99 Days To Go... New Marriage Amendment Poll

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See the latest Mason-Dixon Poll on the Virginia Marriage Amendment. For an ongoing discussion of these numbers, go here and here.

I am not proud (nor surprised) of the fact that Northern Virginia is the only region of the state where the Marriage Amendment did not poll particularly well (with 48% opposed, 44% in favor). Regardless of this poll or any others, those of us in favor of protecting marriage from radical redefinition a la Goodridge need to get out there and work hard to spread the word about the Marriage Amendment. The anti-Marriage Amendment coalition is heavily funded and has paid staff across the state—there can be no doubt they will spread as much misinformation and confusion as possible in an attempt leave marriage vulnerable to same-sex “marriage” litigation and judicial redefinition. This race will undoubtedly tighten up in the coming 99 days.

Please head on over the VA4Marriage and sign-up to become involved in the grassroots campaign in support of the Marriage Amendment.

UPDATE: Some more solid discussion can be found here and here.

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12 Comments

Terry M said:

Sophie,

You forgot to point out that the Mason poll only read the first sentence of the amendment when they called. Other polling done with the ENTIRE text of this bad proposal shows a MAJORITY against or undecided about the amendment. Shouldn't your readers get the whole story??

Jonathan said:

Shouldn't your readers get the whole story??

har!

Sophrosyne said:

Terry--

I did post material discussing the poll done by those opposing the Marriage Amendment (a poll in which none of the prior questions have been released nor any of the cross-tabs)... in fact I posted the full text of both anti-Marriage Amendment coalition emails focused on that issue. Anyways, the bottom line (and I've said this numerous times) is that this will be a close race and we (those supporting marriage as one-man, one-woman) can take NOTHING for granted. To that end both of these polls should provide ample cause to motivate anyone who may have otherwise assumed this was an easy victory. Your side will have plenty of money and paid staff to spread misinformation so we need to mobilize a grassroots army to counter those distortions and spread the truth.

It will be a very busy 98 days until Election Day.

David said:

Soph,

I think you may have missed Terry's point. The reference was to the fact that the Mason-Dixon poll did not include the entire text of the amendment - you know, that text you keep claiming not to be hiding, while repeating the curious claim that the amendment "only defines marriage."

You are aware of that, aren't you?

Sophrosyne said:

It did not include the text of any of the amendment... simply asked if they supported marriage being defined as one-man, one-woman (a key element of the Marriage Amendment). Obviously not a perfect gague of support for the actual Marriage Amendment.

I am not claiming we know yet how people will vote 98 days from now... and your complaint seems to only make sense if I were.

Jonathan said:

Uhmmm, as a "conservative" Sophrosyne, would you advise voters to read a ballot question before casting a vote? This discussion seems to be getting overly complicated.

I'd advise voters to not only read, but to understand the issue they are voting on. I've been searching and asking for an explanation of the second paragraph, and I've been patiently waiting. Proponents of the Marshall/Newman amendment have not been forthcoming with an answer.

Sophrosyne said:

I advise everyone I talk to to read the Marriage Amendment (I often give them the actual text) as well as the State Board of Elections explanation.

The more information (as opposed to disinformation coming from the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition) we can get out there the better!

Jonathan said:

I'll repeat the question since you've avoided it over and over.

I've been searching and asking for an explanation of the second paragraph, and I've been patiently waiting. Proponents of the Marshall/Newman amendment have not been forthcoming with an answer.

Care to provide information as opposed to disinformation?

Sophrosyne said:

Have you ever read the SBE explanation of the Marriage Amendment or watched/read any of the dialogue going on in the General Assembly in 2004-2005 when they overwhelmingly passed the amendment in two consecutive sessions? They repeatedly explained the second paragraph... very simple and clear. Here is what the SBE says the second paragraph will do in its official explanation:

...prohibits Virginia and its counties, cities, and towns from creating or recognizing any legal status by any name which is comparable to marriage.

i.e. it prevents civil unions and any crafty attempt to create civil unions under a different name (thus the referral to something intended to approximate the “design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage” and not just “civil unions”… you can’t get around this by calling it something else such as “domestic unions”, etc).

