An Ugly Map

After the recent gay marriage victory in New York, and polls showing a majority of Americans support gay marriage, it’s easy to forget that there aren’t a lot of places where same-sex couples can get married. This Wikipedia map, which colors those places in various shades of red, is a pretty stark reminder that, geographically, gay marriage has a long way to go. And it may get worse before it gets better. In North Carolina, for example, the legislature just voted to send a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to the voters.

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94 replies
  1. 1
    cmorenc says:

    Most heterosexual folk who have come around to supporting gay marriage have done so in nominal principle, but without any real personal or political investment in the success of that cause, whereas a significant portion of the 47% still “anti” do have some personal and political investment in resisting it. Hetero folk may “support” gay marriage by having some mild tendency overall to support more progressive politicians, but gay marriage is quite a few notches down their list of priorities, whereas it is much higher up the list of those opposing it.

    That goes a long way toward explaining why more states are erecting barriers (and higher ones at that) than are states which are moving toward recognizing it. Also, I’d bet that the 53% who at least nominally support it aren’t evenly distributed across the country, leaving huge areas where the “antis” are in the majority.

  2. 2
    Samara Morgan says:

    @cmorenc:

    aren’t evenly distributed across the country

    Distributed Jesusland hatez teh gay, and they won the House in 2010.
    just like baby jeebus. :)

    jesusland map

    jesusland song

  3. 3

    on the other hand, I look at that map and see huge cracks in an edifice of bigotry. we’ve got a lot of fighting to do, but, essentially, we’ve won.

  4. 4
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This map has the same effect of those precinct-level election maps — unpopulated tracts show up as huge swaths of blood red.

  5. 5
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @cmorenc: If you replace heterosexual/gay/gay marriage with white/black/equal rights, it also explains where we are right now.

  6. 6
    Yevgraf says:

    Hundreds of closeted gay staffers for conservative and glibertarian think tanks, propaganda outlets and GOP congressional offices thank you for your poor interpretation of polls showing soft support, and look forward to the continued sacrifice of progressive economics and public policy on the bourgeois altar of gay marriage.

  7. 7
    jheartney says:

    Two points:

    1. That map is considerably less ugly than a comparable map from ten years ago. Back then gay marriage wasn’t even on the radar. Now it’s just unpopular in the more retrograde regions.

    2. Demographics means that this issue will inexorably shift against the antis as years go by and the older cohort that makes up most of the opposition passes.

    Nate Silver’s analysis not only suggests a timetable for how marriage equality will spread, it even shows evidence that it’s becoming popular faster than expected.

    I suspect this issue will have a dynamic similar to mixed-race marriage, which, a few decades ago, was much less popular than gay marriage is now. Yet over the past few years, mixed-race marriage has quietly become mostly uncontroversial, with the only opposition from a few isolated cranks.

  8. 8
    lol says:

    What do you expect John from the most homophobic administration in history?

    If John Edwards were President, gay marriage would be legal in all 51 states by now.

  9. 9
    Jado says:

    Is there a connection with the areas of the country which have large swaths of sparse population and the bias against gay marriage?

    Is there a desperation on the part of the hetero community in sparsely populated areas that if an “option”** to hetero marriage exists, then heteros might never be married?

    Is it possible that there is a self-delusional component to this bias in that the “last man on earth” might stand a chance if only the gay hottie didn’t have any other choice?

    **Yeah, I know. But large chunks of the populace still think it is optional, regardless of evidence. Just like the other things they believe regardless of evidence (no evolution, no global warming, WMDs in Iraq, etc…)

  10. 10
    MariedeGournay says:

    @lol: And if Leonard Nimoy were the King of Siam, slavery would never have had existed.

  11. 11
    MAJeff says:

    That map is considerably less ugly than a comparable map from ten years ago. Back then gay marriage wasn’t even on the radar. Now it’s just unpopular in the more retrograde regions.

    Actually, it’s not. Of the 29 state constitutional bans, 27 were passed in since 2001.

  12. 12
    The Dude Abides says:

    Holy crap, today’s National Enquirer…not gonna link (Sarah Palin), but wow. She really DOES like basketball…..players.

  13. 13
    liberal says:

    Alexander Cockburn, in a column reprinted in his funny _Corruption of Empire_, humorously asked what a couple Soddomites would do if they had to drive across the US. He noted that they’d encounter that big barrier across the Great Plains.

  14. 14

    Interesting post, mistermix. And encouraging. It’s good to see progress and hope for more in the future.

  15. 15
    NonyNony says:

    @Jado:

    Is there a connection with the areas of the country which have large swaths of sparse population and the bias against gay marriage?

    Small town rural areas are the places where people still might not realize that they know any gay people. There’s a lot of pressure in small towns to stay in the closet when you’re young and get out of dodge ASAP if you’re gay. The thing that has helped the gay community more than anything else has been people coming out of the closets and letting other people know that they’re gay. Historically speaking, it’s easy to hate a faceless group – “The Jews”, “The Irish”, “The Blacks”, “The Gays” – it’s a helluva lot harder to hate “the Jewish guy who manages the dry cleaners” or “the black guy who owns the barber shop” or “the gay guy who works at the garage”. It’s even harder to hate “my sister and her girlfriend” or “my cousin and his boyfriend”. Some folks can maintain that kind of hate, but it’s hard.

  16. 16
    Triassic Sands says:

    @lol:

    If John Edwards were President, gay marriage would be legal in all 51 states by now.

    You mean all 57 states, don’t you, Bozo?

  17. 17
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @The Dude Abides:

    Is it twue what they say about you people being… gifted?

