Friday, August 13, 2010

Nice But Irrelevant

Via Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight, here’s a poll out from CNN that shows that a majority of Americans now are in favor of same-sex marriage.

A landmark of sorts was achieved today as CNN just came out with a poll showing a 52 percent majority of Americans agreed with the statement that “gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid.” Some 46 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement.

That is a landmark, but then, if you believe that a fundamental right should be immune to polling or should not be subject to a vote, then having a majority of Americans with you on an issue is nice but irrelevant. I daresay that given the way some people think and act, you could poll Americans on the Bill of Rights — freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the right to a speedy trial, protection against searches without a warrant — and you would find that there are a surprisingly large number of voters — liberal and conservative — who would be against them. That’s why they’re included in the Constitution, as opposed to just passed as laws that can be modified or repealed based on the whim of the political weathervane.