April 7, 2009

Override: Congratulations, Vermont

I'll take a chance with copyright and quote the first line of the article in full: "Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature’s vote." The video is of the debate on the issue and the roll-call vote of the Vermont House to override Governor Douglas' bizarre veto.

Cumulated, more than 13.5 million people live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont, the four states that have extended marraige equality. That is about 4.5% of the population of the United States, or in other words, one in twenty-two Americans lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage. Watch carefully over the next few years, as nothing bad happens in any of those states because of this.

Speaking of Iowa, here is video of the leader of the Iowa Senate Majority Leader explaining why despite Prop. 8 in California, recognition of same-sex marriage is ultimately inevitable:

Nate Silver at 538 has run a statistical model showing that all other things being equal, by 2024, all 50 states would vote against a same-sex marriage ban. He's got his statistical projections close to dead-on right on a bunch of other stuff, so I'm inclined to view this with tentative acceptance, although it appears to me he should have amalgamated Mormons into the "evangelical" segment of his model.

1 comment:

trumwill said...

I'm skeptical. As more states start allowing for it, other states are going to harden their stances against it. All things won't remain equal in that regard.

I would also add that Utah will almost certainly be among the last hold-outs. Mormons are in a way more conservative than Evangelicals because they are more likely to practice what they preach and their church keeps the reigns on tighter. Idaho will likely be at the tail end, too, because it also has a significant Mormon population. Even most liberal-minded Mormons I know are not liberal at all on that subject. And even when the population does shift in favor of gay marriage, the voting population will lag behind because Mormons are so much more politically active. The best hope for either of those states is to stuff SLC and Boise with a whole lot of outsiders.

I do agree that it will shift, though. And even before they lose their majority, the Republicans in charge are likely to back off the issue for appearance sake. The same way that their leaders have difficulty articulating the position of the party ranks on immigration and affirmative action, they will have trouble with gay marriage (and similar issues), too.