  18. 18
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @The Dude Abides: and blow

  19. 19
    The Dude Abides says:

    @Dennis SGMM:
    Oh it’s twue…. it’s twue…. it’s twue!

  20. 20
    cmorenc says:

    @jheartney:

    I suspect this issue will have a dynamic similar to mixed-race marriage, which, a few decades ago, was much less popular than gay marriage is now. Yet over the past few years, mixed-race marriage has quietly become mostly uncontroversial, with the only opposition from a few isolated cranks.

    You overlook a HUGE difference in the respective legal impediments to interracial marriage vs gay marriage. In Loving v. Virginia (1967) a US Supreme Court with a vastly different composition of justices unanimously held that state laws forbidding interracial marriage were unconstitutional violations of the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.

    What do you think the chances are that the current composition of Justices on the US Supreme Court would issue a similar ruling on state laws forbidding gay marriage? My suspicion is that Justice Kennedy’s support for overturning state criminal anti-sodomy laws might not extend to overturning state definitions of who is eligible for marriage; also, Justice Souter (who voted with Kennedy in the 6-3 decision) is no longer on the court, nor is Sandra Day O’Connor. Justice Sotomayor took Souter’s seat when Souter retired in 2009, but Justice Alito now has O’Connor’s seat.

  21. 21
    lol says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    DC would be a state by now if Obama hadn’t SOLD US OUT.

  22. 22
    Libby's Person says:

    The real lesson of yesterday’s travesty in the NC General Assembly is that elections have consequences. This vote did not signal some sort of shift in how North Carolinians feel about gays; it is the inevitable consequence of the GOP taking control of the General Assembly in the last election. The GOP has been trying to get this through for years, but our 2-house General Assembly was controlled by Dems. Once the GOP got done eviscerating the state budget, they had time to get around to this long-standing item on their ‘to-do’ list.

    The bottom line – Democrats have got to get over their funk and get to work. We’ve got to turn out the vote in 2012 as if it were 2008. It won’t be easy, but this Tarheel intends to do her best!

  23. 23
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yevgraf:

    Hundreds of closeted gay staffers for conservative and glibertarian think tanks, propaganda outlets and GOP congressional offices thank you for your poor interpretation of polls showing soft support, and look forward to the continued sacrifice of progressive economics and public policy on the bourgeois altar of gay marriage.

    Is that statement intended to communicate something? If yes, you may wish to edit it for clarity.

  24. 24
    Yevgraf says:

    @MAJeff:

    Actually, it’s not. Of the 29 state constitutional bans, 27 were passed in since 2001.

    You hush. You’re not allowed to point that out. As long as 1 in 20 well off interior design longtime companions or 1 in 20 70+ year old lesbian couples can’t marry and SHOW EVERYBODY IN THEIR FAMILIES THAT THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT, then nobody is free anywhere.

    Because obviously, all those faithful old black ladies and Catholic union members who faithfully and without reservation pull a straight D ticket for progressive economics will all turn out to vote “NO” on gay marriage bans.

  25. 25
    jibeaux says:

    @Libby’s Person: My depression was heartened a little bit last night by watching facebook friend one after another join the group vowing to defeat the amendment. I’m not saying it’s statistically significant, just that comfort sometimes comes from odd little corners.

    By the end of this decade, I’d really like to see a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to same-sex marriage as an inherent civil liberty put to the voters.

  26. 26
    Cindy Henshaw says:

    @Libby’s Person:

    Hear Hear – I am with you! I campaigned hard for Dems in the 2010 election and had to take a sanity break for a while, but I’m back in. NC is too special a place to surrender to the crazies.

  27. 27
    jibeaux says:

    @Yevgraf:
    You do realize that the gay marriage ban amendments are not getting put on the ballot by Democratic lawmakers, don’t you?

  28. 28
    Yevgraf says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Is that statement intended to communicate something?

    Absolutely. It drips disdain and contempt for the “gay marriage uber alles” focus of the emoprog activist world.

    Among the emoprogs, there’s a lack of understanding of the realities related to soft support of gay marriage, and this translates to electoral catastrophe. In short, they’re picking the wrong hill to die on, steering the Titanic into the iceberg, making the foolish decision to turn their backs on England while sending the Wehrmacht into Russia, winning a set of Pyrrhic victories, etc. The other thing I’m saying is that I’m not convinced that it isn’t a planned strategic screwup, given the preferential demographic among conservative and glibertarian propaganda outlet staffers.

  29. 29
    Davis X. Machina says:

    What about states where there used to be marriage equality? Maine’s legislature passed it, and it was overturned by referendum (the “People’s Veto) before the legislation could come into force.

  30. 30
    cathyx says:

    My 13 year old daughter just asked me last night why gay/lesbians can’t marry. She didn’t understand what the big deal was if they did.
    I think the younger generation is going to change these laws. It’ll just take another 10-20 years. They really don’t care if someone is gay. Some of their friends are or they know someone who is and they like them. They don’t want to see their friends get discriminated against.

  31. 31
    jibeaux says:

    @jibeaux:
    ….on a May primary ballot where there’s no Republican primary.

  32. 32
    Yevgraf says:

    @jibeaux:

    You do realize that the gay marriage ban amendments are not getting put on the ballot by Democratic lawmakers, don’t you?

    Sure. They’re avoiding it like a hot potato, and with good reason.

    Conversely, you do realize that most gay marriage support is soft and comes from people who really don’t give a shit because it has zero effect on them personally, right? And that marriage as a whole is a dying institution, right?

    After all, how many gay and lesbian folks actually want to get married outside the aging, materially prosperous demographics?

  33. 33
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Yevgraf: You are such a weenie!

  34. 34
    cleek says:

    that is an ugly map.

    but a key might help it be a lot less ugly.