Obviously anti-Marriage Amendment forces have decided that, rather than face the real issue and argue for the establishment of same-sex “marriage” they desire (via litigation or any other means possible), they choose to argue that the clear language and intent in the second paragraph… language vetted by an exhaustive legislative process (in fact the most exhaustive process in existence in Virginia) will disallow all “recognition of any unmarried relationships” (e.g. Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, etc). The SBE cut that hollow red-herring argument down to size with this statement (below) in their opinion… and the fact (often cited here) that 20 states have passed Marriage Amendments with NO sustained impact claimed by same-sex “marriage” advocates is even more telling.

Marriage in the Commonwealth creates specific legal rights, benefits, and obligations for a man and a woman. There are other legal rights, benefits, and obligations which will continue to be available to unmarried persons, including the naming of an agent to make end-of-life decisions by an Advance Medical Directive (Code of Virginia § 54.1-2981), protections afforded under Domestic Violence laws (Code of Virginia § 18.2-57.2), ownership of real property as joint tenants with or without a right of survivorship (Code of Virginia § 55-20.1), or disposition of property by will (Code of Virginia § 64.1-46).

Bill Garnett said:

With science and medicine rather firmly saying that homosexuality is not a moral choice but is in fact a state of being, I find it puzzling that any fair-minded person would not argue for equality for homosexuals.

It seems that, and polls reinforce that, more educated people are more in agreement with full rights for homosexuals. Polling also shows that the younger generation is far more accepting of full civil rights for homosexuals. The Republicans, now indebted to the far right fundamentalist religious zealots, seem intent to preclude what are the values of a younger, educated, enlightened electorate that is marching towards us, and to deny the real will of the people who will live in the state of Virginia long after close-minded obstructionists are forgotten.

The religious right have yet to provide one reasonable argument to describe in any believability how amending our constitution to exclude homosexuals from the civil rights, protections, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage will bring about a favorable change in anyone’s lives.

However this amendment will give cover to those who commit hate crimes. And state sponsored discrimination that negatively values certain members of society will, as a consequence, be a basis for disadvantaging and disempowering those individuals.

Aren’t we in 2006 a better nation and better peoples than this?

VoteNOVa said:

Oh, come on. Enough poor little us from the pro-amendment advocates. Both sides have paid staff; both sides are heavily dependent on grassroots support. The Commonwealth Coalition has more than 70 grass roots organizations, churches and faith organizations and businesses joined in opposition to the amendment who are fielding volunteers to help in this effort. The va4marriage coalition has the Catholic Conference and other faith based organizations mostly related to the Family Foundation that have joined in their grassroots efforts (their used to be a list on the website, but it doesn't seem to be available on the new site).

As to the so-called explanation of the so-called marriage amendment, it is important to point out that the professional staff in the Division of Legislative Services expressed the view that the draft of the "official" explanation proffered by the Attorney General's office and adopted by a split vote of two legislative committees (not by the entire legislature) was not, as the law requires, "neutral."

It is, indeed, unfortunate that proponents of the amendment felt the need to offer voters one side's arguments about the impact of the amendment rather than the neutral explanation the Code requires.

This just means that The Commonwealth Coalition and amendment opponents will have to climb a barricade of misinformation to educate voters simply to read the whole text of the proposal before they vote.

When voters do that, they see clearly, without spin or persuasion, that the language of the proposal is vague, ambiguous and overreaching and portends a myriad of unintended consequences which they don't want and won't support.

Bill Garnett said:

The conservative community that is pushing this amendment has yet to rationally explain why this amendment is needed. And more importantly, apart from the amendment, they have not been willing to state what specific benefits, normally the rights of a straight couple, would they give or deny to a gay couple?

These people can only cite simplistic clichés such as “God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve”, and that they are protecting marriage. They cannot and will not accept that they are forcing their religious beliefs on others. And they refuse to have a Socratic debate or accept the scientific fact that being gay is NOT a moral choice but is a state of being.

Unfortunately, this amendment is destined to pass. And it’s particularly tragic in that a constitutional amendment, once passed, is extremely hard to repeal – it will be a generation at least until this matter can again come before the voters.

The gay community and their empathetic liberal supporters, who normally are creative, innovation, and leading edge – and who normally have a wonderful network in the creative arts, media, and entertainment – have floundered in rallying these resources to this important cause.

With the adjacent states of West Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina staving off this religious right onslaught, Virginia could have been pivotal nationwide in tipping the nation’s drift away from the right. And Virginia will suffer for a long time, as creative individuals and innovative industries will avoid the state in favor of more open-minded, progressive, and liberal geographies.

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