Gallup: Majority would support federal law legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, 52/43

posted at 7:51 pm on July 29, 2013 by Allahpundit

Note well: It’s not 52/43 in favor of legalizing gay marriage. It’s 52/43 in favor of requiring, as a matter of federal statute, that gay marriage be permitted even in states where a majority oppose it. In other words, you’ve got majority support here for the anti-DOMA. Something to bear in mind come 2016, when inevitably some socially conservative GOP candidate will start talking about a Federal Marriage Amendment again. At this point, the public’s likelier to support an FMA that makes gay marriage legal as a matter of constitutional law than an FMA that outlaws it.

The most arresting data point here, for my money, is that Catholic support for a gay-marriage mandate is running at 60 percent, considerably higher than support among U.S. adults generally. I don’t know how Pope Francis’s comments this morning will play with Catholics abroad but they should be just fine here.

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Any reason to question the topline 52/43 number? Actually, yes. When Gallup polled the question of gay marriage more generally back in May (i.e. asking whether SSM should be legal, not whether there should be a federal statute requiring it in all 50 states), they got a nearly identical 53/45 split. I would have guessed that reframing that question in terms of whether federal law should require its legalization would have brought out the federalist in some gay-marriage supporters and knocked the overall level of support below 50 percent. Not so. There’s barely any fall-off when you phrase it in terms of a federal mandate. That makes me think either (a) there are very, very few sticklers for federalism on this subject in the population or (b) support for SSM actually jumped several points between May and today (maybe to the high 50s) and thus the 52 percent support we’re seeing for a mandate really does represent a considerable fall-off. That’s not implausible, actually, given that we had a major Supreme Court decision on DOMA and Prop 8 in the interim. Maybe support for gay marriage spiked after SCOTUS struck down part of DOMA and that’s why even the prospect of a federal mandate leaves support above 50 percent.

Would a federal statute imposing gay marriage would sit better or worse with social conservatives than a Supreme Court ruling imposing it as a matter of equal protection? (Never mind the fact for this thought experiment that Congress’s constitutional authority to legislate on marriage is dubious.) Presumably it’d be slightly better: A statute can be repealed and/or its supporters replaced whereas a SCOTUS ruling requires a change in Court membership, which can take decades. And a statute would have some democratic legitimacy as an expression of the will of the national majority even if it’s viewed as a usurpation of the will of the state majority. Lefty blogger Digby phrases it this way: It’s one thing to say that legalizing gay marriage is a matter of majority will versus minority rights, but what if the (national) majority opposed to it is now a minority itself? Then it’s minority rule versus minority rights happen to be supported by the (national) majority. Regardless, the real significance of this, I think, is that it’ll embolden Anthony Kennedy and the Court’s liberals the next time the issue comes before them to mandate gay marriage nationally under the Equal Protection Clause. Ginsburg has worried in the past that the Court, as it did in Roe, shouldn’t be quick to take a hot-button social issue out of the public’s hands lest it embitter and entrench the opposition. The lesson for her and Kennedy in this poll is that most of the public would be okay with risking that. Not a deciding factor, but a data point the next time they rule.


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Supremely Gay

Bmore on July 30, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Effectively, single parent households are more dependent on government and government becomes more powerful. The state now has more of a stake in breaking up families than the do in keeping them together.

This is the same reason that the State under Obama and the left have been intentionally impoverishing the middle class. As Glenn Reynolds says, “They’ll Make Us All Beggars Cause We’ll Be Easier To Please ”

The left enjoys its large scale graft of course, but there is a larger plan to the ongoing looting of the nation.

18-1 on July 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM

I would add one thing as well. The government has done nothing to nurture marriage and has done everything to destroy marriage over the last 50 years. Effectively, single parent households are more dependent on government and government becomes more powerful. The state now has more of a stake in breaking up families than the do in keeping them together.

melle1228 on July 30, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I agree. The progressives at the turn of the previous century were quite clear that there should not be *any* institutions, including marriage, between the citizen and the state. The left’s policies are anti-family as it seeks to install the state as father/mother/provider/caregiver.

gwelf on July 30, 2013 at 12:20 PM

We’re to believe that 52% of people polled are in favor of gay marriage? Yet, when states have voted on this very issue, 31 states have voted against gay marriage. Only 11, not including California since activist judges changed their vote, accept gay marriage.

