[T]he latest NEWSWEEK Poll finds growing public support for gay marriage and civil unions — and strong backing for the granting of certain rights associated with marriage, to same-sex couples.
Americans continue to find civil unions for gays and lesbians more palatable than full-fledged marriage. Fifty-five percent of respondents favored legally sanctioned unions or partnerships, while only 39 percent supported marriage rights. Both figures are notably higher than in 2004, when 40 percent backed the former and 33 percent approved of the latter.
When it comes to according legal rights in specific areas to gays, the public is even more supportive. Seventy-four percent back inheritance rights for gay domestic partners (compared to 60 percent in 2004), 73 percent approve of extending health insurance and other employee benefits to them (compared to 60 percent in 2004), 67 percent favor granting them Social Security benefits (compared to 55 percent in 2004) and 86 percent support hospital visitation rights (a question that wasn’t asked four years ago). In other areas, too, respondents appeared increasingly tolerant. Fifty-three percent favor gay adoption rights (8 points more than in 2004), and 66 percent believe gays should be able to serve openly in the military (6 points more than in 2004).
That via Steve Benen, who noticed:
While 86% of Americans support hospital visitation rights, 10% don’t. Now, obviously 10% is a pretty small minority. But I have to wonder just how hateful and callous a person would have to be to hold this position. It’s one thing far-right folks to hesitate when it comes to gay people getting married, but if they’re not even comfortable letting gay people visit their partners in the hospital, their hatred has blinded them to any sense of morality.
The video above, Proposition 8: The Musical, has been making the rounds this week. It took only one day to write, one day to cast, and one day to shoot. Andy Towle notes that there are plenty of people we recognize in the cast:
[The video’s creator and composer Marc] Shaiman plays the piano. Jordan Ballard, Margaret Cho, Barrett Foa, J.B. Ghuman, John Hill, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Rashad Naylor, Nicole Parker star as ‘California Gays and The People That Love Them’. John C Reilly as a Prop 8 leader, and Alison Janney as his wife. Kathy Najimy as his second wife. Jenifer Lewis as a riffing Prop 8’er. Craig Robinson as a preacher. Rashida Jones, Lake Bell, Sarah Chalke as Scary Catholic School Girls from Hell. Katharine “Kooks” Leonard, Seth Morris, Denise “Esi!” Piane, Lucian Piane, Richard Read, Seth Redford, Quinton Strack, and Tate Taylor as The Frightened Villagers.
Jack Black stars as Jesus Christ, and Neil Patrick Harris is billed as ‘A Very Smart Fellow’.
Predictably, a Christian group has demanded an apology, “an all star cast of Hollywood celebrities perform a low budget musical farce that defames Christ, mocks Christians and distorts the teaching of the Bible. ”
I didn’t see it until it was written up in The NY Times:
Most of the jokes in the Internet video “Prop 8 — the Musical,” a comedic song-and-dance diatribe about the California ballot initiative defining marriage as existing only between a man and a woman, are in its lyrics….But there is one visual gag that is particularly bittersweet to Marc Shaiman, the creator and composer of the video: a credit that says Mr. Shaiman conceived and wrote this three-minute musical skit “six weeks later than he shoulda.”
As popular as “Prop 8 — the Musical” has been — it has been viewed more than 1.9 million times since it was posted on Wednesday on funnyordie.com — it is also a reminder to Mr. Shaiman and like-minded colleagues of how events might have turned out if they had been vocal and organized before Proposition 8 was approved by California voters last month.