Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Marriage roundup

The coverage of the California Supreme Court's marriage decision continues to fill the news. The New York Times has an extended piece on what married life is like for same-sex couples four years after Massachusetts granted them the right to marry. Wedded bliss, complications, compromise, infidelity, divorce--it's all there. It reminds me of Dolly Parton's defense of marriage equality when she was asked about her position on the issue: "Hell yes. You people should have to suffer just like the rest of us!"

Earlier in the week, the Pew Research Center released a new poll on same-sex marriage. The results are mixed. The good news of the poll is that while 49% oppose marriage equality, it is the first time the number is below 50%. 38% are supportive. The July 2004 numbers were 56% opposed and 32% supporting.

The bad news is that some groups consider the issue important in the presidential election:

Currently, 41% of Republicans say gay marriage will be very important in their voting decisions, up 14 percentage points since last fall. Notably, about as many Republicans now view gay marriage as very important as did so at the end of the 2004 campaign (41% now vs. 39% then). Similarly, 49% of white evangelical Protestants view gay marriage as very important, up 10 points since last fall and identical to the percentage of white evangelicals who rated gay marriage as very important in October 2004.

Perhaps in part because of numbers like these, a group of national GLBT organizations urged people who go to California from other states in order to marry not to go lawsuit happy when they return to their home states.

The fastest way to win the freedom to marry throughout America is by getting
marriage through state courts (to show that fairness requires it) and state legislatures (to show that people support it). We need to start with states where we have the best odds of winning. When we’ve won in a critical mass of states, we can turn to Congress and the federal courts. At that point, we’ll ask that the U.S. government treat all marriages equally. And we’ll ask that all states give equal treatment to all marriages and civil unions that are celebrated in other states.

In other words, it's going to be a long wait in Tennessee.

No comments: