October 23, 2008

Could Barack Obama Make Proposition 8 Pass?

Here's the logic. Obama has particular appeal to non-white voters. Non-white voters tend to be more religious (read: more Christian, although not necessarily the case) than white voters. Religiously active voters are much more likely to support Prop. 8 because they believe that their religion's condemnation of homosexuality must necessarily translate into opposing same-sex marriage. Thus, a large turnout for Barack Obama, a liberal candidate, could produce a more conservative result on this issue than would otherwise be expected.

It's not bad logic. And the latest poll shows passage, or defeat, within the margin of error. The proponents have launched a very effective campaign, one which features video of Gavin Newsom saying that same-sex marriage was here "whether you like it or not." Bad choice of phrase, Mr. Mayor. Right now, it looks too close to call.

Many of my neighbors have "Yes on 8" signs on their front yards. This is a conservative area and so that is not all that surprising. I've a pretty good idea of how things are slanting in the Bay Area, something on the order of 9-1 for "no." I'm pretty sure the Central Valley is going to be mostly "yes" votes. I didn't get out and about in Santa Monica at all during my recent trip there, so I don't know what Santa Monicans are posting. Or San Diegans. Or Santa Barbarans.

Nevertheless, it astonishes me to see so many people with signs saying "Protect Marriage." My marriage doesn't need protection from gays and lesbians. We've even had a gay couple over for dinner; they were perfectly nice young men and after dinner and drinks with them, I was still heterosexual and so was my wife. But maybe I'm blessed with a marriage strong enough to withstand the hazards caused by the mere existence of gay people we don't know being able to be co-owners of an insurance policy.

UPDATE: November 5, 2008: I've crunched some numbers and I conclude that this did happen and it is 55% responsible for Prop. 8 passing.

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