Some very positive news out of the Bay State this weekend. While Massachusetts has tended to poll in favor of gay marriage, the numbers have always been close. Back in April, it was 50% supporting and 44% opposing, and that was before the jump in opposition that was seen in national polls after the Lawrence decision from the Supreme Court and Canada's move to legalize gay marriage. One might have suspected a surge in opposition after last week's court ruling.
Actually, it was the opposite. Well, kinda.
Support stood firm at 50% but opposition took a steep drop. Also, opposition to a Constitutional Ammendment banning gay marriage was even stronger, sitting at 53% opposed. That has to be a positive sign that the Commonwealth can hold the line on this, even if the politicians try to dump an Ammendment in our laps. Especially since the soonest it would be on the ballet would be during a mid-term election year with a Governor race to boot. A high turn-out would reduce the chance for a bill with marginal poll numbers to sneak through.
When asked about affording the legal rights and responsibilities, some polls saw the numbers climb very high, in fact. Up past 70% support, actually. This offers more reason to suspect that if this issue can be framed properly, that support will jump. If people know this discussion is about the civil institution and nothing to do with their personal religious beliefs, I think a lot more people would be uncomfortable opposing gay marriage. All interesting signs. One negative, though, is that the state's Governor and Attorney General and blatently misinterpreting the rulling as permiting Vermont-style civil unions instead of marriages, when almost all legal scholars and observors have noted how emphatic it was they were talking about marriage and that "seperate but equal" wouldn't remedy their concerns. But, I suspect the politicians are intent on calling the court's bluff on this one, and the court could well back down. I'd be comfortable with a seperate system, as long as it was called marriage, too. Either that, or start calling all civil marriages, civil unions and be done with it.
In non-gay marriage related news, I'm increasingly pissed off with these anti-baldness ads. It seems like once or twice a year, some baldness "cure" puts out an ad which is just out-right mean-spirited, and that time is now. Honestly, I can't think of a better case of someone promoting a stigma to promote their product. Not to say that there isn't stigmatization of baldness in our culture, but there is still something uncomfortably annoying about the way they are trying to promote those prejudices. I regard baldness cures in pretty much the same light as diet products to begin with, but outside of the dreck from Stacker 2 or, apparently, Amstel Light, they usually aren't just mean when promoting stigmas. Still, I'm not sure their faux emotional promotion of the same stigmas is any better. In a lot of ways, I can see how the mother who tells a story of how their child hated them for being fat doing a lot more damage than the gleeful cruelty of of an actress portraying a girlfriend bashing the boyfriend's formerly receeding hairline by means of praising his hairied self. But, lesser of two evils style discussions like this are always dramatically uninspiring. (yeah, i know that makes no sense, but it sounds nice) But the cruelty of the baldness cure ads increasingly seem to be more interested in promoting stigmatization than in just taking advantage of it.