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Population with Marriage About to Double


Well as the year winds down, a marriage bill is a done deal in Hawaii, and before the week is over another will be signed in Illinois. Plus there’s a new lawsuit in Idaho, positive polling in Maine, and we’re one step closer to the ballot in Ohio. But we’re also facing some very tough work in Indiana.

Well if you thought Hawaii was a destination for weddings before, just wait til December 2nd. That’s when the new marriage equality bill goes into effect. Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the law last week, 23 years after a group of gay couples first tried to obtain marriage licenses in Honolulu.

Polling in Hawaii is strong, with a recent survey showing support at 54% to just 31% opposed.

Meanwhile, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign a marriage bill on Wednesday of this week. With Illinois and Hawaii, the number of people living in states with marriage equality has doubled since the start of 2013. Thirty-six percent of Americans now live in a state with the freedom to marry. And we could pick up New Mexico before the end of the year as well, with the state Supreme Court there expected to rule any day now.

There’s a new lawsuit in Idaho. Four couples, working with the National Center for Lesbian rights, are challenging the state’s marriage ban. There’s also progress in Ohio, where organizers have gathered enough signatures to vote on a constitutional amendment that would legalize marriage equality. It’s hard to predict how that vote would go. Polling’s been mixed in Ohio, with generally only a small margin favoring the freedom to marry.

Polls are a bit more encouraging in Indiana, where 58 percent oppose a constitutional ban on marriage. Support for the anti-gay measure is at just 38 percent. Support for marriage equality is a bit weaker, though, with 48 percent support to 46 percent opposed. The legislature will likely vote on a constitutional ban in 2014, and if it passes it’ll go to voters in less than a year from now.

And finally, it’s been one year since the legalization of marriage in Maine. A new survey shows that 87 percent of residents say that it’s had no impact or a positive impact on their lives. Support for marriage is at 54% in maine with 37% opposed. That’s a huge drop in opposition since last year.


  • 1. Kevin  |  November 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    How is the population with marriage about to double?

  • 2. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    That was my thought, too. It's about to break 37% of the U.S. population, certainly. 38% with New Mexico if they hurry up.

  • 3. F Young  |  November 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Matt Baume means that the US population with marriage equality will have doubled in 2013 compared to 2012, from 57 million in January 2013 to 114 million now.

    This chart by Nate Silver shows it graphically, though it's dated now, since it doesn't consider Illinois and Hawaii:

  • 4. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Ahhhh. Gotcha.

  • 5. Seth From Maryland  |  November 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    the GOP leadership in Indiana is unsure about the amendment now: Speaking Monday at an Indiana Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, visibly cringed and were reluctant to answer when asked during an open question period if the amendment will be voted on by lawmakers.

    "This is not the most important issue facing Indiana, OK? It is not. This is a difficult moment we have to get through and deal with," Long said. "But the most important issues are jobs and the economy and the education of our kids."

    Bosma, who who led a 2004 Republican walkout fighting for the amendment against a then-Democratic House majority, said he has no plans to "fast track" the proposal now that he's in charge.

    "I don't even know if it's going to be introduced. I presume it is…it's not a priority," Bosma said. "It will go through the same process as every other bill or resolution: if it's introduced it'll be assigned to a committee, the chairman will make a decision on a committee hearing, if it comes out it will get voted on the floor."

  • 6. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Wow. If Bosma is saying that, it's really something.

  • 7. davep  |  November 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Yeah, it sounds like even the anti-gay legislators are now viewing that bill as something they don't really want to be associated with.

  • 8. Anthony  |  November 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    It's because every gay person coming out of the closet makes it harder and harder to justify opposing marriage. Look what happened with Rob Portman. That's happening all over the country now.

  • 9. Zack12  |  November 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    One has to keep in mind how fast this issue has moved. For most of the 2000's,gay marriage bans were a sure fire winner.
    Heck,even in 2011,Democrats were unsure whether or not to put marriage equality into their platform and now it's hard to imagine a platform where it won't be in there..
    As for Republicans,they still fail to understand that their base is shrinking,and that the gay marriage bans that were good for them ten years ago are now understood to be what they always were,cruel and bigoted bans targeting a specfic group of people for no other reason then we don't like them.
    Now people like Bosma simply don't want to talk about it and hope it will go away when they are the ones who have made it an issue.

  • 10. bayareajohn  |  November 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

    " 87 percent of residents say that it’s had no impact or a positive impact on their lives"
    I'd like to hear how 13% justify a claim that it's had a negative effect. A list would be nice. It probably would be revealing as to the emotional and educational nature of the 13%.

  • 11. Dr. Z  |  November 19, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Hurt fee-fees.

  • 12. davep  |  November 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Yup. I would really like to hear their reasoning. Of course, their true response would be "We feel frustrated because we are no longer getting sadistic satisfaction from knowing that people we don't like are being harmed by unjust laws" but it would be interesting to know how else they try to spin it to avoid telling the truth.

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