Not Larry Sabato is taking predictions on the outcome of the constitutional amendment against single people.
The consensus seems to be that 1) People will vote for it to the extent that they don’t understand what it says, and 2) People will be too stupid or lazy to understand what it says, resulting in a landslide passage.
This analysis simply extrapolates the results from the 2004 election and assumes they can and will be replicated. It fails to take into account the two years that have elapsed since other states adopted almost identical amendments. Something has been growing in the petri dish of those states for two years, and it is not pretty. Ohio, Michigan and Utah are all currently embroiled in lawsuits over the scope of their amendments, with a ruling in Ohio just last Friday that unmarried victims are not eligible for protection under domestic violence law.
This is not a science project that Virginians want to see two years from now. Reliable polling data demonstrates this without a doubt, and defeating this amendment requires simply letting voters know about the amendment (most people don’t) and what the amendment itself says. This has the Some Families Foundation in hysterics:
This Sunday, while you are attending church, homosexual activists in Hampton Roads will be going door to door in neighborhoods working to undermine marriage. While you worship God, Equality Virginia, the state’s leading anti-marriage organization, will be knocking on doors trying to convince people that supporting traditional marriage is bigoted and hateful..
..While November may seem far away, the fight over how the next generation will define marriage is well underway. Make no mistake, homosexual activists are mobilized and are highly motivated to defeat marriage at the ballot on November 7. We cannot take for granted that “conservative” Virginia will follow the 19 other states that have voted in favor of marriage. [emphasis added]
Comical language usage aside, the anti-gay right is counting on their ability to fool voters with a bald-faced lie, not really the best position to be in. They are pretending that the amendment only consists of its first paragraph – but voters can see for themselves what the full text says, and that it actually takes away the ability of the legislature to allow civil unions and other arrangements in accordance with the will of the people. Also, the specific reference above to “the next generation” is no accident. The anti-gay right is well aware of the generation gap on this issue, and they are frantic to deny the next generation the right to choose for itself.
This amendment actually creates a tremendous opportunity to mobilize justice-minded voters who might not otherwise bother. No offense to the pundits, but there is such a thing as paradigm shift. Candidates should take note.