Friday, May 29, 2009

Despite all the media spin, Americans aren't buying homosexual marriage.

Despite the relentless drumbeat in favor of homosexual marriage by elites and the mainstream media, the American people don't seem to be jumping on the band wagon.

A Gallup poll released Wednesday finds that a solid majority of Americans don't support legalizing it.
Americans' views on same-sex marriage have essentially stayed the same in the past year, with a majority of 57% opposed to granting such marriages legal status and 40% in favor of doing so. Though support for legal same-sex marriage is significantly higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1996, in recent years support has appeared to stall, peaking at 46% in 2007.
They point to stronger support among younger Americans while older Americans don't.
Younger Americans have typically been much more supportive of same-sex marriage than older Americans, and that is the case in the current poll. A majority of 18- to 29-year-olds think gay or lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, while support reaches only as high as 40% among the three older age groups.

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Some argue this is evidence that it's only a matter of time before broader society accepts it. I don't think that's the case. Marriage is a profoundly moral issue which I believe, people intuitively believe is between a man and a woman and homosexual behavior isn't normal. I think as the public debate continues and the facts get discussed regarding the nature and benefits of marriage and the problems associated with homosexual behavior, the public support for homosexuality and homosexual marriage will diminish in the minds of young people. We're already seeing that happen with the abortion issue where young people are becoming more conservative than their parents. I think the same thing can happen on the marriage issue.

And of course, the moral relativism which inundates our cultural thinking will also have to be addressed. The notion that I can be personally opposed to homosexual marriage but embrace it for society just doesn't hold up. Marriage is a moral, law of nature which can't and shouldn't be relativized. It's like saying I'm personally opposed to rape, murder, lying or stealing but I wouldn't want to impose my views on the rest of society. In the final analysis, it doesn't make sense.

Another thing to note in the polling is the intensity level of proponents and opponents. 48% of all people say legalizing homosexual marriage will change society for the worse. More than three and a half times those 13% who say it will make society better.

A separate question in the poll found close to half of Americans, 48%, saying that allowing legal same-sex marriages would change society for the worse. That is more than three times the 13% who believe legal gay marriage would change society for the better. The remaining 38% say it would have no effect on society or do not have an opinion on the matter.

These results are essentially unchanged from a Gallup Poll conducted six years ago.

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This suggests people who understand the nature of marriage are much more aware of the negative problems associated with its redefinition and will be difficult to persuade otherwise.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Medical marijuana constitutional amendment in 2010? Certainly a marriage amendment is even more important and worthy of a vote by the people.

Proponents of medical marijuana plan to push for constitutional amendment in the 2010 session in efforts to do an end run around a gubernatorial veto. According to a Pioneer Press story:

The chief sponsors of the bill issued a late-night news release promising a constitutional showdown.

"For the governor to veto this legislation, even after the House narrowed it so much that thousands of suffering patients would have been without protection, is just unbelievably cruel," said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing.

The issue is by no means assured of landing on next year's ballot; the Legislature has often been reluctant to put questions directly to voters. And once they get there, the campaign, which includes assuring a majority cast ballots in the affirmative (a non-vote counts as a "no") can be expensive.

"The price of running a statewide campaign has just skyrocketed," said Charlie Poster, the former spokesman of Vote YES Minnesota, which supported the Legacy Amendment.

But the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group pushing the legislation, appears to have the money to launch a serious campaign. Since 2005, the group has spent nearly $900,000 lobbying the Minnesota Legislature with money raised at events like its recent fourth annual Playboy Mansion fundraiser.

"While nobody's drawn up a budget yet, our basic approach is we would spend what's needed," said Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the group.

This story points out the incredible money behind the marijuana legalization effort, albeit for medical purposes. The Marijuana Policy Project's goal is legalization of marijuana across the board. In my view, they're using the medical marijuana issue as the proverbial camel's nose under the tent.

Proponents are already trying to position a ballot initiative as a boon for more liberal candidates.
"There's definitely a second layer any time you think about a constitutional amendment or a ballot question," said Mike Zipko, a political consultant at St. Paul's Goff & Howard. "You could see how someone from a progressive point of view (could use the issue) to push voter turnout even a couple of points." ...

That sets up an interesting scenario. In 2004, a number of state constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage were credited with helping President George W. Bush win re-election by drawing social conservatives to the polls. Could medical marijuana be the left's version, drawing voters who aren't typically motivated to vote?