This poll is B.O.G.U.S.

moonsbreath on July 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Break out the Depends! There’s going to be a lot of homosexual sex out there.

CrustyB on July 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Catholic in name only.

Of all the Christian denominations, Catholicism is the biggest joke. Pelosi is “Catholic” as well. Catholics stand for nothing, and are as morally trendy as the GOP. I would be embarrassed to call myself one.

This whole debate is nothing but a symptom of a degenerating society. When the sh1t hits the fan, priorities will realign again and the “rights” of those with a certain birth defect will be forgotten.

ClassicCon on July 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Judge not lest ye be judged yourself. Do I have to tell you who said that? That’s right, the Big J. James Hetfield. “Holier than Thou” off the Black album.

*guitar solo*

Seriously though, unclench your sphincter dude. God hates a sourpuss.

Dash on July 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

It’s “a random sample of 2,027 adults” according to Gallup.

Murf76 on July 30, 2013 at 9:42 AM

0.0007% of the population. Yeah, this poll is absolutely meaningless (but don’t let RWM hear you say that; you might get a cricket wicket up your arse).

Nutstuyu on July 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM

The Church is fine, the abusers have been there since Christ hand-picked Judas Iscariot–a bishop.

Don L on July 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

I think you mean apostle.

Nutstuyu on July 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I think you mean apostle. Nutstuyu on July 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Acts 1:

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

Akzed on July 30, 2013 at 3:57 PM

I think you mean apostle.
Nutstuyu on July 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I posted Bible verses, Acts 1:16-20 (KJV), that is now in moderation for some reason. Maybe AP’s in the can. Anyhow, v. 20 says that Judas’ “bishopric,” or episcopacy, was to be taken by another.

Akzed on July 30, 2013 at 4:05 PM

The poll is scarier than any social implication. It goes to show just how dead the Constitution is out there, not to mention the lack of any real education. The 10th Amendment is there for a reason, the feds have no business, one way or the other, in social matters. The Framers wisely left that up to the local level. Don’t like it, work to vote those responsible out or move. Simple. Effective. The”new” way of doing things(courts and federal dictates) is messy, destructive, divisive and extremely prone to abuse by demagogues.

TQM38a on July 30, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Yet, when states have voted on this very issue, 31 states have voted against gay marriage. Only 11, not including California since activist judges changed their vote, accept gay marriage.

This poll is B.O.G.U.S.

moonsbreath on July 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

And most of those 11 only “accept” it because a politician did it for them. Let the people vote on it, and you would see even more against than “for”.

Sterling Holobyte on July 30, 2013 at 4:20 PM

This poll is B.O.G.U.S.

moonsbreath on July 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Yup. This “poll” is there simply to embolden those who want forced acceptance of perversion legislated, and to discourage and dishearten those who know better. Don’t let them.

Sterling Holobyte on July 30, 2013 at 4:26 PM

In order to ask my question.
blink on July 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Then it’s fair and valid for those asking to define their terms so that both parties are speaking the same language.

Cleombrotus on July 30, 2013 at 4:46 PM

It is not a recent position. Maybe, you should do some legal research???

Resist We Much on July 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I don’t need to do “legal research” in order to understand what the Constitution says. It’s one of the great fallacies of our time that the Constitution is some hugely complex document that we need legal scholars to interpret for us. I advocate following the black letter text of the Constitution, no more, no less.

The Constitution’s full faith and credit clause says nothing about a public policy exception. Ergo, no such exception exists. The fact that courts have declared it so does not make it so.

But, then again, I’m one of those luddites who would tell you that since the first amendment says “Congress shall make no law…” that none of those restrictions apply to the states, regardless of what the court has said about the “incorporation doctrine.”

Shump on July 30, 2013 at 6:21 PM

It’s one of the great fallacies of our time that the Constitution is some hugely complex document that we need legal scholars to interpret for us.

Shump on July 30, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Ah, but what kind of fallacy is it?

/Armin Tamzarian

Dunedainn on July 31, 2013 at 1:05 AM

I don’t trust these polls and I am not sure why they are now taken and pushed on American Citizens. When people were given the chance to vote on this subject they voted against it and no vote has been taken to show a change. Corrupt Judges, special interest groups and Politicians cared little for what the majority wanted then, but now we are supposed to believe that the majorities opinions now matter? They must think that all of the brainwashing, threats and branding opponents as bigots has finally paid off and they have won the debate.

SGinNC on July 31, 2013 at 11:33 AM

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