Friday, September 30, 2005

Gay marriage in California

So Schwarzenegger vetoed the California gay marriage bill today, as expected. But I want to point out that the argument that "the voters have spoken in Prop. 22, the legislature shouldn't overturn that" just doesn't work. Public opinion is shifting toward support for gay marriage very quickly.

Two polls by the Public Policy Institute of California:
  • February 2000 (pdf, pg 7): Likely voters are 57% against gay marriage, 38% for gay marriage. Proposition 22 passed the following month with 61.4% of the vote, suggesting either that people underreported anti-gay bias to pollsters or that the undecideds swung decisively for the ban on gay marriage.

  • August 2005 (pdf, pg 17): Likely voters are evenly split 46% to 46% on gay marriage.
That's a lead of almost 20% cut down to zero! Proposition 22 would probably still pass today because of the undecideds or a tendency to underreport anti-gay bias, but the gap is rapidly narrowing. Soon the day will come when California voters decisively approve of gay marriage, either in rejecting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage (Prop. 22 was an initiative, not an amendment) or in overturning Prop. 22.


Anonymous Jim said...

Another reason that line doesn't work is that the legislature, in theory, is the main way the people speak. to do his citizenship exam. Sheesh, send him back third reason is, as you point out, that the people change their mind.

10/09/2005 04:21:00 AM  
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