More From Third Way’s Report On Marriage Equality In Washington


Earlier I cited centrist Democratic think tank Third Way's poll on marriage equality support in Washington, where same-sex marriages just got underway. Well, that report, showing that framing marriage equality as a matter of love, rather than rights wins the fight, is now out.

Here's a telling excerpt about movement among political lines:

The victory for marriage in Washington State was delivered by voters well outside the usual liberal base. Centrist voters supported the marriage refer- endum by large margins, with 66% of moderates voting yes, as well as 59% of Independents.

Unlike past elections—including Proposition 8 in California, where Democrats had trouble consolidating their own base in favor of marriage—this time 80% of Obama voters pulled the lever for marriage, as well as 86% of Democrats. Even 79% of moderate and conservative Democrats voted in favor of marriage for gay couples, as well as 38% of liberal and moderate Republicans.

The biggest takeaway of the marriage vote in Washington is that the center is now squarely on the side of marriage advocates. The striking margins of sup- port for the referendum among moderates (+33) and Independents (+21) are indisputable, and they mark both a significant shift and a tipping point for the country on this issue.

Also, a breakdown of who was for and against marriage:


Here's a
PDF of their report, as well as a
PDF of the core findings.


  1. johnny says

    Well, I hate to look like I’m sided with the “No” folks, but since we already have a committed relationship of nearly 18 years, for my partner and I it would definitely be the “rights and benefits” reasons. At our age, it’s more about estate taxes, hospital visits, taxes and that kind of thing. The love and commitment stuff is pretty well in place already and we’re already both protected with wills, power of attorney, etc… but we want full protection under the law for ALL RIGHTS, not just a few.

  2. Phillip says

    The only reason No-voters think that is because that’s the only thing they understand. Love and commitment are not enough for the likes of them.

  3. Randyowen says

    to the above comments: Not sure you understand what they are saying with this study… It is more about what message sells better, not what is actually true, whats actually true is a mixture of both and probably a thousand different reasons we want to marry. The point of the study was to find what message sold the best so we can continue to win. That said i agree completely with what both of you said, just not sure it was what they were getting at…

  4. Markus Taylor says

    President Obama’s support of marriage equality had a huge hand in swaying the African-American vote. Do not ever forget that. Without his support I don’t think this would have passed in Washington state.

  5. Stefan says

    I think you mean Maryland Markus as Washington doesn’t have a high African American population.

  6. Markus Taylor says

    You made me check my numbers Stefan. Referendum 74 won by 550 more votes than there are blacks in the state. So yeah, I was a bit off on my comment. I still think Obama helped immensely with his support.