  35. 35
    Yevgraf says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    What about states where there used to be marriage equality? Maine’s legislature passed it, and it was overturned by referendum (the “People’s Veto) before the legislation could come into force.

    Obviously, that’s because the population of Maine during a teatard year off election wasn’t nearly as enlightened as California’s population in 2008…/snark

  36. 36
    jibeaux says:

    @Yevgraf:
    Your questions don’t make any sense because they appear to be premised on some idea that liberals around the country are putting the idea to the voters that they should approve of same-sex marriage through referenda and Constitutional amendments, etc. They’re not. They’re having to defend, largely unsuccessfully, the attempts to stop same-sex marriage. The best case scenario here, the “win”, is to retain the status quo, which in NC means the legislative ban on gay marriage and the emergency backup legislative ban on recognizing gay marriages from out of state. No elected liberals, not that we have many, at this point, are attempting to change that, they’re just playing defense, and so is most everyone else. I’m not sure what strategically it is you think they’re doing wrong there.

  37. 37
    Don K says:

    Unfortunately, undoing the last ten years will take a long slog through the state legislatures (plus election campaigns in the states with constitutional amendments), or signature gathering in those states with the initiative, or, at some point, a Supreme Court decision.

    I won’t speak to the situation in any other state, but in Michigan the first option is pretty much a lost cause, because proposing a constitutional amendment requires 2/3 of each house of the legislature, which ain’t gonna happen as long as the DeVos family (Amway) owns the Michigan Republican Party. That leaves option 2, which would require getting a bit over 320,000 valid signatures, followed by an expensive media campaign, with the other side having the unlimited resources of the Catholic, Mormon, and Dutch Reformed churches funding ads saying kindergarten kids will be taught about gay sex and clergy will be tossed into concentration/re-education camps if they refuse to perform same-sex marriages. So no, I’m not optimistic about flipping Michigan anytime soon, no matter what the polls say.

  38. 38
    DZ says:

    @jibeaux:

    There is no direct citizen voting on amendments or anything else at the Federal level. It can be done at the State level but not Federal.

  39. 39
    flamingRedDingo says:

    I’m moving to mexico. Seriously. Queréndaro

    fark all this. I’d rather be in the 3rd world.

  40. 40
    jibeaux says:

    @DZ:
    I’m talking about the state level.

  41. 41
    flamingRedDingo says:

    @cleek: I thought the very same thing…

    Cheers

  42. 42
    Earl Butz says:

    @Yevgraf: I must admit I think you may have a point here. Not a point that I’m real happy to acknowledge, but a point nonetheless.

  43. 43
    Don K says:

    Oh, and let’s not forget there’s also an election next year in MN, in which a constitutional ban will be on the ballot. Another case of the Reps took over the legislature in ’10 and got to this item on the to-do list (well, and constitutional amendments are absurdly easy to propose in MN – majority vote in the legislature in one session).

  44. 44
    Yevgraf says:

    @jibeaux:

    I’m not sure what strategically it is you think they’re doing wrong there.

    Hold up on the feeble expansion attempts, for starters. Like I said, gay marriage is the most fervent wish of a minority fraction of the portion of the populace that self-identifies as gay. Shift effort and attention to the economic side and justice, and shift the activists to work with those old black ladies and Catholic union members who are kicking their asses on gay marriage. Let those folks get to know that gays and lesbians are interested in their causes too (I know, difficult concept in the GLBT universe, but they should try to display more selflessness, something that is perceived to be lacking).

    And for God’s sake, do something about the external affect of the Glibertarian right.

  45. 45
    Libby's Person says:

    @jibeaux:
    I felt just a tiny bit better about things in general on Monday night. I was walking my dog on the nearby University campus and happened upon about 150 people gathering in front of the Chapel. Turned out to be a candlelight vigil against the Amendment. I stuck around to lend support. The good feeling came from surveying the crowd; many same-sex student couples, of course, but a very diverse mix of others as well there to show support and to protest this vote. Including two very serious-looking black gentlemen in crisp suits; I have no idea who they were, but they reminded me of people I know who are church pastors and leaders in the local Black community. It made me happy to watch as the student in her LGBT tee-shirt helped these gentlemen light their candles.

    Universities are very special places.

    And we need to get out the vote to try and defeat this. Democrats have little reason to go to the polls during the May primary, so it’s going to be almost impossible to stop, but a concerted effort in the Triangle could make a difference.

  46. 46
    jibeaux says:

    @Yevgraf: But with precious few exceptions, they’re mostly not. There aren’t 29 state constitutional bans because a bunch of liberal activists went out and tried to get gay marriage enshrined in the state constitution and the result was somehow that the constitution got amended the opposite way instead.

  47. 47
    jibeaux says:

    @Libby’s Person: Yeah, Dook’s not all bad. :)

  48. 48
    jheartney says:

    @MAJeff:

    Actually, it’s not. Of the 29 state constitutional bans, 27 were passed in since 2001.

    The reason they are desperately putting the bans in place is that they know this issue is inexorably turning against them. There never used to be bans because the issue didn’t exist yet. They didn’t bother with bans in the 90’s because nobody thought gay marriage had any possibility of becoming law ANYWHERE.

    But sure, ignore all the evidence of unstoppable demographic shift on this issue, and concentrate on the fact that the anti’s are fighting a doomed rearguard action. Whatever floats your boat.

  49. 49
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Yevgraf:

    You’re making up a cadre of people who don’t exist outside of your fevered imagination. Informed lefties know right down in their bones that marriage is an issue that is left to the states. Period. They also know that no president can wave a magic wand and change over a hundred years’ worth of Constitutional precedent on the issue. If it’s to be changed it’s to be changed via working state-by-state. Some states will never change. Ever. That’s the world in which we live.

