On Saturday night the Republicans who control the Minnesota state legislature—Republicans who ran on jobs, Republicans who have yet to approve a budget—voted to pace a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot. Same-sex marriage is already banned in Minnesota by state statute. But if voters approve the amendment it will be harder for future legislatures to undo the ban and impossible for a judge to undo it. (You can't find something unconstitutional if it's, you know, right there in the constitution.)
NOM and the rest of the haters are celebrating. But I think they've made a mistake. We can win this one. Polls are showing rapid movement toward support for full marriage equality. A majority of Minnesotans oppose amending their state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. And poll after poll shows that a slim-but-growing majority of Americans support full marriage equality. Here's the latest from Gallop:
Polls find broad support for marriage equality among younger voters; even younger conservative and evangelical voters support marriage equality. But older voters oppose marriage equality by wide margins and they're much likelier to actually show up and vote. So to win this thing—to defeat this amendment—it's going to come down to a fight to get younger voters to the polls. We're going to need a massive GOTV effort that drives younger voters to the polls.
And we're going to have one: the reelection campaign of Barack Obama. The anti-gay amendment is not going to be on the ballot this year, an off-year election, but in November of 2012. Thanks, Minnesota Republicans! Younger voters—along with liberals and Democrats and urbanites—vote in much greaters numbers in presidential election years. We're going to have to raise money, and we're going to have to fight this thing, and we're going to have demand more from the Obama White House in the run up to this vote than we got from the Obama campaign in the run up to the Prop 8 in California. But we can win this thing.
Maggie and the rest of the haters like to brag* that their side wins every time gay marriage is on the ballot. But all winning streaks eventually come to an end, Maggie.
*They also like to ignore their loss here in Washington State, where voters rejected an effort to repeal the state's domestic partnership law. Technically marriage wasn't on the ballot here, but the haters made the campaign into a proxy fight about marriage equality and lost.