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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: gay marriage

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November 7, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Exultant Crowds at Westin for Obama, Inslee, and R-74

The crowd at the Seattle Westin watches President Obama’s victory speech. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Higgins/UW Election Eye) SEATTLE — Jay Inslee had not taken take the stage at the Seattle Westin tonight to proclaim victory in the Washington gubernatorial race, but that didn’t matter to the boisterous crowd surging up to the stage.  Magnified…


Comments | More in Culture, National, State | Topics: Barack Obama, gay marriage, Jay Inslee

August 16, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Free Speech, Free Enterprise, and Chick-Fil-A

After Chick-Fil-A President and COO voiced his views on marriage, conservatives and liberals across the nation reacted with strong opinions. But whether you agree or disagree, the larger issue here is free speech.


Chick-Fil-A promotion, image courtesy the company

SEATTLE — With the Washington State primary behind us, the countdown towards Election Day begins in earnest, accompanied by a requisite increase in heated rhetoric and spin. Here, as well as in Maryland, Maine and Minnesota, voters will weigh in on same-sex marriage at the ballot box. It seems like everyone from President Obama to my mother-in-law are thinking about this issue.

Exhibit A: last month’s announcement by Dan Cathy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-Fil-A, which made headlines as far away as South Korea.

Let’s revisit his words and discuss them for a minute.


Comments | More in National, State | Topics: Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, gay marriage

August 1, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Pew: Democrats and Independents support gay marriage

Pew - July gay marriage poll

Summary of Pew Research July poll

Gay marriage may be the litmus test for the 2012 election cycle. It’s certainly shaping up that way for a lot of Democrats.

Two-thirds of self-identified Democrats and half the independents polled by the Pew Forum on Religion and Life last month support gay marriage.

And although only 24 percent of Republicans share this attitude today, even the GOP shows a steady growth in support over time.

Key to the change in attitude appears to be a change in how society views homosexuality in general.


Comments | More in National, State | Topics: gay marriage, Pew Research, R-74

May 10, 2012 at 6:30 AM

President Obama’s Embrace of Gay Marriage: An Act of Political Courage? Or Not?

Obama became the first U.S. president to endorse same-sex marriage on Wednesday. Please join me and other UW Election Eye contributors to talk about this decision—what it means, what impact it might have this year and beyond, and how you view the president himself.

SEATTLE — President Barack Obama made history Wednesday by announcing his support for same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News. Today he is here in Seattle. In fact, this morning he will be standing in my footprints—literally.

Gay Marriage

Citizens outside the Manhattan Marriage License Bureau on February 12, 2009 (Photo courtesy of Flickr member Brittany Travis).

Obama’s announcement would have been a remarkable political decision at any time, and is especially so in the middle of a tough re-election campaign.

Here’s a remarkable statistic: 33 times gay marriage has been on the ballot in states since 1998, and 32 times opponents of gay marriage have won. The impact of this decision on the 2012 presidential campaign is a huge unknown, but there is more than a little chance that it will hurt the president. Obama won North Carolina by less than 1% in 2008, and two days ago 61% of voters in the Tar Heel State approved a constitutional amendment banning both same-sex marriage and civil unions. The president has taken a huge political gamble. Why he did it will be debated for days to come.

But he did it. And America will never be the same.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, gay marriage, Same-sex marriage

May 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Fundraising heats up for North Carolina’s Amendment One

RALEIGH, N.C. — The battle over Amendment One in North Carolina continues to receive national attention, as the outcome of the issue could ripple to other states. Amendment One would ban gay marriage and civil unions in the state constitution. The Coalition to Protect NC Families, the primary organizational opponents of Amendment One, reported $2.26 million in…


Comments | More in National | Topics: Amendment One, Chicago Tribune, civil unions

May 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

North Carolina Amendment One: Update on polling and fundraising

RALEIGH, N.C. — With one week until Election Day and early voting well underway, I wanted to take a look at the numbers on Amendment One, the North Carolina ballot measure that would limit legal recognition of unions to one man and one woman.

We have new polls and financial updates.

Public Polling Policy, based in Raleigh, released a new poll Tuesday about the issue. The majority of voters still plans to vote ‘yes’ on Amendment One, 55% of respondents, while 41% plan to vote ‘no.’ That’s the same margin as one week ago.

