CNN poll: 52% say gays should have a constitutional right to marry

posted at 2:22 pm on August 11, 2010 by Allahpundit

Note the distinction. Ask people whether gays should have the right and you get a 52/46 split. Ask them whether gays do have the right — which of course was the point of Walker’s due process and equal protection rulings in the Prop 8 case — and it shrinks to 49/51, which is still a thinner margin than when Gallup polled a similar question just two months ago. It’s hard to draw strong lessons from a three-point swing, which is within the margin of error, but it does point towards the possibility that you’re more likely to build public consensus by taking the incrementalist approach and letting legislatures create rights than having courts divine them from the Constitution.

And as I’ve said before, given the demographic background, it won’t be long before plenty of legislatures are willing to comply.

Forty-nine percent of respondents think gay and lesbian couples have the constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law, while 51 percent say those rights do not exist.

The gap widens dramatically when age is taken into account. Nearly six in ten Americans under the age of 50 say gay rights are protected under the Constitution. Only 38 percent of Americans over the age of 50 say the same thing.

“This is one of the few instances when independents side with one party rather than falling in between the Dems and the GOP,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “56 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Independents think the Constitution conveys the right to marry to same-sex couples. Only a quarter of all Republicans agree.”

On the question of whether gays should have the right to marry, the under 50 crowd splits 61/39 while the 50 and older group splits 41/56. More from Jonathan Rauch, who’s not only a gay marriage supporter but a partner in a gay marriage himself — and yet underwhelmed by Walker’s decision.

Burke, a British contemporary of Madison’s, was the founder of modern conservatism.

Though he was no reactionary, he believed that utopianism and perfectionism, however well intended, should never displace reasonable caution in making social policy. It’s much easier to damage society, he pointed out, than to repair it…

I think [Walker's] decision is a radical one, but not, ironically, as it pertains to homosexuality or to marriage. No, Walker’s radicalism lies elsewhere: In his use of the Constitution to batter the principles of its two greatest exponents – Madison and Abraham Lincoln, a Burkean who was steadfast in his belief that ideals must be leavened with pragmatism.

History will, I believe, vindicate Walker’s view of marriage. Whether it will see him as having done gay rights a favor is less clear. For all its morally admirable qualities, his decision sets the cause of marriage equality crosswise with moderation, gradualism and popular sovereignty. Which, in America, is a dangerous place to be.

Elsewhere in the CNN poll, fully 68 percent say they oppose the Ground Zero mosque. Between that result and the one on gay marriage, does that mean we’ve got majority support for the Greg Gutfeld gay bar?


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The love that won’t shut up for five frakkin’ minutes.

ZK on August 12, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Why should gays have a constitutional right to marriage? Nobody else does.

cheeflo on August 12, 2010 at 12:24 PM

MadisonConservative on August 11, 2010 at 5:13 PM

But you can learn to love and appreciate just about anyone…given that marriages use to be arranged, eventually the couple learned to love and appreciate their spouse, even if it wasn’t their “love” at the start.

In any case, I am now convinced that the state needs to get out of the marriage business and keep it a religious institution

Conservative Voice on August 12, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Here is something written by commentor Occam’s Beard over at
http://neoneocon.com/ that I am in agreement with and find very well written.

As an atheist, I take religious strictures generally as prescriptions on how to live and build a healthy society, overlain with mysticism. Strip away the mysticism, and the prescriptions are still generally sound. Pigs carry trichinosis? Don’t eat pork. Live in a hot climate without refrigeration? Don’t eat filter feeders (e.g., shellfish). Those strictures are now obsolete, but were sound. Others remain in force. Want a cohesive society? Don’t steal. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t commit murder. Want a physically healthy society? Don’t engage in incest, bestiality, or homosexuality, which weaken society by promoting genetic defects, zoonoses, and STDs.
Religious teachings on how to comport oneself represent the distilled wisdom of millennia (e.g., the Golden Rule), and are not to be discarded lightly. (And this from an atheist!)

(As an aside, do people seriously think that religious prohibitions against these things arose from theoretical considerations? I don’t. I presume that each of these prohibitions represents hard-won knowledge, ruefully obtained in the School of Sad Experience.)

Count to 10 on August 12, 2010 at 2:02 PM

mountainaires on August 12, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Are you missing the whole “Activist judges forcing policies on the public in abuse of their limited power” angle of this whole thing?

Count to 10 on August 12, 2010 at 2:05 PM

And clearly only gays are promiscuous and overloading our social services with children born out of those filthy lustful urge…wait.

Promiscuity is about the stupidest argument one could use, instantly rebutted heterosexually by any Saturday night in any given town, or any MTV series.

tree hugging sister on August 11, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Thank you. +1000

Shambhala on August 12, 2010 at 2:49 PM

And clearly only gays are promiscuous and overloading our social services with children born out of those filthy lustful urge…wait.cases of HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B&C and all their other STDs.

tree hugging sister on August 11, 2010 at 3:18 PM

FIFY.

Jenfidel on August 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Are you missing the whole “Activist judges forcing policies on the public in abuse of their limited power” angle of this whole thing?

Count to 10 on August 12, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Thanks for bringing the real problem back up!

While this thread has gone on now for 6 cyber pages about the inherent “goodness and rightness” of same sex marriage, you are among the few who has highlighted the actual issue.

Jenfidel on August 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM

gays are promiscuous and overloading our social services with children born out of those filthy lustful urge…wait.cases of HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B&C and all their other STDs.

tree hugging sister on August 11, 2010 at 3:18 PM

FIFY.

Jenfidel on August 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I read a statistic a while back that said that 40% of 18-24 year-old had herpes. Are those just the gay 18-24 year-olds?

Im 45. Gay. Ive had FOUR sexual partners in my life.

How many of you have had?

Everyone that I know that has EVER had an STD, was straight.

Thanks for bringing the real problem back up!

Jenfidel on August 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Of course to you he would be an activist – he made a decision you vehemently disagree with. Im guessing the same could be said of lost of other judges that decided that the “will of the people” wasnt in keeping with the law.

I suspect that will be your battle cry regardless, as long you dont get what you want.

Too bad.

your_worst_enemy on August 12, 2010 at 4:21 PM

How many of you have had?

your_worst_enemy on August 12, 2010 at 4:21 PM

The woman thinks oral is a dirty word, so I’d believe her if she’d said she had less, including 0.

Esthier on August 12, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6