Gay marriage: Like it or not, polls go in only one direction

Men at a British rally for gay marriage.
(Leon Neal / Getty Images)

The 2008 vote on Proposition 8 is the only poll that matters on the subject of California and same-sex marriage, according to opponents of gay marriage. And that’s indeed how many people responded to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of Californians, which found that 58% of voters in the state now believe that such marriages should have legal recognition, and that support has increased among virtually all groups.

In a way, that might be true, in terms of the current legality. But in much bigger ways, these anti-gay-marriage believers are sticking their collective head in the sand. Society in California and nationwide is moving rapidly toward increased acknowledgment of gay rights, including marriage. If an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling doesn’t kill Proposition 8, a future vote will.

Not that 58% necessarily translates directly into a ballot booth repudiation of Proposition 8; a lot depends on the campaign, the message, who turns out to vote, who cares the most. But the Mormon Church and its followers, major and active supporters of Proposition 8 during the campaign, have shown several signs that they are not interested in replaying that role. And the support has been heading only one way for years; it’s not as though it has been on a roller-coaster ride.


VIDEO OP-ED: Fighting for gay marriage and immigration reform

The argument that a vote has been taken and that’s that for all eternity has always been a hollow one. Grand fights for grand visions have always involved multiple battles and usually some terrible defeats. But when an idea is the right one, it tends to take hold over time. That’s what we’re seeing in this poll.


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