Marriage Amendment isn't polling so great, according to the Argus Leader

The Argus Leader is noting today that if the Marriage amendment were voted on today, suprisingly in South Dakota, it might not necessarily be a winner:
South Dakota State University political scientist Bob Burns said the poll results could show that people think the proposed amendment reaches too far.

"It suggests people understand that it isn't limited to constitutionally banning gay marriage but that it reaches farther into unions and relationships that may have broad impacts," Burns said.

That's the opinion of Jon Hoadley, spokesman for South Dakotans Against Discrimination. He says the language banning recognition of civil unions and other relationships could mean protection from domestic violence would be denied battered men or women who weren't married to their partner.

"This isn't about gay marriage. South Dakota passed a law against that in 1996," Hoadley said. "The second sentence of the amendment is causing the opposition. People read that and find out this could take away domestic-violence protection and could discourage business investment by raising legal questions about domestic partnerships."

It might be that some people don't understand the question, said Rob Regier of the South Dakota Family Policy Council.

"I think the question may have confused some people," he said.

The actual text of the amendment was somewhat different from the wording of the poll, he said.

He said he has seen a poll that shows the same amendment gaining 67 percent support and thinks the wording of that question was simpler than on the current poll. But he also said the poll results today are a call to action for those who want the constitution changed.

"The results may be a little shot in the arm that we need to get to work on getting our message out," Regier said.
Read it all here.

And I'd tend to agree that the usually vocal pro-side has been outdone at this point by those opposing the Marriage Amendment forces who rallied early in the campaign season. Could it be the pro-amendment side is stretched too thin with the overwhelming abortion battle this year, since they're going to involve several of the same players? Or are South Dakotans not buying the argument that it's needed?

Stay tuned for more on this wake-up call to those promoting the amendment.


Anonymous said…
Its not needed legislation. The impact this could have on heterosexual people should be enough to concern even the most conservative homophobe out there. Well, with the exception of Bob Ellis.
Does he have a picture of Fred Phelps next to his computer?
Anonymous said…
With all sincerety, can someone please explain the advantages to passing this amendment in South Dakota?
Anonymous said…
The legislation allows us as South Dakotan voters to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

It stops unelected judges from other states from forcing his or her definition upon us.
Anonymous said…

This puts no control over out of state judges. The only judges this stops is the South Dakota Supreme Court. (hardly an activist court) Other state judges have no jurisdiction over South Dakota and federal judges don’t follow state constitutions. This amendment really does nothing.
Anonymous said…
anon 8:56 has no clue whatsoever.
Anonymous said…
"With all sincerety, can someone please explain the advantages to passing this amendment in South Dakota?"

The main "advantage" sought is furtherance of the homophobic, self-righteous agenda pushed by the theocrat right.

Gay marriage is already prohibited in SD by codified law ... but not by constitutional amendment. The theocrats wish to elevate this prohibition to the constitutional level.
Anonymous said…
Not true. Due to the Interstate Commerce Act we may be forced to accept another states activist judges definition of marriage into South Dakota.

Listen to the testimony given on the bill.

The elected legislators who listen to the experts on both sides voted for the bill 75 for the bill and 28 against.
george said…
anon 9:16 -

right idea, wrong law. you're looking for the US Constitution, specifically article 4, section 1 (the full faith and credit clause).

that pesky piece of paper (also know as the supreme law of the land) would make SD abide by another state's decision.

man, our forefathers were real a-holes for making that rule. lets amend the Constitution to change that clause. or better yet SD should leave the union, i'm sure we could find another state to come w/ us. :)
lexrex said…
the latest poll is, i believe, inaccruate. other polling suggests it wins 2 to 1.

pp, yes, the conservatives are spread thin on the abortion issue. but part of the reason you've not heard much from the pro-amendment people is that it's early yet. give it time.

the amendment is needed to preserve marriage from redefinition. simple state statute may not be enough.
Anonymous said…
I love the argument that adding something to the constitution that restricts or invalidates something is good. Where else is such an idea found? Prohibition?

Change the constitution because the legislative attempt wasn't good enough? Are "the gays" (as Reggie White called them) lining up to get married in SD, are "they" going to move here if the amendment fails? Are they going to recruit your children for their abhorent lifestyle????


Ohio is over, this isn't a state where Rove correctly calculated that such an issue can sway the top of the ballot by effecting turnout. This ain't going to help Bruce Whalen.

Plus, you can only beat up on "the gays" for so much longer. Demographics show this is a losing strategy for the hard right as the younger generation is more tolerant. Sorry Bob Rieger, you speak for very few in this state.
Anonymous said…
It is a simple choice. Someone is going to define marriage in South Dakota. We can define marriage as between one man and one woman in SD by voting yes or we can allow an east coast liberal unelected activist judge to do it for us.
Anonymous said…
east coast liberal unelected activist judge...

Funny how, what I call the hard right, needs to have someone or something to run against. So this campaign is against gays and judges? Anyone else?
Anonymous said…
We've already defined marriage as between one man and one woman in SD. Gotta double-ban those sneaky gays!

I'd also be interested to know why lexrex thinks the poll is inaccurate. Because it doesn't have the result he'd like?

I think what it comes down to is that no one knows what the effect of banning civil unions, domestic partnerships, and quasi-marital relationships will be. No one knows what a quasi-marital relationship IS. I think if most people look at something and don't understand it, or aren't clear on the effect it will have, they vote no.
a_big_liberal said…
I don't think the pro-amendment side is any more thinly stretched than the anti-amendment side. Both sides have a lot of the same people working on both issues, which I think is why the "no" side on BOTH issues is winning. It's just a matter of doing more grassroots work, compared to trying to stick to media.

