Friday, July 21, 2006

Badger Poll XXII: Maybe Bush Would Be More Popular If He Were Gay

by Tom Bozzo

The results are in from Badger Poll XXII, and George W. Bush is testing the Cheesehead Mendoza Line:
GWB04 How would you rate the job George W. Bush is doing handling foreign policy? Excellent,
good, fair or poor?
Excellent 6.5%
Good 19.3%
Fair 24.6%
Poor 48%
Uncooperative/Indecisive 0.8%
Yes, folks! This means that more Wisconsinites approve of gay marriage than think the fondler-in-chief is doing a good job:
GAY07 Moving on to a different topic... Do you approve or disapprove of laws allowing homosexual people to marry members of their own sex?
Approve 39.4%
Disapprove 54.2%
Uncooperative/Indecisive 6.4%
Some of the details suggest why the gay marriage banning thing is being taken up now. Dog bites man, I know, but the answers are (a) perceived short-term political advantage and (b) it's now or never: the young'uns aren't afraid of teh gay. Among respondents under age 30, 57.7% support gay "marriage," versus 19.8% among the 60+.

Wisconsinites are far more tolerant of civil unions.
GAY08 And how about civil unions, where [same sex] couples can register partnerships that give them most of the legal advantages husbands and wives now have. Do you approve or disapprove of laws recognizing civil unions between people?
Civil unions get majority support whether or not "couples" is qualified with "same sex," 58.7% overall. Even 42.2% of Republicans approve.

Thing is, while same sex couples may be the main beneficiaries of civil unions, the wording of the referendum provides:
A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state [emphasis added].
So in the interest, perhaps, of avoiding (more) blatant conflict with "equal protection" language elsewhere (e.g., in the U.S. constitution, not that I'd expect a majority of the current Supremes to enforce it), the amendment would limit the rights of all unmarried Wisconsinites. While Wisconsin is more narrowly split than most other states that have faced similar questions, nevertheless 52.6% of registered voters in the Badger Poll support the referendum.

I don't imagine the audience here is chock full of supporters of the amendment, but if you are one, I ask, what's it to you, really? Surely, some happy same-sex couples in Massachusetts and Vermont have made it no more difficult to preserve your marriages. (*) Supporters of civil unions, some of whom nevertheless favor the amendment, also should Just Say No.

Doing so just saves a later generation the effort of overturning this embarrassment, at no tangible short-term cost.

Addendum. Discussing the anti-amendment stance adopted by Downtown Madison, Inc., the raving lefties (**) of the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board say:
The ban on gay marriage is not only bad for the economy. It also violates the principles of freedom and equality that Wisconsin ought to stand for.

The ban is unequal treatment under the law. It promotes government meddling in private lives, and it is an obstacle to strong families.

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