Search Archives:

Custom Search

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Face it, Gay Marriage is Inevitable

(Keywords and tags: , , , , isn't a matter of if - it's a matter of when)

The Editorial Page Editor of the Wisconsin State Journal, Scott Milfred, explains that legal same sex marriage is inevitable.

The big news Friday was that courts refused to legalize gay marriage in Georgia and New York.

So much for "activist judges."

The more significant thing about Friday's news was a simple statistic: 51 percent.

That's the percentage of respondents ages 18 to 39 who said in a national Gallup poll they support legalizing gay marriage.

Because I'm 37, I'd like to generally classify this demographic as "young people." (This might be my last chance to dodge middle age.)

As a barely young person, I guarantee you that support for gay marriage among the younger generations of Americans is only going to increase.

And eventually this narrow majority of support for gay marriage will become an overwhelming majority among the young. And people like me will increase support among the old folks, too.

It's a given. It's a done deal.

It shouldn't really surprise anyone. American history shows a widening individual rights and tolerance. The religious right may think they have God on their side, but they don't have history and they don't have the future. What they have a doomed fight for an inequal status quo.

The state of Wisconsin will be voting on adding a ban on same sex marriage to its constitution. But it doesn't seem like the lead pipe cinch that many would expect. The Wisconsin State Journal again:

Wisconsin residents are evenly split over a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions, according to a new poll conducted for the Web site WisPolitics.

The finding suggests that the November vote on the state amendment could be closer than previously expected and that opponents of the ban might have a chance to make Wisconsin the first state in the country to reject one. It also comes as gay-rights activists prepare their annual pride march in Madison today.

The poll by Diversified Research of Irvington, N.Y., found that 48.5 percent of state residents said they would vote for the proposed ban this fall and 47.8 percent would vote against it - a thin difference that was within the survey's margin of error. Less than 4 percent of those polled didn't know how they would vote or declined to answer.

Given Wisconsin's progressive tradition, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the referendum failed. Wisconsin was the first state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, after all.

Milfred's assessment reflects a general trend nationwide. In 2004, after Massachusetts allowed same sex unions, a CBS News Poll showed that 59% approved of a constitutional amendment to ban those unions. Yet a 2005 CBS poll found that, while 41% believed that there should be no legal recognition of gay marriage, 57% favored allowing either civil unions or marriage. That's a big shift for a year's time.

Support for civil unions makes the wording of Wisconsin's proposed amendment especially troubling - for amendment backers, at least.

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

The specifics of the amendment haven't gotten a lot of press yet. Most of the people polled were probably not aware that the amendment would ban civil unions, as well as outright marriage. If Wisconsinites' opinions are similar to the national trends, this gives amendment opponents the edge.

We might beat this thing. Right now, the numbers are so close that it's anyone's game - it'll go to the team who wants it more.

I'm willing to believe that those who want justice and equality want it more. And, if we don't get it this time, we'll get it eventually.



Laurluna said...

I live near Madison. Hetero-female, married to a Transgendered M-F. I am an advocate for the LGBT communitee. What could I do to help the cause? I would be willing to speak to legislators. I can be very persuasive. ;-) I only bring out the manipulation skill when all else am 100% Passionate about Separation of Church and State, lean far to the left.

Wisco said...


Sounds like you'd like to check out Fair Wisconsin. Their blog's URL is . The website is

Lot's of good info at both and you can also sign up for email alerts.

I think we've got a good chance of beating this thing.

Wisco said...

Let me make those links clickable: