Civil Liberties

New Poll Finds More Americans Support Gay Marriage Than Oppose It

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A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds a "sharp shift in public opinion on same-sex marriage," with 49 percent of respondents saying it should be legal and 46 percent saying it shouldn't. Three years ago, the split was 58 percent to 36 percent in the other direction. This is the first time a national poll has found more people supporting gay marriage than opposing it. Are we witnessing a "sea change," a "tipping point," a "feedback loop," or a "bandwagon effect"?

More on gay marriage here.

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  1. Or, just getting used to the idea.

  2. Fuck.

  3. But, but! Marriage is *OURS*!!!

    Then you protestants came along and ruined it for everyone with your childless coupling.

  4. I still oppose gay marriage on the basis that I oppose all marriage, even private, non-government defined marriage.

  5. Now if we could just get a similar sea-change on attitudes toward individual liberty.

  6. “I still oppose gay marriage on the basis that I oppose all marriage, even private, non-government defined marriage.”

    Care to elaborate?

  7. Still curious what Reason’s official stance on gay marriage is. I know full what what Reason feels about corn syrup. Can’t miss that. I know what Reason feels about Sharia courts in the United Kingdom. I know what Reason feels about a lot of things. I have no idea what Reason feels about gay marriage, beyond some “well on the one hand it would make some people happy, but on the other hand some say it is bad, P.S. ACTIVIST JUDGES”

    The only conclusion I can draw is that the freedom to drink corn syrup flavored drinks without surtax far outweighs the freedom to see a dying life long partner in the hospital.

  8. Those polled:

    RuPaul
    Dan Savage
    Cast of Project Runway
    Jerry Falwell
    Focus on the Family’s James Dobson

  9. Max Hats:

    You must be talking about the other Reason.

  10. Married gays have nicer lawns than cohabitating gays. That’s why I support gay marriage.

  11. I don’t think it’s too early to start a plural marriage movement.

  12. Okay, I found this, which after many paragraphs finally gets to some sort of point:

    It is no doubt correct that the family unit in Western society is experiencing trauma, and that the trouble emanates from the challenges of modernity: more cash, more choices, more years of life. In the West, wives talk, work, and generally operate like their husbands’ equals. Looked at from one perspective, that devalues the traditional arrangement when men were men and women were obedient. From another, though, it’s just the march of progress. The freedom that was born with enlightenment and empowered by capitalism has rendered the old-fashioned contract obsolete. Gay marriage is but one more stage of the evolving family structure, and not so very large a leap, at that. I mean, once women started talking back, the rest has been baby steps.

    I’m not even sure what most of that means, but it does fall under the headline “For Better or Worse: Gay marriage is better,” so I think it’s an argument for gay marriage. Pretty sure. That’s something.

    It still amazes me how MIA this magazine is on a revolutionary expansion of personal and social liberty. But I suppose moral certainty and outrage must be saved for more deserving targets, such as various television and print slanders against the corn industry.

  13. “The only conclusion I can draw is that the freedom to drink corn syrup flavored drinks without surtax far outweighs the freedom to see a dying life long partner in the hospital.” [citation needed]

    Isn’t that whole denying one partner from seeing the other partner in the hospital thing just a crock of shit? Is this really common practice? I have never ben asked when visiting someone in the hospital what my relationship to the sick person is. Never. And I know of no one (and my life is rich with fags btw) who has ever had that happen or even knows anyone who has.

  14. max hats –
    I share Paul’s confusion. How could you not have discerned the Reason’s position on gay marriage? Have you seen any posts that equivocate about equal rights for all adults that I missed?

  15. Max,

    I don’t have the energy to read everything written by Reason staffers that gay marriage is pretty fully supported. But that support comes with the standard libertarian caveat:

    The government shouldn’t be in the marriage business to begin with.

  16. Who cares how the staff of Reason feels about gay marriage?

    It would be nice to not see gay marriage legislation occur, but rather to see an affirmation of the right existing under the current Constitution.

  17. according to this it’s happened at least a few times. That was just first googling. Were I gay and had I kids, the biggest issue in regards to gay marriage is the children. Could my parent’s take our child if I died away from my partner? If our relationship disolves in 10 years, can I visit the child I helped raise? There’s all kinds of legal protections marriage grants across the board that are currently denied homosexual couples in most states, and it’s easy to take those protections for granted as a heterosexual.

  18. I don’t think it’s too early to start a plural marriage movement.

    Me neither. There’s no reason why “marriage equality” should exclude polygamists.

  19. This point may have been made upthread, but it’s important: this is a red herring. Take a poll on how many people agree with scratching your nose while soaking your feet in vinegar on the third Tuesday of a month with 31 days. It still has nothing to do with what government should be doing.

    The fact that an elected government is involved makes everybody think that it’s their business (and thinking it’s their business makes everybody vote to keep it their business).

