In the wake of the stunning victories for marriage equality in all four states where it was on the ballot a few weeks ago, David Barton is trying to paint a smiley face on the whole thing. He dismisses those victories as purely “rhetorical” and, as usual, distorts the truth in the process:
There is some good news. There are some storm clouds, we saw storm clouds election night. You look at the marriage amendments; three of the four marriage issues went down. In Minnesota, it almost went down, it was like a 50-50 prop; it should not have been that close that marriage is a man and a woman, but going down in Maine, and going down in Washington, and going down in Maryland but preserving barely in Minnesota.
While we did lose three of the four states and almost lost the fourth state, nationally the support is still high. A poll done on election day found that sixty percent of Americans strongly support marriage as a man and a woman.
It’s a rhetorical victory for same-sex marriage proponents because they say “hey, we won three out of the last four states that voted on this.” Yeah, with about 50.5% support, you know, barely.
He’s wrong about Minnesota. The pro-equality side won in that state, but the amendment that was on the ballot was to ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution and it lost. That doesn’t actually legalize same-sex marriage in that state, but it was still a clear victory for equality and a huge defeat for the bigots. In Maine, equality won with 52.7%. In Maryland, it was 52.1%. In Washington, it was 53.2%. And in Minnesota, it was 51.2%. And when you consider how quickly that has reversed itself, from about 70% opposition to marriage equality in the country after the Goodridge ruling in 2003, the trends are absolutely clear. Equality is winning; bigotry is losing.