Patrick J. Egan Ph.D. released a study Wednesday called "Findings from a Decade of Polling on Ballot Measures Regarding the Legal Status of Same-Sex Couples" that shows how a multi-million dollar campaign to repeal Prop 8 at the ballot box is unnecessary and likely to be unsuccessful - if it is run as is being currently proposed by Equality California (EQCA).
The repeal will fail if we rely upon the strategy of going door-to-door begging our opponents to be kind to us. Those people won't budge and haven't budged in 10 years.
There is one group of holdouts that have shifted positions in the past ten years, and they have no excuse for being as slow as they have been to embrace LGBT rights: liberal Democrats who have lesbian/gay family or friends. They need to be confronted about their poor poll numbers.
That's right, the people that claim to be our fierce advocates and have the most in common with our politics and ideologies - the ones that know us best - are the people that still need to be swayed. They are the only people that CAN be swayed. We do not need to reach out to Ma and Pa Christian Idiot and their blended household in Visalia full of cracker children that torture house pets. Those people are not reachable.
Egan's study looked at polling and same-sex marriage (SSM) ballot measures in states all over the country since 1998 and he found that the campaigns both in support of a ban and opposed to a ban had no influence on the voters. Their minds had already been made up and no fancy commercial could change their vote. Probably the most interesting finding was the fact that "social desirability" played no part in the skewed poll results that led people to think marriage bans would fail on Election Day.
In other words, there was no evidence that people were embarrassed to admit that they were anti-gay. In fact, the study (see Figure 4) shows that the number of people that are proud of being anti-gay is growing. At the same time, we also know that support for SSM is growing in California.
The first vote on SSM took place in 2000 when the Knight Initiative was passed with a whopping 61% of the vote. Eight years later, Prop 8 passed with only 52% of the vote.
What population is responsible for the 9% change?
That 9% can be found in a previous study by Egan called "California's Proposition 8: What Happened, and What Does the Future Hold?" issued in 2009. In addition to showing a breakdown on who voted "yes" on Prop 8, Egan also compares results between Knight in 2000 and Prop 8 in 2008.
The change in opinion on SSM according to party affiliation was highest among Democrats (13% fewer were opposed). According to ideology, liberals changed views the most (7% fewer opposed). Conservative voters hardly changed at all (from 84% opposed to 82% opposed) and Republicans actually increased in opposition.
Take those results and combine them with the study released this week and we learn that a campaign to repeal Prop 8 based on a door knocking effort to woo our oppressors is only going to cause an increase in the sale of footwear. Reaching out hasn't had an impact in the past ten years.
Even with the improved numbers from liberals and Democrats in 2008 they still gave too much support to Prop 8. In Egan's study, 30% of Democrats and 22% of liberals voted "yes." Worse than that - 74% of all voters in 2008 claim to have gay or lesbian family or friends and 49% of those people voted "yes" on Prop 8. Why would our friends/family do that to us?
Ladies and gentlemen, our problem is not finding a way to convert the hearts and minds of the people most diametrically opposed to us. Our problem is finding out why our friends and families, let alone our ideological soul mates and political allies, can't wrap their heads around the fact that we deserve to have the same right to equal protection under the law that they enjoy. What will it take to get THEM to stop being bigoted?
EQCA may have a number of field offices spread all over California with plans to open more of them, but if they want to run a successful campaign to repeal Prop 8, they don't need to spend any more money chasing Republicans. If they want to win they need to chase Democrats.
Patrick Connors is an uppity fag and he dares Andrew Pugno to try and revoke his marriage license.
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