor saying that parents should "punch" their "sissy" boys, another pastor saying that gay people should be locked up in an electrified fence, and a Senator's wife that said the amendment was to protect the caucasian race. Seriously, North Carolina is a few good cities, surrounded by a whole lot of bigotry. If the people of North Carolina could vote to send homosexuals to jail, I'd guarantee they would. This wasn't a vote about marriage, it was a vote to stick it to the gays in the only way that is currently allowed.

  • 13. MFargo  |  May 30, 2012 at 6:34 am

    There's also the phenomenon of people who answer surveys don't necessarily do the same in the privacy of a voting booth. But the real issue is organized blocks of voters, i.e., religious organizations: they can produce large turn-outs at the polls.

  • 14. Mike  |  May 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I saw a recent report that stated that pro-marriage equality preferences in polls overstated support by about 7%, while the 'anti-' polling was pretty much accurate. That 7% probably breaks down to some support not voting, some lieing to the pollster (and then not voting), and some (but very few) changing their mind at the poll. The goal should be to get majority support, then get each and every supporter to the polls. No (well almost no – being hospitalized might be acceptable) excuses accepted.

    Which, if I understand it correctly, the polls need to show much more a 50% approval in the poll, and a much more than a 7% difference in favor for any marriage equality measure to pass the vote.

    However, voting on a person's civil rights should NOT be the method used to allow a person to partake of those rights (or not). They have the permission by it being a right, so that means no one should have to ask "Mother may I" each and every time they exercise those rights.

  • 15. Wendy  |  May 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    These polls changed AFTER Obama verbalized support. The true test will be on future votes…not that civil rights should be voted on, but that's a separate issue entirely.

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