Friday, May 23, 2008

Tally in Cali Mixed Bag for Same-Sex Marriage

Today, the L.A. Times reports that 54% of Californians say that they will support a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage, effectively overturning the California Supreme Court's ruling from last week. This is bad news to gay rights activists. Let's be frank, if it can't get done in California, where can it be done?

But the numbers aren't all stormclouds. Ballot initiatives lose support when strong counter-campaigns are waged, and you know there will be a very concerted effort to kill this one. Starting at 54% is hardly a position of strength. Also, the polling data show that opposition is almost ALL generational. Older voters see same-sex marriage as a threat to "traditional" marriage, and are, accordingly, more likely to support the amendment.

As the Times astutely points out, this generational divide raises intriguing back-and-forth implications for the presidential race. If Obama mobilizes young Californians, he'll not only roast McCain, he'll kill this measure. BUT, ironically, the initiative also has the power to help McCain, as evangelicals (the majority of whom are R's) will definitely come out (definitely no pun intended) for this clash.

Of course, any benefit McCain might have gained will arguably be diminished following his repudiation of endorsements from two well-known religious leaders, Reverend John Hagee and Rod Parsley. Expect to see a lot of "blanks" under "president" in California.


No comments: