Liberal groups in California are fretting over whether to challenge the state’s marriage amendment, known as Proposition 8, in 2010 or 2012. Earlier this month, Equality California announced that it would put off a ballot initiative legalizing gay marriage until ‘12 because it needed more time to gather support. But other liberal groups are bucking that and want to proceed in ‘10.
The political climate next year could influence the Left’s fortunes on the issue. It’s early days, but indications are that the midterms will be tough for Democrats. The Politico has some observations on that, pointing out that historic trends “point to Republican House gains … particularly after facing two brutal election cycles where the party lost seats in every region and even in some of the most conservative states in the nation.”
If de-stimulus, cap-and-trade, cash for clunkers, and a health-care takeover, et al., are enough to get out more conservative voters and peel away some independents and moderate Democrats, a ballot initiative legalizing gay marriage is going to be a tough sell in 2010, even in deep blue California.
Truth is, though, that marriage amendments typically defy electoral logic. Last year was a wipeout for Republicans and triumph for Democrats, yet California passed a marriage amendment by a comfortable margin, despite Barack Obama’s name on the top of the ballot and a de-motivated Republican electorate. So, any way you slice it, homosexual marriage is still going to be a tough sell in the Big Enchilada, either next year or in 2012.
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