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Hey young'uns: Turn off 'Gossip Girl' and help us stop nasty bias!

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 4-175Young people have grown up with out gay celebrities prominently featured in the media, gay characters all over the TV, and peers who come out of the closet before they come out of high school. The younger generation has also witnessed the biased ugliness that swept thru the country during the Bush administration, giving them firsthand insight into how an uber-organized portion of the populace can tyrannically stifle the rights of a minority. And since young people have, historically, been the ones to rise up and correct the civil rights mistakes of their forebearers, one would think that the early 21st century's incongruity between pop culture visibility and political shunning would've led less-aged citizens to take a loud, reasoned stand against anti-gay, society-weakening measures like Proposition 8. However, an alarming new poll indicates that this is not happening in the way we on the pro-equality side would have hoped.

This from San Francisco's CBS 5:

A new CBS 5 poll finds that California's Proposition 8 has picked up support in the wake of a television ad campaign that features footage of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaiming same-sex marriage is here to stay "whether you like it or not."

The poll conducted for CBS 5 by SurveyUSA indicates that support for the measure to ban gay marriage has grown among voters in the state over an eleven day period — most especially among young voters.

According to the poll, likely California voters overall now favor passage of Proposition 8 by a five-point margin, 47 percent to 42 percent. Ironically, a CBS 5 poll eleven days prior found a five-point margin in favor of the measure's opponents.

The only demographic group to significantly change their views during this period were younger voters — considered the hardest to poll and the most unpredictable voters — who now support the measure after previously opposing it.

CBS 5 Poll: Young Voters Lead Prop 8 Support Shift [CBS 5]

Okay, so polls are a crazy-imperfect science. There are a number of factors that could have led to this change in young support (with many on our side already raising questions about SurveyUSA's methodology). But still -- we don't like this one bit. If there is one group where the balance between pro-bias and pro-fairness should be irreconcilably disparate, it is within the 18-25 set. They are the ones who should be out there in droves standing against those antiquated mindsets who wish to propagate the anti-gay status quo of generations gone by. They should be our non-wavering allies.

So what do we need? Well, we need to reach out even more to every young Californian and show them how this initiatives passage would so thoroughly damage so many people. But beyond that we need EVERYONE, regardless of age, to GIVE, GIVE, GIVE to this good fight. Give your money, give your time, give your heart. This is the fight wherein we will decide the future of this needless "culture war." So please, we beg you to head over to the NO ON 8 site and think of some way, any way that you, your friends, and your family can help out:

NO ON 8!!!!!!!
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Your thoughts

As I noted in a comment over at BTB, SurveyUSA is a bargain-basement outfit hired almost exclusively by TV stations to help them pick which news stories will generate the highest ratings. They use short, simplistic, pre-recorded messages to which the recipient of the call answers using the touchpad on their phone. This is a definite "Don't Panic" situation.

Posted by: KipEsquire | Oct 7, 2008 10:23:01 AM

Yea, I've heard similar comments from others. Hopefully another poll will come out ASAP to challenge this one.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 7, 2008 10:35:17 AM

For your "interminably optimistic" file:
Nothing's bad about showing a little behind in the polls a month out, especially when the polls are swinging so hard from one side to the other like they are. Nothing gets the troops marching like a little fire under their bums. And as far as the fear of Obama supporters also voting "yes" on 8, I'm sure there will be a hefty contingent of the opposite- socially moderate McCain supporters who will vote "no". I know some myself.

Don't fret, fight on!

Posted by: JeffRob | Oct 7, 2008 11:48:01 AM

I have a hard time believing that, based on this survey, young people are against gay marriage just by that ad. But just to be safe, I have just made another donation to NoOnProp8. Lets get into gear folks. Gay marriage isn't going to save itself, especially from the religious bias.

Posted by: Sam | Oct 7, 2008 12:12:15 PM

Actually, I found a ring of truth to this (not the 10point swing, but increased support certainly). I was watching my recorded programs yesterday, and while I skip through commercials, I saw Gavin Newsom at that fucking podium at least 4 times and I thought, Jesus Christ where are the adds for my side, because I guarantee you, I'm watching the same thing that other people my age are watching, and people are stupid, so soundbites work.

And I left the panicking stage a long time ago, I don't expect sanity to win, there are too many undecideds, the same ones that will be swayed by this commercial, and I think they're going to stick to "they're icky, fuck 'em". But it might be a good thing, I think living in California has made me/us complacent, when there are riots in the streets, I'll be there.

Posted by: paul | Oct 7, 2008 1:12:26 PM

"Nothing gets the troops marching like a little fire under their bums."

Agree fully, JeffRob.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 7, 2008 2:36:48 PM

I agree with Paul. I don't care what the polls say, how much money we raise or how hard we fight. We are going to lose this one. This isn't cynicism. Straight people - with a few exceptions - dislike gay people. Like it or not. The only reason we won in Arizona two years ago was because STRAIGHT people would have been affected.

Now, the good news. The amendment will likely be overturned by the courts because gays are considered a suspect class in CA. This amendment will be considered a revision, which requires the CA legislature to essentially rescind all GLBT rights - which isn't going to happen.

Posted by: stojef | Oct 7, 2008 4:59:15 PM

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