  20. Personally, I take a different tack. As executive director of the Center for Good Things that People Want, our stand is that all marriage should be illegal.

    This solves several issues with current society:

    1. It makes equal the standing of heterosexual couples and gay couples under the law.
    2. Elimination of the highly unstable and volatile government mandated contract system where one party can break said contract at any time under any circumstances, and walk away with half the other person’s stuff (and hand over half his or her debt). Message: enter marriage as the lower earner and with higher debt; bring as little to the table as possible.
    3. It eliminates divorce, and thus the entire divorce lawyer industry.
    4. Removal of the government from the marriage bidness altogether, which jibes well with CGTTPW’s libertarian themed mission.

  21. “Care to elaborate?”

    Joking.

  22. 3. It eliminates divorce, and thus the entire divorce lawyer industry.

    Really it would just transfer the divorce industry to the tort industry, and would make dividing up property even messier.

    Not sure if you’re serious or not, but I agree in principle with getting government out of marriage. I just don’t see how it’s practicable. Government and marriage have been linked by law for hundreds of years.

  23. Government and marriage have been linked by law for hundreds of years.

    Because government and religion were linked for 100’s of years.

  24. Are we witnessing a “sea change,” a “tipping point,” a “feedback loop,” or a “bandwagon effect”?

    It’s a game-changer, the last straw. It’s morning in America.

    On a more responsive note, I think most of the “debate” at Reason has been over what’s the best way for this to come about politically — by vote or court judgement, etc.

    Corn syrup doesn’t have much ambiguity in this regard.

  25. New Poll Finds More Americans Support Gay Marriage Than Oppose It

    Plus Obama intends to spend 3% of GDP on SCIENCE (praise be it’s name) including fetal stem cell research.

    Cosmotopia has arrived!

  26. Wow, max. Your complaint reminds me of libertymike spouting off that the editors of reason were pussies because they had never addressed hate speech legislation. Never mind the 10 fucking pages of results that came up when you put in ‘hate speech’ in the ‘search’ function on this page.

    Only you’re even worse, because Sullum has thoughtfully included that fucking link at the end of his article. That’s right, the last link in the article ‘More on gay marriage here’ is a search result for ‘gay marriage’. With over ten pages of results.

    I’m starting to think you’re performance art.

  27. Really it would just transfer the divorce industry to the tort industry, and would make dividing up property even messier.

    True, but define ‘messier’.

    I brought to the marriage:

    House
    Car
    Retirement
    $0 incidental debt- credit cards, 2nd mortgages etc.

    You brought:
    $65,000 student loan debt.
    No car
    No real estate

    Government ‘unmessy’: Cut it all in half.

    I get:
    1/2 my house– can’t afford to buy out, must sell.
    1/2 my car– can’t afford to buy out, must sell.
    1/2 my retirement
    $32,500 student loan debt.

    She gets:
    1/2 the proceeds from the house.
    1/2 the proceeds from the car.
    1/2 my retirement.
    Student loan debt cut to $32,500

    I’ll take a shot at the messy, thank you very much.

  28. Only you’re even worse, because Sullum has thoughtfully included that fucking link at the end of his article. That’s right, the last link in the article ‘More on gay marriage here’ is a search result for ‘gay marriage’. With over ten pages of results.

    I’m starting to think you’re performance art.

    Did you actually read the articles? Almost every one is exactly as I earlier described. “well maybe I kinda sorta guess but then on the other hand who knows also ACTIVIST JUDGES BOO.” The most stirring advocacy of gay marriage rights I could find was the word soup I quoted above, this.

  29. Here is the thing: there are a lot of articles about gay marriage on Reason. This is a libertarian oriented publication. Therefore, one would naturally assume, Reason has made a clear stand for gay marriage and frequently supported it, as it does many other topics of interest. The assumption does not bear out, as best I can find.

  30. ‘There’s no reason why “marriage equality” should exclude polygamists.’

    Just wait a few more years . . . don’t make a big public fuss right now; let the gay-libbers keep talking about “two people” and how right-wing scaremongers are invoking the specter of polygamy for their own insidious purposes. Let the gullible public be reassured that polygamy is *not* the necessary outcome of gay marriage, just as they were reassured that the ERA and the right to ‘sexual privacy’ wouldn’t lead to gay marriage. Or that radically remodelling opposite-sex marriage won’t lead to same-sex marriage.

    Once the gay-libbers have won their battle, it will be time enough to change the tune and say that polygamy is the morally-necessary next step.

  31. It’s funny watching the left wing crazy overreach just like the right wing crazy always do.

    It’s not surprising, because it’s the exact same kind of crazy. It’s funny because the crazy are always convinced they are the mainstream.

    Go ahead and tell voters in 2010 and 2012 that you are the pro-gay marriage candidate and that you worked hard to make it happen. Yeah.

