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gay marriage ban defeated in arizona

there is so much to celebrate this morning. the house has returned to democratic control, and, much more improbably, there’s a good chance the senate will too.

but the news i’m cheering the most is from arizona. that very republican state became the first state in the country to reject a gay marriage ban.

the importance of this cannot be overstated. combined with much narrower majorities passing gay marriage bans in other states, and with the court decision in new jersey, it looks like we may have turned a corner in the battle for marriage equality.

my sense is that many arizonans possess that western conservatism, that libertarian-ish barry goldwater-like streak that says “stay outta my private life”. and those people combined with the social liberals to provide a majority to defeat the gay marriage ban.

there’s a road map there, and a great lesson for those in the marriage equality movement. that’s a winning argument that can be duplicated elsewhere. the dynamics of this victory will be, and should be, studied to an infinitesimal degree of precision. every nuance of meaning needs to be extracted.

and you combine the arizona victory with the defeat of the anti-abortion law in south dakota, and the passage of the stem-cell research proposal in missouri, and you have a formula for driving nutty evangelicals, well, nuttier.

it’s a good, good, morning in america.