    Your bashing the vanishingly small group of “emoprogs” is tedious to me and it gives people who are like-minded with you a great excuse to blame some fifth column for the results of a coming general election that may see our party lose both the presidency and the Senate.

    Me? I’m going to do what I’ve done since 1968. I’m going to knock on doors and phone bank on behalf of Democrats. My efforts didn’t seem to turn the tide for Jimmy Carter, Mike Dukakis, etc., but I’ll keep on keeping on. Try it.

  50. 50
    Yevgraf says:

    @jheartney:

    But sure, ignore all the evidence of unstoppable demographic shift on this issue, and concentrate on the fact that the anti’s are fighting a doomed rearguard action.

    Of course, it helps that the “doomed rearguard action”

    1) Is generally successful;

    2) Always brings out the troops in such numbers to negatively affect other races;

    3) Illustrates divides among those who would be inclined to support progressive economic issues; and

    4) Becomes a great distraction from issues of economic import for the population as a whole.

    So 40 years from now, gay marriage will be legal while senior citizens eat cat food. Whooptie shit.

  51. 51
    Morzer says:

    @Yevgraf:

    Sounds like you have a strategy of cultivating your garden, Yevgraf.

    Mine is simpler: bugger the GOP at every time and place, in every way and with every instrument, natural or artificial, that comes to hand.

  52. 52
    Scamp Dog says:

    @flamingRedDingo: Why move? We’re getting closer to third world status all the time!

  53. 53
    jibeaux says:

    @Yevgraf: I am very discouraged by politicians distracting us from issues of economic import for the population as a whole. That’s why I’m thoroughly disgusted that the REPUBLICANS IN MY STATE HAVE SEEN FIT TO ASK THE VOTERS TO VOTE ON A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FORBIDDING SOMETHING THAT IS ALREADY FORBIDDEN THREE DIFFERENT WAYS INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THE DAMN ECONOMY OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. The Republicans really disgust me with this cynical ploy. I am really disappointed that the Republicans don’t have anything better to focus on right now.

    And with that, I will stop yelling at this stone wall of obtuseness.

  54. 54
    beergoggles says:

    And it may get worse before it gets better.

    Umm no, this is as worse as it can get. It’s just ponies and rainbows from here. All the hate states have blown their load (with Minnesota and NC to go this coming election season). All that’s left is to win.

    I keep wondering whether all these amendments will convince Justice Kennedy to give LGBTs suspect class status when the shit hits SCOTUS. If it convinces Kennedy, we’ve won.

  55. 55
    John M says:

    Indiana is in a similar position to North Carolina, although a couple of years behind. Indiana’s legislature passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage this year. To amend the Indiana constitution, an amendment must be passed by “consecutively elected” legislatures (i.e., it has to be passed again in 2013 or 2014 by the legislature elected in November 2012) and then will be placed on the next general election ballot. In all likelihood, Indiana will be voting on the amendment in 2014. I am pessimistic but not hopeless. As we all know, public acceptance of such unions is growing and isn’t going to reverse itself. If I had to bet, I would say it the ban will pass, but on the other hand, if someone had told me in 2004 that an African-American named Barack Hussein Obama would be the candidate who would turn Indiana blue for the first time since 1964, I wouldn’t have believed that, either.

  56. 56
    beltane says:

    @jibeaux: The economy in North Carolina must be really booming if people there have nothing to concern themselves with besides legislating away other people’s marriages. Geez, I wish I had such an easy life that I felt compelled to fill the void with obsessing over the personal lives of total strangers.

  57. 57
    Ben Cisco says:

    @jibeaux: Hell, yes, THIS. These sad-sack wastes of protoplasm have done nothing but try to hamstring Gov. Perdue (with varying degrees of success) and make absolute asses out of themselves (Mission Accomplished!); can’t wait to see what comes down the pike when the DNC shows up next summer.

  58. 58
    Ben Cisco says:

    @beltane: Some areas are doing “fair-to-middling”; others, such as the manufacturing sector up around Hickory, not so much.
    __
    The areas where the NeoConfederates are running amok have a target-rich environment of un- and underemployed people, all the easier to gin up ‘gainst the libruls.
    __
    As a certain Jedi who once fell from grace said, “All too easy.”

  59. 59
    beltane says:

    @Ben Cisco: Yes, I’m sure that when they ban gay marriage all the jobs will come back. And if they don’t come back I’m sure these geniuses will find a new group of people to blame their troubles on. I would guess that the areas which are doing fair-to-middling are in the bluer areas of the state. Too bad it will never dawn on the idiots that social conservatism breeds poverty like a swamp breeds mosquitoes.

  60. 60
    jibeaux says:

    I’m no fan of Bank of America, but their world headquarters are in Charlotte and they were not shy about promoting their domestic partner benefits after this announcement came out. Good for them.

  61. 61
    RalfW says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This map has the same effect of those precinct-level election maps—unpopulated tracts show up as huge swaths of blood red.

    Texas ain’t exactly unpopulated. Nor is Arizona, Florida, Virginia, Georgia or a number of other deep maroon states that bar marriage and many other recognitions.

    For FSM’s sake these people say it’s to protect marriage, but they can’t even stand teh gays holding hands in hospital rooms! They’re awful bigots and I’m bracing for the fight here in Minnesota.

    I know Minnesota and much of the prairie states seem like flyover country – but there’s million and millions of people here. A lot of lives and a lot of liberty is at stake.

