The latest Public Policy Polling survey on the marriage equality votes going down in Minnesota and Maine next week shows that most voters appear to support same-sex nuptials, but the numbers in Maine are also closer than they were in polls past.
[PPP] shows 52 percent of likely Minnesota voters oppose a proposed constitutional amendment to recognize marriage between a man and woman as the only valid union in the state. Forty-five percent support the amendment. PPP's previous Minnesota survey conducted in early-October showed a decidedly tighter race.
In Maine, a survey from in-state pollster Critical Insights released Sunday shows 55 percent of likely voters support a referendum to provide legal recognition to same-sex marriage. Opposition to the measure has jumped 7 points to 42 percent since the previous Critical Insights poll in June, while support has remained largely static.
Only a few days left, folks!
BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner spent some of his Friday doing something many of us could only dream — or nightmare — of: interviewing National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown, arguably one of the nation's most well-connected and enthusiastic anti-gay activists.
The men covered a lot of ground during their conversation — the Supreme Court's potential decisions on marriage equality and Mitt Romney's historically homophobic policies — and though Brown feigns confidence that his hateful side will win its battles in the four states voting on equality-related measures next week, Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, it appears he's not entirely sure of himself.
BuzzFeed posed the question to him on Friday, asking what he would say on Wednesday if his cause succeeded in all four states.
“This makes clear that the people of this country know that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and all of this talk about somehow the country turning is absolutely false, and that protecting marriage is a winning issue,” he answered, quickly adding, “If we lose one, that would still be the same.”
Then, Brown went a step further, suggesting a level of doubt that is uncharacteristic for the unflappable leader of a cause quickly losing favor among elites of both parties.
“It becomes harder if it’s two, three or four, but I don’t think that’s going to happen," he said.
His answer — and the early hedging — suggest that Brown is aware that the ground on which he is fighting is widely seen as shifting beneath his feet.
Brown was also asked about the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP group that supports Mitt Romney and faithfully ignore his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment. Not surprisingly, Brown is not a fan of the organization.
"They’re trying to do what they can to subvert the party," he told Geidner. "Clearly a part of the party is the party platform and the party platform is very strong. They don’t like that, and they’re trying to push Republicans to abandon their principles." With Republicans like Romney, that's a fairly easy task.
Even if he and his hateful cronies do lose their electoral battles next week, Brown promised to Geidner, or maybe threatened, that NOM will never give up their discriminatory fight: "There’s no reason we can’t go back. This is never over. We’re not giving up any ground. Ever."
This is a huge blow to an already bloated, under-funded network of support for homeless or displaced LGBT youth here in New York City: the Ali Forney Center on 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues was completely flooded during last week's Hufficane Sandy.
Yesterday we were finally able to inspect our drop-in center in Chelsea, half a block from the Hudson River. Our worst fears were realized; everything was destroyed and the space is uninhabitable. The water level went four feet high, destroying our phones, computers, refrigerator, food and supplies.
This is a terrible tragedy for the homeless LGBT youth we serve there. This space was dedicated to our most vulnerable kids, the thousands stranded on the streets without shelter, and was a place where they received food, showers, clothing, medical care, HIV testing and treatment, and mental health and substance abuse services. Basically a lifeline for LGBT kids whose lives are in danger.
We are currently scrambling for a plan to provide care to these desperate kids while we prepare to ultimately move into a larger space that will better meet our needs. The NYC LGBT Center has very kindly and generously offered to let us temporarily use some of their space, and we hope to determine the viability of that on Monday.
We have been deluged with kind offers from people who wish to volunteer and donate goods. Unfortunately, we will have to provide our services in the time being in much smaller spaces that won't accommodate volunteers or allow for much storage space. The best way people can reach out to help in this very challenging time is by making monetary donations. Please go to our website.
It is heartbreaking to see this space come to such a sad end. For the past seven years it has been a place of refuge to thousands of kids reeling from being thrown away by their parents for being LGBT. For many of these kids coming to our drop-in center provided their first encounter with a loving and affirming LGBT community. I thank all of you for your care and support in a most difficult time.
Those of you who want to donate to help the center rebuild should click HERE.
[Image via Washington Blade]