  32. Once the gay-libbers have won their battle, it will be time enough to change the tune and say that polygamy is the morally-necessary next step.

    And then one day, if Allah wills it, Daisy and I will be free to express our love and murder infidels!

  33. The question, Max Hats, is what does Lone”OMG, MEXICANS ARE COMING OVER TEH BORDERZ”Whacko think of gay marriage?

    Does this expand his options?

  34. I frankly don’t care if we allow polygamy, as long as all parties are adults (sorry High Every Body/SIV/Tofusushi).

  35. It’s just because we’ve seen the effects of the first few legal gay marriages. Contrary to shrill claims from the other side, heterosexual marriages didn’t all suddenly come to an end.

  36. So you have an article that quotes the results of one poll, without a reference to the source data or the methodology that states a majority of Americans now support gay marriage, and that’s a “sea change”?

    When I see it pass a referendum process, I might believe it.

    But I think most professional pollsters refer to one-off polls that produce results inconsistent with the norm as “statistical noise”.

  37. Get rid of estate and gift tax (to a lesser degree income tax) and there really is no reason for government to care about marriage. The division of property is a huge red herring. Property is divided in contracts and disputes outside of marriage all the time with relative ease.

  38. “statistical noise”

    noise -> heat -> light -> Bright Common Future!

    It’s simple thermodynamics.

    DON’T ARGUE WITH SCIENCE, YOU WILL LOSE!!1

  39. Now if we could just get a similar sea-change on attitudes toward individual liberty.

    So take a lesson from gays and learn how to organize. We can get political action done half drunk in our underwear. Libertarians just whine to each other.

  40. So take a lesson from gays and learn how to organize.

    I’ll smash windows, you parade around nude and tell anyone who calls it indecent a fascist, and I think we can get Urkobold to yell down talk radio in all caps.

    *clap* Come on, people. Let’s “organize”!

  41. Let the gullible public be reassured that polygamy is *not* the necessary outcome of gay marriage, just as they were reassured that the ERA and the right to ‘sexual privacy’ wouldn’t lead to gay marriage.

    Four things:

    1. I don’t really give a shit if other people enter into plural marriages or not.

    2. The ancient Hebrews practiced polygamy, so I don’t see what your problem is with it.

    3. The ERA never passed, so it couldn’t have led to gay marriage. They actually have virtually nothing to do with each other.

    4. So now it finally comes out – you not only oppose gay marriage, you oppose all laws that can be said to convey “sexual privacy”. Nice to see someone who’s willing to come out and admit that they stand for the resurrection of the sodomy laws.

  42. I don’t care how much fun you heterosexual married couples are having on your honeymoons – the travel industry thanks you, by the way.

  43. 1. I don’t really give a shit if other people enter into plural marriages or not.

    I believe this; but few gay marriage supporters argue that polygamists’ rights are being violated by the state forbidding their preferred form of marriage. If denying gays the right to marry a person of the same gender is a horrendous civil rights violation, then so is denying polygamists the right to marry more than one person.

  44. Astroglide makes the slope slipperier.

  45. Let’s get one thing straight(?), the state is already involved in marriage, because marriage (and the state) has to do with any number of things from inheritance and child custody to whether you get to visit someone you love in the hospital at the end of his/her life.

    So, imagine you are lying in intensive care, dying from injuries sustained in (for example) a car accident and your parents are there keeping the person you love from being at your bedside because there’s no way that they will let “that filthy goddamn fagot” be there.

    Sorry, old chum, you are shit out of luck. It doesn’t matter how you would like your lover to be there or to inherit your portfolio if you die you’ll lose. Even if there’s a will, your next-of-kin can and will contest it and more than likely win, because he’s just a filthy goddamn fagot.

    So here is my modest proposal. Let the churches keep “marriage”. Let the arrangement that makes inheritance, succession, child custody, deathbed visitation and all such things be called say, “civil union” (look, if you want another name, speak up).

    That way, your marriage (if you choose to have one) deals with you relationship between your loved one and you and God. Your civil union (or whatever?) deals with your relationship between your loved one and you and worldly goods.

    How does that work?

  46. Paul | May 1, 2009, 6:50pm | #

    The real lesson here is, don’t marry a gold-diggin’ ho. At least, don’t without a pre-nup.

  47. because marriage (and the state) has to do with any number of things from inheritance and child custody to whether you get to visit someone you love in the hospital at the end of his/her life.

    Write a will ($20 at a notary) or everything reverts to children, grandchildren, parents, or the state. It’s a contractual matter that’s simpler than marriage itself, and usually accompanies it anyway.

  48. Fluffy,

    1. Then it is not to you that the gay-libbers address their reassurances about how their ideas won’t lead to polygamy.

    2. You got me there – I’m just a shill for Big Jew.

    3. The Massachusetts ERA was cited in a concurrence in the 4-3 Goodridge opinion as a basis for gay marriage, even though the supporters of the Mass. ERA had been indignant at the very *suggestion* that it would require gay marriage.

