Almost everyone I’ve talked to who has worked on a campaign to defeat an anti-gay ballot initiative, or to pass a positive one, has remarked on how their own stereotypes have been challenged in the process. Sometimes the last people we expect to support us, based on appearance, location, or whatever cues cause us to make assumptions about others, turn out to be our greatest allies.
It may be tempting to stereotype those who will vote for the Marshall-Newman amendment as uneducated rubes with poor reading comprehension skills, but that’s really not fair. We should resist making these unfounded assumptions, and instead use empirical observation.
Here, from my own empirical observation, is a representative conversation with a “yes” voter:
Me: Excuse me Ma’am, do you know about the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in November? It’s the one that people are calling the “marriage amendment.”
Voter: Yes, I know about it. I’m going to vote for it.
Me: Ma’am, have you had a chance to read the entire thing?
Voter: No, I haven’t. I don’t need to.
Me: Ok, well, I highly recommend that you read it before you vote on it.
In fact, as a general rule, I highly recommend that voters read anything in its entirety before voting on it. It just seems like a good idea.
I offer this tale with the caveat that I don’t have a large enough sample size of people who are willing to say that they are voting yes on the amendment for this to be in any sense scientific.