Lupia, Arthur and Krupnikov, Yanna and Levine, Adam Seth and Piston, Spencer and Hagen-Jamae, Alexander von (2009): Why State Constitutions Differ in their Treatment of Same-Sex Marriage.
Download (350Kb) | Preview
Some states treat a same-sex marriage as legally equal to a marriage between a man and a woman. Other states prohibit legal recognition of same-sex marriages in their constitutions. In every state that has a constitutional restriction against same-sex marriage, the amendment was passed by a popular vote.
The conventional wisdom about allowing voter participation in such decisions is that they yield constitutional outcomes that reflect attitude differences across states. We reexamine the attitude-amendment relationship and find it to be weaker than expected.
In particular, we show that states vary in the costs they impose on constituencies that desire constitutional change. Some states impose very low costs (i.e., a simple majority of voters is sufficient for change). Other states impose very high costs (i.e., substantial legislative and voter supermajoriries are requires). We find that variations in the legal status of same-sex marriage across US states is better explained by these variations in costs than they are by differences in public opinion.
Our method yields an improved explanation of why states differ in their constitutional treatment of same-sex marriage today. Our findings have distinct implications for people who wish to understand and/or change the future status of same-sex couples in state constitutions.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Why State Constitutions Differ in their Treatment of Same-Sex Marriage|
|Keywords:||constitutions; same-sex marriage; political institutions; state politics|
|Subjects:||H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H70 - General
K - Law and Economics > K0 - General
H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
|Depositing User:||Arthur Lupia|
|Date Deposited:||09. May 2009 11:45|
|Last Modified:||16. Feb 2013 03:56|
Beckwith, Ryan Teague. 2008. "North Carolina Likely to Avoid Referendum" Charlotte News and Observer, November 17. Archived at http://projects.newsobserver.com/tags/gay_marriage
Besley, Timothy, and A. Abigail Payne. 2005. "Implementation of Anti-Discrimination Policy: Does Judicial Selection Matter?" Manuscript, London School of Economics and McMaster University.
Boehmke, Frederick J. 2005. The Indirect Effect of Direct Legislation: How Institutions Shape Interest Group Systems. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press.
Bowler, Shaun, and Todd Donovan. 2004. "Measuring the Effect of Direct Democracy on State Policy: Not All Initiatives Are Created Equal." State Politics and Policy Quarterly 4(3): 345-363.
Bowler, Shaun, Todd Donovan and Ken Fernandez. 1996. "The Growth of the Political Marketing Industry and the California Initiative Process." European Journal of Marketing 30(10/11): 166-178.
Donovan, Todd, and Shaun Bowler. 1997. “Direct Democracy and Minority Rights: Opinions on Anti-Gay and Lesbian Ballot Initiatives.” In Stephanie L. Witt and Suzanne McCorkle (eds.), Anti-Gay Rights: Assessing Voter Initiatives. Westport, CT: Prager.
Donovan, Todd, Caroline J. Tolbert, and Daniel A. Smith. 2008. “Priming Presidential Votes by Direct Democracy.” Journal of Politics 70: 1217-1231.
Erikson, Robert S, Gerald C. Wright, and John P. McIver. 1993. Statehouse Democracy: Public Opinion and Policy in the American States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Eskridge, William N, Jr. 1994. Dynamic Statutory Interpretation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Franklin, Charles. 2008. "Gay Marriage Support and Opposition." Posted on May 21 on http://www.pollster.com/blogs/gay_marriage_support_and_oppos.php.
Gamble, Barbara. 1997. “Putting Civil Rights to a Popular Vote.” American Journal of Political Science 41(1): 245-269.
Gerber, Elisabeth R. 1996. “Legislative Response to the Threat of Popular Initiatives.” American Journal of Political Science 40(1), 99-128.
Gerber, Elisabeth, and Simon Hug. 2003. “Minority Rights and Direct Legislation: Theory, Methods, and Evidence.” Manuscript, University of Michigan and Institut fur Politikwissenchaft.
Goldman, Seth. 2008. "Is It Ok to be Anti-Gay? Social Desirability, Elite Discourse, and Expressions of Intolerance." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL.
Haider-Markel, Donald P. 2001. “Policy Diffusion as a Geographical Expansion of the Scope of Political Conflict.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 1(1):5-26.
Haider-Markel, Donald P., and Mark Joslyn. 2008. “Understanding Beliefs about the Origins of Homosexuality and Subsequent Support for Gay Rights: An Empirical Test of Attribution Theory.” Public Opinion Quarterly 72:291-310.
Herek, Gregory M. 2006. “Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships in the United States: A Social Science Perspective.” American Psychologist 61(6): 607-621.
Kousser, Thad, and Mathew D. McCubbins. 2005. "Social Choice, Crypto-Initiatives and Policy Making by Direct Democracy." Southern California Law Review 78: 949-984.
Krislov, Marvin, and Daniel M. Katz. 2008. "Taking State Constitutions Seriously." Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 17(2): 295-342.
Lax, Jeffrey R., and Justin H. Phillips. 2009. “Gay Rights in the States: Public Opinion and Policy Responsiveness.” Manuscript, Columbia University.
Matsusaka, John G. 2004. For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Matsusaka, John G. 2007a. "Institutions and Popular Control of Public Policy." Manuscript, University of Southern California.
Matsusaka, John G. 2007b. "Direct Democracy and Social Issues." Manuscript, University of Southern California.
Penn, Elizabeth Maggie. 2008. "A Model of Farsighted Voting." Manuscript, Harvard University.
Riggle, Ellen D.B., Jerry D. Thomas, and Sharon S. Rostosky. 2005. "The Marriage Debate and Minority Stress." PS: Political Science and Politics 38(2):221-224.
Segura, Gary M. 2005. “A Symposium on the Politics of Same-Sex Marriage – An Introduction and Commentary.” PS: Political Science and Politics 38(2):189-193.
Shipan, Charles R. and William R. Lowry. 2001. “Environmental Policy and Party Divergence in Congress.” Political Research Quarterly 54(2):245-263.
Wu, