NOM BLOG

Despite First Ballot Wins, Gay Marriage Backers Still Wary of The People

 

The Wall Street Journal points out that despite their huge spending advantage and wins in deep-blue states, gay marriage backers are still opting to pursue their agenda through the courts and legislatures:

After notching their first wins using state ballots, gay-marriage advocates said their long-term national strategy will rely more on legislatures and federal courts than expensive state-by-state popular votes.

...But many gay-rights leaders said their strategy going forward—built on lessons from the African-American civil-rights movement—doesn't bank on taking their cause directly to voters in many more states.

"Rights should not be put to a vote," said Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, a national gay-rights group that supported Tuesday's initiatives. "While we have now shown we can do it, it doesn't mean that we should have to do it, and it doesn't mean that it is easy to do." He said "very few" states are likely appropriate battlegrounds for future ballot fights, given the expense and organization required.

Opponents of same-sex marriage said Tuesday's results proved only that gay-marriage advocates could persuade voters in a few liberal states. "What they did not accomplish is changing the opinions of Americans," said Frank Schubert, political director for the National Organization for Marriage.

"I don't know exactly what they are going to do, but I expect there will be a lot of pressure on them by in-state activists" to take up new ballot battles, he said.

Gay-marriage proponents face a difficult landscape. Over the last 15 years, some 30 states passed amendments to their constitutions that define marriage as between a man and a woman, making it impossible in most cases for state courts or legislatures to legalize gay marriage. Changing those laws would require new ballot initiatives in each state or action by the federal government or courts.

Recent efforts by gay-rights groups have focused on winning support for gay marriage from legislatures in states such as New York, which didn't have a constitutional ban. Voters in Maryland and Washington on Tuesday voted whether to support decisions made by their legislatures to legalize gay marriage. Similar legislative battles could happen next year in states including Rhode Island and Delaware.

18 Comments

  1. Phil
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    What they will do is use these few victories to argue to the supreme court that a "growing national consensus" is building to impose this as on the entire nation ala Roe and abortion. It could happen as soon as this year with the cases currently pending.

  2. Ash
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Judging from the inflated egos of SSMers who visit this blog, you'd think that something greater happened than SSMers finally gaining the ability to sell ssm to liberals. But the more level-headed ssm advocates--the brains behind the operation--still recognize that deciding ssm at the ballot will not be a profitable venture for them in most cases.

    But SSMers at the lower rungs are over the moon and put far more stock into the recent votes. I like how a commenter on National Review humorously described their mentality: in the minds of some SSMers, if they win in a liberal state like Maine, the debate is over and they can move on to making ssm mandatory.

  3. MarkOH
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    And I find the change in NOMs argument "It's never passed a popular vote" to "It's not passed in non-liberal states" to be disingenuous.

    Marriage should NEVER be put to a popular vote, just like the the basic rights of any minority should never be decided by the majority. This vote was huge and NOM and it's supporters need to realize it.

  4. Dan
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    >>I like how a commenter on National Review humorously described their mentality: in the minds of some SSMers, if they win in a liberal state like Maine, the debate is over and they can move on to making ssm mandatory.

    Yes, it seems many have very short-term memories. Amazingly, they've already forgotten how another state just recently voted against ssm by a 20+ point margin. Yet we're to believe there is now a mandate in the nation for ssm because they eeked out victories in a few liberal states where they outspent their opposition by $20 million.

  5. indorri
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    SCREEE! SCREEE! EVIL EVIL GAYS! SCREE!

  6. OldKingBlog
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    indorri; what, exactly, is your point? I ask because at this moment, you aren't even shallow...

  7. Jeanette Exner
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    No doubt there will be many cases in the future in which the Straight (i.e. heterosexual) majority gets to decide whether or not the benefits and protections they take for granted should be either granted or denied to Gay couples. Some of those votes support marriage equality, others won't. There will also be court cases. There will be victories for Gay Americans, and there will be setbacks. But time is on our side.