The key pivot point in PPP’s data is public understanding of the amendment. Among the 27% of voters who think Amendment One only bans gay marriage, the measure is favored by a whopping 72% to 27%; for the 40% of voters who know that the amendment would also ban civil unions, as many legal experts have said, the amendment is failing, 60% to 38%.

The majority of older voters (60% for/36% against) and voters in eastern North Carolina (64% for/32% against) are in favor of Amendment One, while young voters (33% for/59% against) are opposed.

When we traveled to North Carolina two weeks ago, Jen Jones, communications director for Equality North Carolina — which opposes the amendment — said she and her volunteers would be engaged in “education and persuasion” all the way through election day. That’s a tough road to victory. But it seems to be the only one anti-Amendment One forces have at their disposal.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Amendment One, civil union, gay marriage

April 26, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Eight words that will decide the future of gay marriage in America, including Amendment One in North Carolina in two weeks

On May 8, citizens of North Carolina will vote on Amendment One — a bill regarding the definition of domestic unions. For younger voters, it is about civil rights. 

Gay Marriage

Citizens outside the Manhattan Marriage License Bureau on February 12, 2009 (Photo courtesy of Flickr member Brittany Travis).

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In eight words, the young woman shredded the plan of the National Organization for Marriage and provided a glimpse of the future, if the data are to be believed.

I met her while ordering some food in this tough, strong town in the Piedmont Triad region of this state. She was African American, and I told her we were out her way from Seattle, finding stories and people in the midst of the 2012 election campaign.

Then I asked her what she thought of Amendment One, a proposition on the North Carolina ballot on May 8 that would revise the state constitution so that it legally recognizes only one kind of domestic union: that between a man and a woman.

In response she said, “That’s the thing about civil rights, isn’t it?”

Eight words. They could shake North Carolina on May 8, when Amendment One will either be passed or voted down, and they could foretell the future of same-sex marriage in Washington if a referendum makes the November ballot.


Comments | More in Culture, National, State | Topics: African Americans, Amendment One, civil right

April 16, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Santorum strikes out; Ann Romney scores

Each Monday we will feature several important stories in the political world — ones that either just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. Our blog is UW Election Eye, and we call these Monday Eye Openers.

Rick Santorum on

Screen shot of Rick Santorum on

Santorum Quits, but Bella Joins
Rick Santorum called it quits last week on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Santorum’s national Communications Director Hogan Gidley said Santorum ultimately decided that “if there’s no path, if there aren’t the delegates, then there’s no reason to keep going.”

Santorum has not gone quietly into hiding, though. He gave a speech to the National Rifle Association at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend, where he told attendees that in addition to him and his wife Karen being lifetime members, that 3-year-old daughter Bella is now a lifetime NRA member too, adding, “I hope it is a long life.”


Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Bella Santorum

April 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Hargrove defends views on gay marriage, welcomes challenger


Rep. Hargrove was blasted as the "Dumbest Legislator in the State" on the cover of the Stranger (photo from

State Rep. Mark Hargrove was criticized for his testimony against the same-sex marriage bill in February. But now he says he was speaking for the majority of people in the state and looks forward to the fight against Democrat Bud Sizemore to hold on to his seat.

At the beginning of the year Mark Hargrove, who represents the 47th Legislative District around Auburn and Covington, was a newcomer quietly serving his first term as a state representative. That is until his words against the same-sex marriage bill started getting him a lot of attention.

During the floor debate over the bill Hargrove talked about the Jack in the Box Commercial that appeared during the Super Bowl. In the commercial, a son tells his mother that he’s getting married, not to a woman, but to bacon.

In his speech, Hargrove said: “That mom was realizing that same-sex marriage is not the same as traditional marriage. And that same-sex marriage for her son would not be the best choice for him.”


Comments | More in State | Topics: 47th, 47th Legislative District, bacon

February 14, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Slideshow of Rick Santorum Monday night in Tacoma: religious liberty, gay marriage, and glitter bombs

TACOMA — Sporting his trademark sweater vest, Rick Santorum was greeted by hundreds of supporters, one glitter bomb, and about a dozen Occupy Tacoma protesters at a rally Monday night at the Washington State History Museum.

As two of the Occupiers were arrested and dragged away, literally kicking and screaming, some of Santorum’s fans, many of them families sporting babies on their hips, grew annoyed.

“We pick Rick!” alternated with ragged cries of “We are the 99%!” as Santorum spoke, referring at various points to President Barack Obama’s Health and Human-Services (HHS) mandate.


Comments | Topics: abortion, conservatives, Evangelicals

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