  62. 62
    John X. says:

    I’m in North Carolina and this, combined with the current GOP assault on K-12 and higher education, may end up hurting this state far more than anyone yet realizes. Between Charlotte and the Research Triangle, there are hundreds of major international corporations based in North Carolina.

    The state has gone to great lengths to portray itself as a moderate, progressive place to both do business and raise a family. There are already reports of major corporations taking a pass on locating at the RTP solely because of the antics of the GOP legislature.

    The next shoe will be existing corporations deciding that its time to move to more friendly climates. These are high paying, international firms, so they aren’t chasing low-wage, unskilled employees like a lot of firms that base themselves in the South.

    And the gay bashing matters because these companies do not want to have defend the angry rubes when attracting talent. Hate is ugly, and I know from experience that it is hard enough to get people to move to the South without headlines about how the good people of the state hate gays.

    And Yevgraf is the type of liberal that prompted MLK to write this:

    “First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

  63. 63
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Why isn’t gay marriage MANDATORY in all 58 states Obama bots??? Obama sold us out!!!

    Just think, the hunting and killing of the teh gay for sport was LEGAL in San Fransisco only 30 years ago. Now they are desperately trying to set up legal firewalls to stop gays from settling down in public, monogamous, long term relationships.

  64. 64
    cmorenc says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    If you replace heterosexual/gay/gay marriage with white/black/equal rights, it also explains where we are right now.

    This parallel unfortunately isn’t remotely as compelling to most people as gay rights advocates think it should be (including a great many hetero folk who nominally claim to be “for” gay marriage). The analogy that discrimination against gay folk in employment/housing == past discrimination against blacks is much easier for most folks to grasp viscerally. This comment isn’t about what *should* be, but rather an observation of the state of how things currently *are* with people’s attitudes.

    This may change over the next decade as experience accumulates that normal hetero society doesn’t go to hell in a handbasket in the states where gay marriage has been recognized, but rather, it turns out to be much ado about very little, less even than a pebble drop in a huge lake in terms of its social impact on most hetero families. Change will come too as the current more tolerant younger generation gradually gains demographic ascendancy over the reactionary old coots. But the barriers the reactionary coots are throwing up will unfortunately retard the pace of legal change, unless we get a different composition on the US Supreme Court than we currently have.

    In summary, the great majority simply isn’t feeling it yet with that analogy, regardless of their nominal support for gay marriage.

  65. 65
    RalfW says:

    a minority fraction of the portion of the populace that self-identifies as gay.

    There’s so much wrong in this pie-stuffing jerkwad’s preciousness that I wish him a long life of terrible restaurant service, tragic haircuts, and a funeral with wilted gladiolas in clashing, wretched colors.

    (And I regret this serving of mincemeat even as I hit Submit)

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @MAJeff:

    Actually, it’s not. Of the 29 state constitutional bans, 27 were passed in since 2001.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot. It’s not as if people in places like Texas have become more fervently anti-gay in the past 10 years. Most states didn’t have explicit bans on gay marriage 10 years ago because it wasn’t even on the radar. Nobody bothers to ban things that they aren’t worried about happening.

    Those inequality amendments are a sign that the forces opposing marriage equality have gone from complacent to scared. That’s not to say they don’t constitute a formidable obstacle to marriage equality, because they certainly do. But it’s important to recognize them as an attempt to block further progress, not as an assault on well established rights.

  67. 67
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Yevgraf:

    So 40 years from now, gay marriage will be legal while senior citizens eat cat food.

    Yes. And what does one have to do with the other?

    What is your strategy to move the people working on their #1 issue, the welfare of their partner and child(ren), onto your #1 issue?

    Your proposed outcome sounds like it could work. That’s why there are now 3 organizations working in the states to create collaboration between LGBT activists and broader progressive issues like immigration, civil liberties and economic justice, organizations that didn’t exist in 2008.

    Are you unaware of this movement? Or are you just looking for a part of the Dem coalition to blame for future electoral losses?

    Your efforts to find a scapegoat while you still have time to affect the outcome are…curious.

    So say more about your plan to move the limited time and money of middle-class gay couples off of what they know they need, and onto what you think they should be doing.

  68. 68
    RalfW says:

    @cmorenc: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the the NC NAACP, gets the connections I think.

    He issued a strong statement opposing the North Carolina proposed amendment (h/t Pam’s House Blend):

    “The NAACP strongly urges you to reject the so-called same sex amendment and any other present or future proposals of constitutional amendments that would permanently deprive any person in our great state of his or her inalienable rights.”

    There it is. The threat to liberty for one is a threat to liberty for all.

  69. 69
    RalfW says:

    @PhoenixRising: Thank you Phoenix.

    And a personal story, if I may. My partner and I travel to Texas (!) several times a year to look after my dad, who has the beginnings of Alzheimer’s, so that his lady friend can have a respite and to hang out with my brother so we can be on the same page/support each other as the family goes through this.

    The notion that gays just want marriage and will let seniors and the poor twist in the wind is very insulting, Yevegraf, and flies in the face of the real, lived experience I see my middle-aged gay and lesbian friends are going through.

    Oh, and for my day job, I’m a community organizer working for racial equity in hiring and workforce for people of color and women working for private contractors who receive state contracts. I can name dozens and dozens of active, engaged progressives in the Twin Cities who are working their asses off for economic rights, health care access, etc. And they’re gay, lesbian and trans people.

    So, mister uniformed shoot-from-the-hip-graf, this fractional minority is actually, in my view, probably working much harder per-capita than our straight progressive allies.

  70. 70
    daveNYC says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    on the other hand, I look at that map and see huge cracks in an edifice of bigotry. we’ve got a lot of fighting to do, but, essentially, we’ve won.

