To Ban Or Not To Ban ... Wait—What's The Question?
By Alicia Dorr in News on Jun 15, 2006 8:02PM
While the whole idea of a constitutional ban on gay marriage eludes us, like if people suddenly started clamoring to allow employers to hire or fire people on the basis of age, race or gender, it’s still an issue that people like to talk about (especially right before highly contested elections). So even as we scratch our heads we figure we have to keep the discussion open as long as citizens want to, because that’s sort of part of democracy.
That was why we were interested to read that 51% of Illinois citizens do not support a change in the state’s constitution to ban gay marriage. On top of that, just 40% say they’d actually ask for the amendment, according to the recent phone poll of 600 registered voters by Chicago-based Glengariff Group.
The really strange thing about all this, however, is that gay marriage is already illegal in Illinois. Gay marriage opponents are working hard to get the constitutional ban on the ballot in Illinois this fall, but we’re sort of wondering – when’s enough enough? There’s already a law, so it’s not as if same sex couples can get married in the state, and all of this hollering isn’t going to stop the boys and girls in Boystown from celebrating in the parade next weekend, for example. Neither Blagojevich nor Topinka support the idea. At this point it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to touch the actual reality of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage across the nation with a ten-foot pole – especially when you take into account polls like this one in Illinois, where 61% say they don’t support a federal ban.
So … are we missing something? Pundits will shout and politicians will philander, but is this really something a majority of people would get behind? Other polls, like a recent one by ABC, found that the majority of Americans don’t support same-sex marriage, instead leaning toward support of civil unions – the same legal rights of marriage. So what, then, is marriage? Oh, great. Now we’ve gone cross-eyed.