June 20, 2012
By Jacob Combs
Yesterday, I wrote about a new independent poll out from Maine that showed 55 percent of respondents planned to vote in favor in marriage equality in the state, with 36 percent opposed. A new PPP poll out today shows similarly positive numbers out of Washington state, with 51 percent of voters responding that they believe marriage equality should be legalized and 42 percent saying it should not be. In the PPP poll, 47 percent of respondents said that gay couples should be allowed to marry, while 30 percent said that they supported civil unions over full marriage. Only 21 percent said that gay and lesbian couples should receive no legal recognition.
Marriage equality is likely to be a significant aspect of Washington’s gubernatorial race this fall, with Democratic candidate Jay Inslee calling President Obama’s support of equal marriage rights “an act of moral courage,” and Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna opposing efforts to bring marriage equality to the state. The PPP poll showed McKenna leading Inslee narrowly, 43 percent to 40 percent. As always, polls on marriage equality must be looked at with a good deal of caution, but these steady poll numbers in support of marriage equality are a positive sign that Washington may become the first state to uphold marriage rights by a popular vote.
In Minnesota, opponents of a constitutional ban on marriage equality have raised three times as much money as the main group working to pass the ban. Minnesotans United for All Families, a pro-marriage equality group, has raised $3.1 million in 2012 alone, compared to the $1.4 million raised by anti-marriage equality Minnesota for Marriage since mid-2011. Perhaps more importantly, 91 percent of the donations to Minnesotans United came from within the state, as opposed to from outside sources. The group has already spent $1 million to reserve TV airtime in the three weeks before the November election.
Finally, Chris Geidner posits in Metro Weekly that recent moves by the Obama administration shows signs of preparation for a post-DOMA America. In the last month, the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals have moved to delay several cases involving same-sex binational couples, setting the stage for foreign partners to be granted green cards should DOMA be struck down by the Supreme Court. Lavi Soloway, an attorney on several of the cases, told Metro Weekly the move was “historic” and showed that DOJ’s belief that “there may very well be, a year from now, a post-DOMA world.”