    Are you red-blue colorblind or something? The only thing the southeast hasn’t done is institute organ harvesting of homosexuals.

  71. 71
    Jennifer says:

    @RalfW: I doubt it.

    There are good people of all orientations working hard on all progressive issues. Full stop.

    There are also good people of all orientations working hard on all progressive issues who disagree as to the strategy that should be employed on working towards marriage equality. I’m willing to accept that Yevgraf is one of them who simply doesn’t see things exactly the same way you do. Because I look at that map, and what I see is that the bare majority support for gay marriage is coming from the coasts and a very few oases inland. At the same time I see a map that reflects states won by a lot of Democratic presidential nominees who didn’t end up as president.

    As soon as anyone can tell me how, in the absence of winning the White House again, gay marriage rights are going to be secured in places like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina…in short, states that less than ten years ago put it into their constitutions to outlaw gay marriage with 70%+ support, then I’ll be all ears. Because in the meantime, making that as Yev stated “the hill to die upon” in any of those states will make no difference whatsoever, other than to insure defeat of progressive candidates who champion it. Then who’s going to reverse it? Eh?

    The bottom line is this: gays and lesbians in those states are NOT going to get equality from their fellow citizens any time in the near future. We’re talking a decade or more, minimum. Their only hope of getting equality is via the courts and ultimately the Supreme Court. And they won’t get it there, either, if we end up with a President Perry or Bachmann…which, coincidentally, only becomes more likely if we insist that Obama come out with a full-throated support of gay marriage, which will help him lose places like IN and NC in the next election.

    So instead of getting all butt-hurty and suggesting that clear-eyed realists like Yev are less progressive than thou because they don’t support pyrric “victories” that end up screwing LGBT AND everyone else, please acknowledge that maybe there’s a bit more at play here than a simplistic “right is right!” position can address. Sure, the reality sucks. But that doesn’t mean the people who point out that it is, in fact, the reality ALSO suck. Shooting the messenger isn’t going to turn your losing strategy into a winning one.

  72. 72
    curiousleo says:

    @John X.:

    I’m in North Carolina and this, combined with the current GOP assault on K-12 and higher education, may end up hurting this state far more than anyone yet realizes. Between Charlotte and the Research Triangle, there are hundreds of major international corporations based in North Carolina.

    The state has gone to great lengths to portray itself as a moderate, progressive place to both do business and raise a family. There are already reports of major corporations taking a pass on locating at the RTP solely because of the antics of the GOP legislature.

    The next shoe will be existing corporations deciding that its time to move to more friendly climates. These are high paying, international firms, so they aren’t chasing low-wage, unskilled employees like a lot of firms that base themselves in the South.

    And the gay bashing matters because these companies do not want to have defend the angry rubes when attracting talent. Hate is ugly, and I know from experience that it is hard enough to get people to move to the South without headlines about how the good people of the state hate gays.

    QFT. Though you did forget the lovely redistricting the NCGA just tried (soon coming to a courthouse near you). The damage the current NCGA has done to education in the state is enormous and will bring nothing but misery.

    For those that don’t know, the Jim Black corruption machine (he went to prison) and the other, “smaller” state pol corruption cases illustrate the local politics trump cliche. The local Dem Party had trouble across the state in mid-terms. But the local GOP is overstepping. If they’d been really smart, they would have held off on the uber-crazy for one more election. Now? They’ve only managed to motivate many against them.

  73. 73
    Sasha says:

    I’m sure that the fact that NC went blue in 2008, and that this initiative will bring out the (red-leaning) bigot brigade to the polls in 2012, has nothing to do with the GOP-controlled NC legislature’s decision.

  74. 74
    MAJeff says:

    @Sasha:

    They moved the vote on the amendment away from the general election and put it on the day of the Presidential primary election. Instead of trying to drive voter turnout to defeat Dems, they chose a day when Rep turnout is guaranteed to be higher and put the initiative there to increase support for it….and to get the votes of several legislative Democrats who only agreed to vote for it because it was moved to the primary and away from the general election.

  75. 75
    Peter says:

    @Yevgraf:

    Sorry, but you’re full of it. Gay people fighting for justice and equality are not the cause of our economic woes and we certainly won’t be the cause of starving seniors. Go ahead and blame the gays for everything that’s wrong with out country…but you sound like an idiot. The rest of us are capable of doing more than one thing at a time. You can be a gay activist working for marriage equality AND working for plenty of other issues at the same time. And we didn’t create this situation. The GOP put the issue front and center through ballot initiatives and us horrible gays decided to fight back. So do me a favor and shove it. I don’t need you telling me that I should wait until we’ve solved every other issue before I can be treated equally before the law. You’re clearly part of the problem.

  76. 76
    Yevgraf says:

    @Peter:

    I don’t need you telling me that I should wait until we’ve solved every other issue before I can be treated equally before the law.

    I’ll put it like this, numbnuts – your sacrosanct right to adopt a dying bourgeois institution just so you can slap those hurtful family members didn’t even pop up on the radar until recent history. Don’t even try and pretend that it is now a longterm institution that is under attack. Frankly, gay marriage a boutique issue – heteros are abandoning it in droves and younger gays and lesbians are equally inclined to avoid the long term ramifications of the long term property commitments.

    I’m simply not inclined to sacrifice three more Supreme Court justices, a likely reimposition of some version of DADT, the environment, the losses due to some new wars and the economic well being of everybody else in the country on the altar of a wedding between a pair of wealthy antique dealers.

  77. 77
    John X. says:

    “Frankly, gay marriage a boutique issue – heteros are abandoning it in droves and younger gays and lesbians are equally inclined to avoid the long term ramifications of the long term property commitments.”