People have said "maybe the poll was confusing," or "maybe the poll was really off," but at the end of the day, I think South Dakotans are starting to get it.
Anonymous said…
As a gay guy who got the hell out of South Dakota when I had the chance, I can assure you that I won't be moving back to SD if the amendment fails. I am happy to be a contributor to another state's more inclusive economy.
Jake Mortenson said…
How is a marriage between two individuals negatively affected by the marriage of two completely different individuals?

Come on, people. Think. Why are you so hell-bent on defining marriage between a man and a woman? How is YOUR relationship with your spouse affected by it?

On a slight tangent, as a previous commenter alluded to, young people are currently much more tolerant than older people. How long that trend will hold is uncertain. But if you want to keep young people around this state, amendments like this one are a bad idea.

I will end with a plea to let people be. How bad would it really be if married gay couples were part of the community? Would you shriek and run in the other direction? Or would you sit at home and say, "Those G-D gays are ruining society!"

Come on, folks. Join us in the 21st century. We are trying not to blatantly restrict people's freedom based on their sexual preferences here.
Anonymous said…
Welcome to the Mississippi of the north. Jake your right! Young South Dakotans are embarrassed of how minorities are treated in SD.
Anonymous said…
We are Christian Conservative, right wing republican, straight up American males, and we'll be calling the shots around these parts.
Anonymous said…
straight up American males...

I'm sorry, could you be any more gay?
Anonymous said…
And we wonder why our educated youth leave the state...
Anonymous said…
Anon 2:11, how many gay people are "minorities"? Of course, they are involved in a lifestyle that is practiced by a miniscule number of people, but the choices a person makes doesn't qualify him/her for minority status.

Funny how the liberals' rallying cries seems to resonate with the media, who then tries to win over the rest of the public. In the case of the marriage amendment, they claim one of two things. 1) SD statute already bans gay marriage, so this isn't needed, or 2) The language is "confusing" and we can't know the ramifications of passing such an amendment.

In addressing excuse #1 for opposing the SD marriage amendment, consider this liberal's point of view:

(anon 9:16) "Gay marriage is already prohibited in SD by codified law ... but not by constitutional amendment. The theocrats wish to elevate this prohibition to the constitutional level."

That same person also states the following:

"The main "advantage" sought is furtherance of the homophobic, self-righteous agenda pushed by the theocrat right."

It stands to reason that this person believes that the statute that he/she uses to back up his/her argument to vote against the amendment is equally "homophobic" and "self-righteous". Therefore, we can logically conclude that this person's opposition to the amendment is NOT grounded in his/her belief that the statute is solid and will not fall to judicial activism.

Be honest. You despise everything about our defense of marriage act that is currently on the books, and your rhetoric is a thinly veiled attempt at clouding the issue.

On the second front (the notion that the language is confusing), what is so difficult about understanding that marriage is--and always has been--an institution between a man and a woman?

Again, be honest. This is about trying to confuse an otherwise very straightforward issue.

Keep it simple, fellow South Dakotans. Don't buy the strategery of the far-left. All their gimmicks aside, marriage is between one man and one woman. If you believe as I do, vote yes at the polls.
K said…
On the second front (the notion that the language is confusing), what is so difficult about understanding that marriage is--and always has been--an institution between a man and a woman?

But that's not what the amendment says. Read it. The confusion is coming from phrases like "quasi-marital" which are not legally defined and could mean just about anything. There's only a small part of the amendment that applies exclusively to gays and lesbians; the rest of it can be applied to any number of people and relationships, which is why a lot of voters are uneasy about it.

The fact that you try to gloss over what the amendment actually says makes you the one who is clouding the issue.
Anonymous said…
K, a lot of voters are NOT uneasy about it.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous 12:00 pm- A lot of voters should be uneasy about it, and on November 8th I hope we wake up to find clearer heads have prevailed. As for Anonymous 23:00 pm, this could be any one of a handful of our current legislative body that think mistakenly think they are "in control".
Anonymous said…
i was denied insurance for my disabled sister solely because she was my sister rather than my lesbian partner.
I was 22 at the time, and my sister had schizophrenia.

"Civil unions" & "domestic partnerships" are created to give special rights to gay and lesbian couples, while denying those same rights to people like me.

I support the marriage amendment.

- bright young person that left South Dakota in order to find a job.
Anonymous said…
Activist and pro-gay supporters often talk about the unintended consequences of banning gay marriage. I have yet to hear them mention the unintended consequences of promoting gay marriage. How many people are comfortable with same-sex fairy- tales being read to pre-schoolers? Most children go through a stage of being ambiguous, even fearful, of members the opposite sex (until puberty sets in). Given the promotion of same-sex relationships don't be alarmed when you 5 or 6 year old proclaims his love for his buddy. How about a 10 year-old proclaiming he/she is gay?

In Canada there are portions of the Bible are being described as 'hate speech'. While we are frequently told that gay marriage will have no affect upon religion, we only need to look to Massachusetts to put a lie to that assertion. Catholic Charties, an organization that has placed hundreds of hard to place children for a hundred years was literally run out of business.

Perhaps the starkest example is the Boy Scouts. Because they refuse to condone allowing gay men to take their boys into the woods on all night camping trips, they are derided as being homphobic and many states are disassociating with them.

Had it not been for the veto, California school children would be forced to discuss the supposed sexuality of historical figures.

Is this what we really want? Before you ram gay marriage down the throats of the American people, please take a minute to consider the unintended consequences. It might scare the hell of of you.

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