Tuesday, August 19, 2003
"I Do" They Don't http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/08/18/national1520EDT0603.DTL
Poll: Majority favors law against gay marriage, opposition to civil unions growsYour turn. Request, keep the debate appropriate for all Dean Nationals, okay?
WILL LESTER -- Associated Press
More than half of Americans favor a law barring gay marriage and specifying wedlock be between a man and a woman, an Associated Press poll found. The survey also found presidential candidates could face a backlash if they support gay marriage or civil unions, which provide gay couples the legal rights and benefits of marriage. [...]
About four in 10 -- 41 percent -- support allowing civil unions, roughly the same level found in an AP poll three years ago. But 53 percent now say they oppose civil unions, up from 46 percent in the earlier survey. The increase came largely from people who previously were undecided, the polls suggested.
Close to half those surveyed said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who backs civil unions (44 percent) or gay marriage (49 percent), while only around 10 percent said they would be more likely.
"I don't think it's a great idea, the whole idea of marriage is bringing up children," said Jim Martin, a 64-year-old engineer from Alexandria, Va. "If somebody was promoting it, I would vote against them."
The issue poses a challenge for the Democratic presidential candidates in the 2004 election. The six leading candidates say they oppose gay marriage but are sharply critical of efforts to legally ban it, either with a law or by amending the Constitution.
Four of the six -- former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt, Florida Sen. Bob Graham and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry -- say they support civil unions. North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman say they favor benefits for gay partners, but say states should decide on civil unions.
President Bush has said he supports efforts to legally ban gay marriage, but encourages tolerance of gays and lesbians.
In the AP poll, about one-third of people who identified themselves as Democrats and independents said they would be less likely to support a candidate who backs civil unions. Twice as many Republicans said they feel that way. More than four in 10 Democrats support passing laws against gay marriage, according to the poll. Two-thirds of Republicans support passing such laws.
Gay rights have gotten increased attention since June, when the Supreme Court threw out a Texas law prohibiting gay sex, saying such a ban violates constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights. The decision mobilized Christian conservatives, who warned it could lead to legalization of gay marriage.
The poll found 54 percent favor a constitutional amendment that marriage only be between a man and a woman, while 42 percent oppose it.
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.