    And this is the point where we all realize that this dude is our friendly neighborhood bigot. It’s the “just making shit up” vibe that seals the deal.

    Oh, and will the antique dealers be partying with the young bucks and their welfare steaks? Maybe you can throw in some anti-Arab jibes. Or go all old school and start talking about the International Jewish Conspiracy.

  78. 78
    AA+ Bonds says:

    This North Carolina shit is an ugly surprise and a bad sign. North Carolina is not Alabama, not yet anyway.

  79. 79
    Rihilism says:

    @Jennifer:

    …clear-eyed realists like Yev…

    Are you fucking shitting me? Have you actually read his comments?

    As soon as anyone can tell me how, in the absence of winning the White House again, gay marriage rights …

    So, I’m for gay marriage and for a Democrat as president. Guess I’m supposed shut up about the selfish gay marriage thing (or equal protection or due process) so that the Democratic Party can birth a unity pony and we can all live in consensus-land where all bathe in the glow of economic justice. We shouldn’t talk about it when Democrats are in charge either, cause we don’t want to rock the boat and risk a Republican challenge to our new found utopia.

    But most of all, if any state tries to infringe on our rights, well, then we need to keep quiet and go with the flow, cause if we say we care about gay rights (Gawd forbid we attempt to counter such infringement. Why, oh, why don’t the gays know that’s more trouble than it’s worth? Clearly it’s worth nothing since everyone knows that the majority hetero opinion is soft on the issue and that’s all that matters…), that will be read by some less than generous commentors as a statement of selfishness, an unwillingness to accede to the majority opinion of what are the most important issues we face, a clearly one-track mind incapable of holding multiple opinions (or providing service and coalition outside the cloistered universe that is the gay community) when weighed down with the burden of caring about whether gay rights are protected.

    But that doesn’t mean the people who point out that it is, in fact, the reality ALSO suck.

    True, but sometimes they do, in fact, suck….

  80. 80
    Sasha says:

    @MAJeff:

    So the NC GOP isn’t cynical, they’re actually sincere in their bigotry.

    That’s something I guess.

  81. 81
    Rihilism says:

    I’ll put it like this, numbnuts – your sacrosanct right to adopt a dying bourgeois institution just so you can slap those hurtful family members didn’t even pop up on the radar until recent history.

    I’m simply not inclined to sacrifice three more Supreme Court justices, a likely reimposition of some version of DADT, the environment, the losses due to some new wars and the economic well being of everybody else in the country on the altar of a wedding between a pair of wealthy antique dealers.

    There’s more of your reality, Jennifer. Are you happy with it?…

  82. 82
    Morzer says:

    @Yevgraf:

    I’m simply not inclined to sacrifice three more Supreme Court justices, a likely reimposition of some version of DADT, the environment, the losses due to some new wars and the economic well being of everybody else in the country on the altar of a wedding between a pair of wealthy antique dealers.

    With friends like you, who needs bigotries?

  83. 83
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Jennifer:

    There are also good people of all orientations working hard on all progressive issues who disagree as to the strategy that should be employed on working towards marriage equality. I’m willing to accept that Yevgraf is one of them who simply doesn’t see things exactly the same way you do.

    Well, maybe you’re as ignorant as s/he is, or maybe you are susceptible to facts.

    The fact is, gay couples aren’t throwing the party on marriage equality–we’re the piñata.

    Failing to acknowledge that, and buying the idiotic binary ‘you can either defend your family from political assault OR support Obama’s re-election’, makes you sound like a dupe or an asshole.

    We didn’t pick this fight. The strategy is ‘Resist ballot amendments and continue with a winning court case’. What part of that don’t you like?

    It’s almost over, no thanks to the self-styled liberals who wanted us to curl up and wait for the curb stomping to end, instead of standing up for ourselves as full citizens.

    Trust me, in 20 years, you’ll be pretending you were on the winning side from the jump–so come on over anytime. Our cocktail menu is fab-u-lous.

  84. 84
    MAJeff says:

    It’s almost over, no thanks to the self-styled liberals who wanted us to curl up and wait for the curb stomping to end, instead of standing up for ourselves as full citizens.

    As Yevgraf and Jennifer have shown, there are still plenty of people who prefer the “shut up and get back in yer closets, queers” approach.

  85. 85
    Jennifer says:

    @Rihilism: There you go again, just making shit up.

    If you want to know what I REALLY think about this, I’ve blogged about it at my joint. Here, and before that, here.

    Or don’t look at it and continue to make up fantasies about who I am, just like the ones you’re making up about the best way to get equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. I mean, since my concern is for my gay and lesbian friends here to have the same rights everyone else does, that clearly marks me out as a bigot for not agreeing that making a bunch of noise to rouse the bufords is the best way to go about it, amirite?

    Beyond that, go fuck yourselves, you holier-than-thou total dumbasses. You couldn’t strategize your way out of a fucking cardboard box. It’s a good thing that people smarter than you know the score; otherwise LGBT people in Redneckistan will never get any rights. But that ain’t as important as you being able to lord it over all about how much purer you are than everyone else, now, is it?

    Also, too: you can tell us any time now about your masterful plan to get the good folks of Texas to approve a ballot initiative granting equal marital rights to gays and lesbians. Funny how all of you who “know” just how this needs to be done haven’t come up with a winning strategy for making that happen.

