The Associated Press has released results of a nationwide telephone poll by The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center around the topic of same-sex marriage equality. Corporate media have latched onto a few numbers contained therein to talk about a "slim majority" favoring full marriage equality.
I look at this article and am a bit troubled by some of the stats it presents.
My thoughts (and some quotes from the article, which hopefully won't violate "fair use" rules here at DKos) after the "jump" squiggly thingie.
From the article:
Fifty-three percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed believe the government should give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex, about the same as last year, according to the nationwide telephone poll by The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center. Forty-four percent were opposed.
People are similarly conflicted over what, if anything, the government should do about the issue.
The money quote is: "... legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex". Marriage-- or civil unions, a "marriage-like" status that, as we all know, is not the same as marriage. It stamps our marriages with the stigma of being "not real". "Not as good as straight marriage". "As much as you're ever going to get, and we can take it away any time we want, you sick homos, eewwwwwwwwwww".
This part is more depressing:
Americans also are conflicted on how to go about legalizing or outlawing gay marriage.
One option is banning gay marriage by constitutional amendment. About half of the poll's respondents, 48 percent, said they would favor such an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Most who feel this way do so intensely. About 40 percent would strongly favor such a change. Forty-three percent said they would oppose such an amendment, and 8 percent were neutral, according to the poll.
Most — 55 percent — believe the issue should be handled at the state level, however, and opinions on how states should act are split. People are about evenly divided on whether their states should allow same-sex marriages — 42 percent favor that and 45 percent are opposed — and tilt in favor of state laws that allow gay couples to form civil unions — 47 percent in favor, 38 percent opposed and 13 percent neutral, according to the poll.
This really upsets me. Almost half of my fellow American citizens would be just fine voting for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution taking away a basic human right (the U.S. Supreme Court did deem marriage to be a basic human right in Lovings v Virginia) from other American citizens based on what they think they might be doing in their bedroom. Something that is none of their business and does them no harm whatsoever. The passion on the anti-marriage equality side is the one thing that might ultimately doom our equal rights fight in the U.S. They have Gawd Almighty and JAY-sus!! on their side, and their faith being wholly irrational makes it pretty much an insurmountable obstacle to reaching the bigots.
The ultimate tragedy of the article, however, is the human face it puts on one of those bigots (and yes, I'm calling out anyone who doesn't support full marriage equality for gays and lesbians-- they're bigots), one Barbara Von Aspern, who claims she loves her daughter, but won't attend her wedding to another woman:
"We love them to death, and we love them without being judgmental," the 62-year-old Chandler, Ariz., retiree said. "But the actual marriage I cannot agree with."
Von Aspern is an example of an American whose opposition to gay marriage is deep and abiding. It's based on her religion — she is Mormon — and as such it overrode other considerations when it came to her daughter's wedding.
"It was very difficult," Von Aspern says. "We had to bring them to the house and hug them and love them and tell them these things and not let that keep us apart."
I am appalled (but not surprised) that the AP didn't reach out to the daughter to give a face to her side. The child who has to deal with a parent's ultimate rejection of who they are. Barbara Von Aspern is a horrible human being and a horrible mother who doesn't deserve her daughter's respect and love, and I hope this rotten woman lives the rest of her life ashamed of her attitude and hatred. If there is another world beyond this one, I get the feeling that any eternal judgment will not be kind to this terrible person.
It is articles like this one that make me want to give up. I read this and think: There are people out there who hate me and my husband and all of us LGBTQE folk simply because they think some old book says we're evil. They don't know us, they don't care to know us; they just hate us. And they have decided to use all their power and influence to prevent us from having any happiness in this world. Ultimately they would like us dead. But since we pay taxes, they keep us around and make sure we know that we're not as good as they are, so we don't deserve what they have.
But then I think of my husband. And all of those who have gone before us, and those who are here and shoulder-to-shoulder with us fighting the fight for equality, and those who are growing up and getting bombarded with messages telling them they're inferior, flawed, evil, worthy of scorn, worthy of death. And I know that we have to keep fighting. This is the long game now. Full equality. Damn the polls. Either LGBTQE citizens deserve full equality, or the entire promise of American Democracy is a sham and a fraud. I will not give up until we all have that full equality. I will see marriage equality in my lifetime. And I will live to see people like Barbara Von Aspern weep with the shame of realizing their whole idiotic value system was based on lies and hatred. They will regret it. And our side will triumph.
We must not give up.
I was working on this when jpmassar posted this excellent summary, so a H/T to him for getting this into the hopper for discussion, and please leave him a tip and a recommendation while you're in there! I did.