With all this change in the air and the rainbows flying high, is Alabama anywhere on the gaydar? Though our legislature just passed a resolution honoring Miss California Carrie Prejean -- who is against same sex marriage and pro taking her clothes off in front of a cameraman -- polling and political stats wizard Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com says we'll have gay marriage in the Heart of Dixie soon enough... "soon" being a relative term.
Silver developed a regression model, whatever that is, to predict the year in which a state will legalize gay marriage. Silver "looked at the 30 instances in which a state has attempted to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage by voter initiative." He explains a bit:
It turns out that you can build a very effective model by including just three variables:
1. The year in which the amendment was voted upon;
2. The percentage of adults in 2008 Gallup tracking surveys who said that religion was an important part of their daily lives;
3. The percentage of white evangelicals in the state.
Is his model accurate? Well, the model predicted that California would pass a ban on gay marriage with 52.1% of the vote, "almost exactly the fraction actually received by Proposition 8." It also predicted that Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut would legalize gay marriage in 2009.
So where does Alabama rank among the 50 states? Where we always rank--next to last, just before Mississippi (again, thank you, Mississippi). Silver's model predicts that Alabama will legalize gay marriage in 2023, a year before Mississippi.
I guess we have a lot of white evangelicals in this state. Who knew?
That's assuming the U.S. Congress or Supreme Court doesn't legalize same sex marriage nationally first, of course.
Might be interesting to check that list as time rolls on, especially with the manmentum the gay marriage movement has built up recently (Source: FiveThirtyEight.com).
If you’d like to see more of Nate Silver, here is his presentation at TED Talks, “Picking Apart the Puzzle of Racism in Elections.”