  86. 86
    Peter says:

    @Yevgraf:
    I understand perfectly what you’re saying. It’s just that, IMHO, your point is ridiculous. Unlike yourself, I won’t presume to make generalizations about you since I don’t know you and don’t care to know. I’m not a hairdresser, antiques dealer, interior decorator, or any other stereotype that you can come up with. I’m not wealthy. My family is loving and supportive. And, most importantly, I could give a flying f**k about the institution of marriage. But my partner and I, who’ve been together for 12 years, have no legal protections. Marriage is the only path to those protections. It’d be great if this country could see fit to divorce legal protections for couples from marriage, but it hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen in my lifetime. So if marriage is the only path to these protections, then I have the right to get married for said protections. And I’m really, really sorry if, in your mind, my demand for equality before the law–which has NOTHING to do with marriage, other than the fact that our government requires that you to be married to enjoy these protections and benefits–somehow prevents the brilliant Democrats from unparalleled success in magically restoring the economy, giving every senior citizen a pot of gold for life, and solving the issue of climate change overnight. It’s not an either-or situation, so get out of that binary trap.

  87. 87
    Peter says:

    @Jennifer:
    Wow, Jennifer. before you go balls to wall, maybe you should reread what Rihilism actually wrote. If you think Yevgraf is a clear-eyed realist, then you really should try to get out more…or at least read Langston Hughes’s poem “Democracy.”

  88. 88
    Jennifer says:

    @Peter: As much as you might wish otherwise, what Yevgraf spelled out in terms of political reality is correct. Do I agree with him that gay marriage is a “boutique issue”? No. But that doesn’t make him any less right about the fact that, currently, gay marriage is a LOSER as a national issue, and a LOSER in most regions. That’s what the map says, too.

    That being the case, what is to be gained by trying to promote it as an election issue nationally or in those regions where it’s a loser? Seriously, what’s the political goal there, other than “it makes me feel good to be on the right side?” Is there any chance that DOMA repeal will pass congress in its current makeup? No. Is there any chance it will help the president, who cannot all by himself change the picture on gay marriage nationally, win re-election? No. Is there a chance that it will motivate the haters to go out and vote against you? Yes, just like they did in 2004. Nothing to gain; everything to lose. Just so people can feel that their purity is intact? Fuck that noise; I’m more concerned about my gay friends here in Arkansas getting their rights than I am about you feeling good in your purity. The sad fact is that at this moment in time, those two things exist in direct opposition.

    THAT is the fucking reality of the moment. I’m not asking anyone to “sit down and shut up”, but at the same time, if you’re going to sit there and insist I’m a homophobe bigot for pointing out that this reality makes gay marriage not the best issue to promote in electoral politics if we want to continue making any progress at all, then fuck you.

    There is ONLY one way to marriage equality nationwide that is currently feasible, and that’s through the courts. That being the case, there doesn’t seem to be much of a point in trying to elevate it as an electoral political issue. Sorry if that hurts anyone’s deeply ingrained sense of being purer than me.

  89. 89
    Rihilism says:

    There you go again, just making shit up.

    Did I make up your support of clear-eyed realists like Yev? You hitched your wagon to that clusterfuck, not me, sister.

    If you want to know what I REALLY think about this, I’ve blogged about it at my joint. Here, and before that, here.

    I’ve really no interest in hearing any more of your patronizing drivel nor do I wish to subscribe to your news-letter…

    It’s a good thing that people smarter than you know the score; otherwise LGBT people in Redneckistan will never get any rights.

    Whew! stinky, please use the toilet next time you want to take a dump…

  90. 90
    Jennifer says:

    @Rihilism: Yes, your witty ripostes and once again spelling out that you already know it all is what recommends you so highly for plotting out political strategy.

    Get back to me when you’ve figured out how your strategy is going to give my friends in Redneckistan the right to marry. I won’t hold my breath waiting on that, because little poopy jokes seem to be more your speed.

  91. 91
    Rihilism says:

    Yes, your witty ripostes and once again spelling out that you already know it all is what recommends you so highly for plotting out political strategy.

    Knows all, sees all, the mighty Rihilism has spoken!

    I won’t hold my breath waiting on that, because little poopy jokes seem to be more your speed.

    You’re are correct, ma’am, hetero support for poop jokes is soft…

  92. 92
    Jennifer says:

    @Rihilism: In other words, you got nuthin’.

  93. 93
    Rihilism says:

    @Jennifer:

    My sincerest apologies. I mistakenly assumed we were taking turns spouting nonsense…

  94. 94
    Peter says:

    @Jennifer:
    I’m too old for this. Did I get snarky in the 2 short sentences in the comment to you? Yes. Did I freak out on you and repeatedly tell you go fuck yourself? Um, no. I am well aware of the political reality in this country. As a gay, Jewish person, I’m more aware than you’ll ever know. Where I grew up, I don’t know if I had the shit beaten out of me more for being gay or being Jewish. So spare me your foul-mouthed patronizing bullshit. And, frankly, all I see you doing is whining about the gays are ruining EVERYTHING for Obama and the Democrats.

    As far as accusing me of insisting that you’re a “homophobe bigot.” Please do go back and tell me where I said or intimated any such thing. The lady doth protest too much, methinks!

    Finally, I have ZERO sense of being purer than you. Again…what’s with the putting words in my mouth, huh? If equality is such a losing issue, then why bother fighting for it? How exactly are you helping to “get” your “gay friends” their “rights”? How do you think it will happen? Are you out there trying to change the minds of the “I would vote for the Democrats except for this whole gay wedding thing” church ladies and union workers to which your BFF Yev lovingly refers?

    I never said anything about gay marriage being or not being the best issue to promote in electoral politics. Or whether it’s a winning or losing issue. Your friend Yev hurled insult after insult, which totally obscured the issue you so rabidly are going on about. I don’t know. Maybe you didn’t actually read what he wrote…or what any of us have written for that matter. Your reactions to some of the comments here are so beyond what’s necessary that one has to wonder.

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