  8. John B.
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The consensus among supporters of same-sex marriage is that it should not be subject to a public vote. That was true before this election and it's still true. We're not the ones who forced such votes in Minnesota, Maryland, or Washington--that was your side. In Maine, we brought it before the people because you made it quite clear that we had no other options (and then called us hypocrites when we did exactly what you demanded we do). Well, look how it turned out despite all your predictions. You didn't believe the polls showing steadily growing support for same-sex marriage by the public, and still don't believe it despite the clear evidence of this election. You seem to think it's still 2006 and that nothing has changed since then, least of all public opinion. But have it your way, and we'll see what happens next time. We'll continue to push the issue in the courts and in the legislatures because that's what we believe is the proper way to effect change in our government and in our laws. The only question is which state will be next--Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, Oregon, Minnesota, and meanwhile we're headed for a win in California. But if you're going to lose when we play by YOUR rules, you could at least do it a little more graciously.

  9. Sean
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    It's true voting isn't a winning venture in most cases, but you want to know why? It's because putting the rights of others in the hands of closed-minded people is wrong, it's just as bad as if people were voting for interracial marriage or for de-segregation. You know what did end desegregation? Not the will of the people but the intelligence and understanding of judges who realized preventing them their rights was unconstitutional and now when they do it for gay men and women, it's "hurting the rights of the people". That was interestingly enough the same ideas of people like the KKK and those against desegregation. Just something to think about.

  10. Chairm
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    The imposition of SSM is unjust. Yes, there is a process that provides just means. But SSM is not a just end. An unjust end is not transformed into a just end by use of just means.

    Likewise, a just end is not transformed into an unjust end by use of unjust means.

    The abuse of governmental authority is still abuse no matter the means deployed.

    Now, how do we know if the law is right or wrong? Marriage has a reality that is independent of the law and government. It unjust for either the law or government obscures that independent reality. It is all the more unjust when this harm is done by aligning the law and the government with the supremacy of identity politics; and all the more unjust when this alignment sets law and government against civil society.

    We also learn from SSMers themselves that the imposition of SSM-as-marriageis unjust. They have failed, utterly, to justified such an imposition -- by whatever means. It would be an arbitrary imposition. And, as such, it would be contrary to justice.

    Okay, SSMers argue that the bride-groom requirement (and the marriage idea itself) is unjust. But they have relied on the abuse of judicial review; they have relied on the abuse of executive power; they have relied on the abuse of the legislative power; and none of that abuse of governmental power is rehabilitated by a direct popular voe. Confirm the abuse, yes, but not transformed into just means.

    Also, in these otherroutes to imposition, SSMers have transgressed their own stated standards for assessing the legitimacy of laws and lawmaking. That, too, stands as evidence of the unjust end they have pursued by mostly unjust means.

    As always we must with fbasics ... begin at the beginning. What is marriage?

    And, because in their answer SSMers present the SSM idea as substitute for the marriage idea, the starting place for consideration of their demanded imposition is -- what is the type of relationship they have in mind? That challenge has remained unmet except in the most superficial of ways. It amounts to a big dodge supported by shrugs and much reliance on double standards and namecalling.

    The imposition of SSM would be unjust by any means. SSM rhetoric and argumentation and strategies and tactics all tell us so.

  11. Chairm
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    The court opinions that stood against the racist identity politics of the past arose from the core meaning of marriage. SSM arises from the propose supremacy of gay identity politics. SSMers assign to the gay idetity group the primacy that the white racist identity group had claimed for itself. So the imposition of SSM is the racist analogue.

    There was (and is) nothing wrong with the core meaning of marriage, but pressing the racist identity filter onto marriage was unjust. Pressing the gay identity filter onto marriage is no less unjust -- even if the advocates claim it would be more benign.

    Of course, the latter would substitute the conceptual mess that is the SSM idea ... something else that the SSMers have in common with the past promoters of the conceptual mess that is white supremacy and racist subdivision of humankind.

    The marriage idea is conceptually enriched and, in principle and in practice, it enriches society on many levels. That is another stark contrast with the impoverished SSM idea which would deprive society of much and which means far less than marriage. SSM is a profound compound error as it digs out the roots of civil society, liberty, good governance, as well as the foundational social institution itself.

    Yet in the aftermath of tha destruction all that is left is a superficial SSM idea that would act like a layer of asphalt over the fertile landscape.

    That is, the path to the imposition is deeply destructive and at the path's end is a superficial and specious substitute for the marriage idea. Yet another thing in common with the racist precedent.