Zipko said it might, pointing to Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial victory in 1998. Many voters turned out to support a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish, added a vote for Ventura and left the polls, Zipko said.

"Everybody's looking for any kind of edge to get people to come out because these elections are getting closer and closer," Zipko said.

Yet when California voters approved the nation's first statewide medical marijuana law in 1996, a presidential election year, fewer people turned out than in 1992, the previous presidential election. And when Oregon voters followed suit in 1998, a gubernatorial election year, voter turnout there was also down over the previous governor's race.

Larry Jacobs, the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, is among the skeptics. He said the Legacy Amendment was passed through a broad coalition and posed a question that was fundamental to the Minnesota way of life.

"My sense is (medical marijuana doesn't have) the kind of intense commitment and breadth of commitment that you see with the Legacy Amendment," Jacobs said.

If will be interesting to hear what proponents of a marijuana amendment, many of whom have argued against a marriage amendment, will say when confronted with a marriage amendment. Will they continue to argue that we shouldn't be cluttering up the constitution with all these various issues? That the legislature has more important things it should be spending its time on. And will a majority of legislators want to enshrine in our state constitution a right to use an drug that is otherwise illegal?

If marijuana is worthy of constitutional protections then certainly the institution of marriage is.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thank you Governor Pawlenty

On Saturday, Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed SF 971, the so-called anti-bullying bill. Gov. Pawlenty correctly asserted that the bill was duplicative as Minnesota already has a law prohibiting all kinds of bullying.

The name “anti-bullying” sounds innocuous, but the bill would have required that Minnesota public schools indoctrinate your children and grandchildren to affirm homosexual marriage and unhealthy sexual behavior. In his veto letter, Gov. Pawlenty wisely asked the Department of Education to review its anti-bullying policy and instruct school districts to enforce it.

Like you, MFC opposes all kinds of bullying. Please join Gov. Pawlenty in making sure your school enforces its anti-bullying policy and teach your children to refrain from all kinds of bullying - including GLBT children. Anti-bullying starts in the home.

CLICK HERE to send an email to Gov. Tim Pawlenty and thank him for vetoing SF 971 or call him at 651-296-3391. Also, thank him for opposing or vetoing the following:
  • Marriage and Family Protection Act – A bill to legalize homosexual marriage
  • Recognize homosexual marriages performed in other states
  • Delete all references of man, woman, husband and wife from Minnesota marriage law
  • Legalize homosexual civil unions
  • Medical Marijuana - vetoed
  • Various domestic partnership bills designed to legalize homosexual marriage

Thank you Governor Pawlenty!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Strib tries to subtly tilt public perception on homosexual marriage with new poll.

The headline for a new Star Tribune poll story suggest the paper is trying to spin the results in favor of homosexual marriage. In the polling question and the article headings, "A Subtle Shift on Gay Unions" and "A Slight Opinion Shift", the paper suggests there's a shift in the direction of same sex marriage, but nothing in the poll results or story substantiates that assertion.

The poll is a follow up to a 2004 poll which found 58% of Minnesotans would have voted for a marriage amendment. You'd think if they wanted to test a change in public opinion they would have asked the same question today, five years later. No, they didn't. (Maybe they were concerned that the results hadn't changed or had gotten worse.)

Instead they ask people a convoluted question:
"As you may know, the Iowa Supreme Court recently legalized same-sex marriage in that state by declaring unconstitutional a state law defining marriage as between a man a and a woman. Do you believe Minnesota should pass a state constitutional amendment prohibiting same -sex marriage or legalize same-sex marriage or make no changes in its marriage laws and leave it to the Minnesota Supreme Court to interpret the state Constitution?"
Instead of asking whether people support or oppose a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, they ask the above convoluted question with the word "prohibiting" and giving the people the option of leaving it up to the court. It really results in a confusing and unclear poll.

And when you read the story there's nothing to suggest why there's even grounds for saying there's even a subtle shift.

In fact, I wonder if the opposite case can be made because only 25% support legalizing same sex marriage, that would mean the other 75% either oppose legalizing same sex marriage or have no opinion. Since only 7 or 8 percent had no opinion or refused on other questions, that suggests upwards of two thirds of Minnesotans are opposed to legalizing same sex marriage; comparable to a statewide poll we did 4 years ago.

The Star Tribune has a reputation for poll results biased against conservative political candidates. This poll suggests the same is true regarding issues like homosexual marriage.