Prop. 8 Stay and a Poll

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The Ninth Circuit has summarily decided to leave a stay in place while it considers an appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that California’s Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. On a related note, it’s worth checking out Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column on a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll that shows for the first time a slim majority of Americans approve of allowing same-sex couples to marry. Pitts quite rightly questions the assumption behind this poll–that it is acceptable to put some people’s rights up for a majority vote. The poll was apparently criticized by opponents of same-sex marriage because of the framing of the question that got this response:

Opponents of same-sex marriage took issue with the poll, which asks respondents: “Do you think it should be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to get married?” Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, argued that the term “illegal” could be inferred to mean that violators could be imprisoned, which most Americans would consider harsh.

Well, what would you call it when you pass laws and constitutional amendments stripping recognition from relationships that are recognized by other states? I wonder what nice euphemism they would use to describe the wholesale erasure of families from the legal landscape? (And, it is worth noting, that this same phrasing has been used in this poll since 2003.)

-Tony Infanti

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