31 January 2011

Losing battle

The reason that some Conservatives and Evangelical Christians (and Venn diagrammatically, there is near perfect overlap there) are so biliously against gay marriage to the point that they want a Constitutional Amendment outlawing it is, I suspect, because Constitutional Amendments are so hard to undue. That would be the only way to give a ban staying power; they can read headlines and polls and tables as well as I can, and they know they have lost.

Evidence? Headline in tomorrow's NYTimes: "Bush's Daughter Backs Gay Marriage."

This would be W's daughter, the same W. whose wife (as quoted in the article and elsewhere) has said that people in committed loving relationships ought to have the same rights as others. Who else thinks the queers marrying is a pretty good idea in a secular, modern democracy that values fairness and equality? Meghan McCain, Senator McCain's daughter.

And there are many, many, more.

More than 50% of people 18 and over in eight states have given explicit support to gay marriage (in a 2008 poll and study, here). More than 50% of Americans between 18 and 29, in every state in the Union that didn't secede for the right to own black people (plus, it kinda goes without saying, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Utah).

In every state except the hopeless ones, over 50% of people aged 18-29 gave explicit support for gay marriage in a 2008 poll.

So the Evangelical Right knows they've lost. It's not over, by any stretch. First, their voters vote at much higher rates than the 18-29 year olds. And they care more, way more, in the negative than many younger voters in the positive on this issue. And the Evangelical Christians will spend millions of dollars fighting it, and telling lies about what kids are going to have to learn in public schools, and how men will be able to marry their pets if gay marriage passes - but they've lost.

Millions of Americans, like Ms. Bush, have gone to school with out, happy queer folk, have worked with us, have been treated and taught and entertained by us, and these millions of hetero Americans can't imagine that we shouldn't have the same rights that they have.

It's not arguments showing the role of the 14th Amendment, or on the relevance of Brown vs. Board of Education and separate not being equal, for these Americans - it's a decent, human reaction to increased knowledge and familiarity, it's their friends and neighbors, it's reaping the years of all of the coming out. It's the new normal.

From the same study:

"I also think it’s interesting that, even in states that we normally consider quite hostile to gay rights (the ones at the bottom of the table), there is still a significant age difference: 18-29 year-olds in Alabama, for example, are more supportive of gay marriage than people 65 and older in Massachusetts."

It will take years and a lot of money, and I know I'm not writing anything that many others haven't already said, and said better, but the religious right has lost on this issue. The queers are gonna get married. Even in the hopeless states.

Welcome aboard, Ms. Bush.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

While I am somewhat grateful for the Bush and McCain progeny for taking a stand on an issue that it so important to both me and you, I sometimes feel that this is just a way to "soften" their papas' views ("Yes, I don't believe that gays should be allowed to be married, but oh - look here - my wife/daughter does, so I'm not really the hater you think I am.) Do W. or Mc-Can't really care about gay marriage, or letting gays serve in the military? I think probably not, but they say and do what they do because they have to appeal to the ultra-right-wing side of the party that will never be satisfied until every person in this country is straight and Christian. Thankfully, theirs is a losing battle indeed.