Bring It On!

Gay Marriage: 63% Say It’s A Private Choice; CA Court Rejects Stay

June 4th, 2008 | by Daniel DiRito |

Good news on the gay marriage front from a newly released survey and from the California Supreme Court. A new USA Today Gallup Poll suggests that a large majority of Americans believe that the choice to marry someone of the same sex ought to be a private choice and that the government shouldn’t be involved in restricting those decisions.

From USA Today:

Six in 10 Americans say the government should not regulate whether gays and lesbians can marry the people they choose, a survey finds.

As same-sex couples line up to get marriage licenses in California on June 17, the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found that 63% of adults say same-sex marriage is “strictly a private decision” between two people.

That the government has the right “to prohibit or allow” such marriages was stated by 33%, and 4% had no opinion.

A majority of respondents at every level of education and income say same-sex marriage is “strictly private.” This was true:

• In every region: East (71%), West (64%), Midwest (63%) and South (56%).

• Among all ages except “65 and older”: 18 to 29 (79%), 30 to 49 (65%), 50 to 64% (62%) and 65 and older (44%).

In California, the Supreme Court has rejected a request to stay their recent decision to allow same-sex marriages. Opponents had asked the court to stay its decision until such time as the voters of California had an opportunity to voice their opinion on a November ballot initiative designed to prohibit gay marriages. The ruling means that June 17th will likely be the first day gay marriages will be conducted in the state.

From Reuters:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California’s Supreme Court gave the final green light on Wednesday for gay marriages to begin later this month, turning down requests for a delay.

The court voted 4-3 to deny the petition to stay the decision. The same judges voted the same way on May 15 in the landmark decision, hailed by gay activists and condemned by social conservatives.

The court’s original ruling becomes final at 5 p.m. on June 16, opening the way for gay marriages to start the next day.

Massachusetts is the only U.S. state that allows same-sex marriage, but offers licenses only to its own residents. California has no residency requirement, which means gays from across the United States will be able to go there to marry.

While polling on same-sex marriage has been relatively inconsistent, there is clear evidence from virtually all of these polls that the age of the respondent is an important determining factor. What this means is that the passage of time will undoubtedly result in diminished opposition to the granting of full equality to same-sex couples. As this latest poll suggests, the only demographic wherein a majority are opposed to same-sex marriage is the eldest segment of society.

I’m sure all of this news is a disappointment to those leaders of the religious right who have utilized the issue of homosexuality to amass followers and separate them from large sums of money in order fund measures designed to deny rights and recognition to gays. Additionally, their efforts to convince the public that the passage of gay rights will jeopardize the family and compromise morality have been undermined by the experience of cities and states that have afforded a variety of rights to homosexuals.

We’re fast reaching the point at which these religious bigots will need to find a new segment of society to scapegoat in order to manipulate and motivate their followers. At the same time, their predictions that we’re nearing the end of days (rapture rhetoric) hasn’t materialized. At some point, the faithful will have to conclude that they’ve been duped by their dogma driven demagogues. I know I can’t wait for that moment of awareness to arrive.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

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