Stunning — Though Not Shocking — Setbacks

Yesterday's decision by the California Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 8's ban on gay marriage is a sad, though expected, decision.

Now gay Californians have no way legally to protect themselves; they have zero legal recognition. All these couples have are California state domestic partnerships, which provide every single legal protection that marriage provides. The difference being the use of that dreaded (antiquated) "M" word.

The gay movement, seeing the Prop 8 decision as the end of the world, had rallies all around the country. These are the same type of reactionary rallies that have been staged by gay activists in the New York area over the last several months. I've expressed my view that these rallies were counterproductive and wouldn't change any hearts or minds. New polling in New York shows that I was right.

Over the last month, gay marriage support in New York has fallen 14 percent. This is a fairly stunning turnaround, with drops among independent voters, New York City voters, young voters, women and African-Americans.

Not that any of this is shocking, exactly. New York Gov. David Paterson's (D) job approval is a pathetic 18 percent. It's not helping gay marriage that Paterson has made it one of his major issues — it's actively hurting our chances at marriage equality in New York.

The gay movement needs proper focus and fresh ideas, not more rallies, if we want to keep our forward momentum.


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