  12. FemEagle
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Oh whine whine whine, you two above. You know what's interesting? When Maine and the rest of the dippy states voted on SSM, and accepted it (for now), you didn't see SSM opponents yelling and screaming and threatening to take it to court. Why? Because those folks believe in the power and the justice of the vote. But YOU guys only believe in it when it acts in your favor. What did you do when California voted to ban gay marriage - TWICE? Why you screamed, threw hissy fits, strapped on your high heels and went stomping to the legislature and sympathetic judges (two of whom turned out to be, WOW, gay themselves) and declared that the will of the the people of California shouldn't count, because things didn't go your way. Who else would act like that but...a bunch of hypocritical fascists. Face it, you blew your cred in this last election cycle. No more whining about due process - that's done. You won in 4 states, but you've lost in 32. SUCK IT UP and move on already.

  13. MarkOH
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    FemEagle, you are really not getting the point. Yes, peolpe who support marriage equality took it to a vote. They did it, not because they believe that the public should vote on a BASIC CIVIL RIGHT, but because of people like you who were constantly saying that the public should vote. Fine, it was taking to a vote and YOU were taken to the cleaners. If anyone should suck it up and move on, it's you.

    Oh, and those other 32 states? The Supreme Court will rule their laws violate the US Constitution - perhaps as soon as the end of Nov. Marriage equality WILL be law in this country.

  14. MarkOH
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    FemEagle, you are really not getting the point. Yes, people who support marriage equality took it to a vote. They did it, not because they believe that the public should vote on a BASIC CIVIL RIGHT, but because of people like you who were constantly saying that the public should vote. Fine, it was taking to a vote and YOU were taken to the cleaners. If anyone should suck it up and move on, it's you.

    Oh, and those other 32 states? The Supreme Court will rule their laws violate the US Constitution - perhaps as soon as the end of Nov. Marriage equality WILL be law in this country.

  15. Layne
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    We are moving on FemEagle. To full equality. :)

  16. OldKingBlog
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Dear lame Layne: Here's a nugget of truth to chaw on: Whether one believes in God or not, it is an undeniable fact that tens of millions of years of evolution have devised sexuality for the purposes of pro-creation. Nature is a very harsh mistress, as those who study the natural world can readily attest. Therefore, we can, with all honesty, call a homosexual devolutionary; an individual whom nature, for reasons that may always remain obscure to us, did not intend to reproduce. Under normal circumstances, that is, in a sound and happy marriage, there is no more natural affection as that shown between a husband and wife, and between parent and child. In response to what we can call the naturalness of marriage, it is incumbent upon both citizen and public official to continue to recognize the centrality of marriage and to maintain that centrality in law, and to reject all attempts to abolish it or legalize so-called alternatives. Traditional marriage was created to safeguard the welfare of, and to establish responsibility for, any offspring ensuing from heterosexual activities, and not to give legal and social approval to unrestrained and irresponsible sexual activity.
    Let the members of the demimonde live out their lives and conduct their private business privately, far from the public eye and with no control over public institutions.

    The only thing (repeat the ONLY thing) you left-over from the Sixtiies genetic debris are moving onto is the margins and seams of life and civilization, your natural habitat. Enjoy it, because that's all you are getting from us normal folk!

  17. Sean
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Yes FemEagle, they did bring it to the courts. Why? It's rather simple really, because in general people should still not vote on the rights of others. Yes in this case it was a win in the four states for same-sex marriage, but even I don't think it should've been put to a vote at all. People should not have the right to decide on the rights of others. Not saying the courts should either, but I just find it ridiculous that the LGBT community has to fight to actually marry the person they love. Tell me once again how it so greatly effects your marriage FemEagle? Oh right, it doesn't. Nor does it confuse kids except for those completely molded by their parents into closed-minded people. Nor does it put risk to children's safety. So again, tell me why people should vote for other people's rights?

  18. MarkOH
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    OldKingBlog, you were making a point right up until you used the term " unrestrained and irresponsible sexual activity". I swear, you think more about gay sex than gay people. And I wonder why you consider yourself "normal" and others not normal. It really shows your views are not so much pro-marriage but anti-gay and that's sad.