Marriage in California (OR Election Ballots and voter turnout)

Ezra discusses the likelihood of an amendment prohibiting gay marriage in California…  He points us to a couple polls that make it seem rather likely. But, like all polls, these are samples of population, not of those who will be voting in November.

It’s issues like this that make me wonder about the impact an Obama candidacy will have. Sen. Obama has, as you may have heard, generated a great deal of enthusiasm with his candidacy. The extended Democratic primary seems to be getting more and more people involved, and potentially invested in, the election.

So, if liberal voters come out in record numbers, if for no other reason than to be able to say “I voted for Obama” and conservatives stay home because Sen. McCain doesn’t capture their interest (especially in a state as blue as California), isn’t there a decent chance this amendment fails to pass?

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2 Responses to Marriage in California (OR Election Ballots and voter turnout)

  1. truth=freedom says:

    Not necessarily. Obama, whether for reasons of political calculation or personal conviction, has come out against gay marriage. And California is a lot more conservative overall than one might guess from visiting the Bay Area, even if serious thinking about political issues takes a back seat most days to celebrity worship (just to establish a data point, Orange County has 3M people out of California’s 36M– about 8%; San Francisco County? 744k).

    The amendment being on the ballot may skew the election toward McCain (I’ll admit this is unlikely– Bush lost to Kerry by 1.2M out of 12.2M votes). Or it might just make it a “split decision”– gay marriage is rendered unconsitutional in California, and Obama wins.

    More telling, of course, is the response of the candidates. Obama’s stance can be characterized as, “whatever the process says, I’m OK with that.” McCain’s response seems more akin to, “If the judges don’t give the people the result they voted for, then they are wrong!” This is a fascinating stance to me. It is as though the people could vote for anything (as a statute, mind you– constitutional amendments are a different animal), and even if it contradicts the constitution, that vote ought to be determinative. I don’t get that. I’m pretty sure that’s not what I learned in the few courses I took on political science. It’s as though the voters of, say, Mississippi could vote (assuming the process of statutory initiative is allowed in MS) by a bare majority to re-institute slavery, for example. And by John McCain’s logic, the fact that the constitution of Mississippi doesn’t allow slavery should be ignored.

    Truth be told, of course, the people of California have a way to override the decisions of their court. It will take a few more votes, and a lot more wailing and gnashing of teeth, but they’ll be able to decide soon enough. Whatever.

    A more interesting question (to me) is: what the hell is the *religious* institution of marriage doing in our secular laws (1st amendment anyone?) anyway? I say this as a recently (compared to my age, anyway) married person. If you need a contract with another person to share (and in the worst-case scenario) divide your assets in the case where the relationship ends, hire a lawyer and draw one up! And who you do it with, and what god(s) bless it is your business as far as I care….

  2. […] is, really, another aspect of the point I made last week. If Obama can actually get lots of younger voters to the polls (which seems likely, given his […]

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