    4. The reason I put ‘sexual privacy’ in quotes is that the proponents of this concept don’t actually value privacy as generally understood. For instance, they do not support the right of a private employer to set his own rules for the workplace – any libertarian who said that this is what privacy requires risks being called a homophobic evildoer by the gay-libbers.

  49. The Massachusetts ERA was cited in a concurrence in the 4-3 Goodridge opinion as a basis for gay marriage, even though the supporters of the Mass. ERA had been indignant at the very *suggestion* that it would require gay marriage.

    Dynamite was used in warfare, even though Alfred Nobel had been indignant at the very *suggestion* that it would be used for such purposes.

    When you write words, sometimes people make the mistake of taking them seriously.

  50. LNMOP,

    I’m not sure you intended it, but your point seems remarkably similar to mine, even though you might be drawing different inferences. I particularly like the dynamite comparison (and I didn’t know that Nobel saw only peaceful uses for his invention – you learn something new every day).

  51. Max
    I’m not sure a workplace involves privacy in the way we’re talking about, so I’m not sure you get out of fluffy’s clutches there. I think you’re hitting more on a right of association.

  52. Max
    I think there are arguments the gay marriage folks could make to distinguish polygamy. In part, they may argue that sexual orientation meets the suspect class test of Carolene Products and polygamy does not. Second, assume a male-male and a male female couple both seeking marriage. What’s the difference? Only sexual orientation. With polygamy the difference is that you have more parties, and perhaps the more compelling interest that this could undermine the union contemplated (a triad being empirically and theoretically trickier than a dyad). In other words, the same sex couple is more “similarly situated.”

    I’m not sure I buy it all when its all said and done, but there are arguments.

  53. MNG,

    It’s privacy in the way libertarians talk about it. If you doubt it, go to a private business and try to use the employee restroom, or dip your hand in the till under the assumption that the money therein in communal property.

  54. ‘I’m not sure I buy it all when its all said and done, but there are arguments.’

    Or, as the poly rights crowd might put it, ‘transparent excuses for bigotry.’

  55. True, but define ‘messier’.

    Guy who brings Stanley Cup to a strip club?

  56. I’m a libertarian. I strongly believe in the rights of gay people to marry. I think its BIGGER government telling gays they can’t get married but straight people can. I also disagree with the notion that some libertarians oppose expanding marriage for gays because of the argument that “government should get out.” That in my mind is a cop-out for bigots who don’t want to come off as that.

    Reason Magazine should be ashamed of itself for not taking a proactive stance on what is clearly the Civil Rights issue of our era. Even the Outright Libertarians condemned them for this.

  57. ‘Even the Outright Libertarians’

    Don’t forget the IllegalMexicanImmigrants

  58. Let me just mention one major difference between the gay marriage issue, and the interracial marriage issue. Mildred and RIchard Loving had gotten married in DC and were living together in Virginia, and a pack of thugs kicked their door in, and charged them under Virginia’s miscegenation statute. That is not what gay couples are facing today.

    The question at hand is whether the state should recognize all marriages, or only those which fit the state’s critera for validity. I say, the state has no business taking any notice of marriage unless there’s a matter to adjudicate in divorce court. Gay and straight citizens should have exactly the same recourse to the law to enforce the terms of whatever contracts they enter into.

    -jcr

  59. Polygamy as it exists in the real world is universally associated with patriarchy. It is inherently not just anti-equal-rights, but a form of subjugation of women. Gay marriage rights have nothing to do with it, it’s just slippery-slope nonsense.

  60. what’s wrong with corn syrup?

  61. Polygamy as it exists in the real world is universally associated with patriarchy.

    No, it is very commonly associated with patriarchy in much of the world. In the US, there’s the FLDS in Arizona, Colorado & Texas, and then there are a few thousand people throughout the country who form multiple relationships through choice. The existence of the FLDS doesn’t give you the right to discriminate (through the political process) against consenting adults who choose to enter polyamorous relationships.

    I really think the gay marriage > > polygamy is a red hearing aid. Our courts have shown time and again they are quite capable of deliberate cognitive dissonance when the logical end results of a line of thinking are politically unpalatable, yet the initial results of that line of thinking are politically desirable.

  62. Hmmm… Every Marriage is a Civil Union, but Every Civil Union is NOT
    a Marriage!

    By definition, “Marriage” is a religious institution. Every religious
    institution has the right to determine marriage guidelines and rules
    for their members.

    Government honors the rights of religious institutions regarding
    marriage. With a few notable exceptions: age of consent, polygamy,
    citizenship, etc.

    Some religious institutions sanction same sex marriages. Government
    should honor the rights of ALL religious institutions!

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