January 4, 2010

SOME THINGS JUST AREN'T DONE...DEMOCRATICALLY:

The People's Veto: Why gay marriage failed in Maine (Sean Higgins, 1/04/10, Catholic World Report)

In the days leading up to Maine’s gay marriage vote on November 3, it seemed like a big, possibly momentous, shift in American culture was about to take place, one that could give major momentum to the gay rights movement.

All the major outlets reported that it was close. “Most polls suggest the electorate is evenly divided on the issue,” reported the Los Angeles Times. The Washington Post breathlessly told readers, “Public opinion polls in Maine show a dead heat.” It followed that with a quote from Maine Governor John Baldacci, a Democrat, who explained that, “I believe it is something in the water or the air in this state that recognizes individual rights and anti-discrimination.”

Nate Silver, a pollster for the popular political website fivethirtyeight.com, wrote that “the grassroots energy has been reversed, with the pro-gay marriage side feeling more emboldened than traditional marriage groups. This is true both outside the state of Maine and within it.”

On election night, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was positively giddy. He explained that a victory for gay rights groups in Maine would be “a big cultural change. Every time voters have spoken—every time—they have rejected gay marriage. But this shows the country is changing.” Apparently nobody told the Maine voters about their historic role.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 4, 2010 5:36 PM
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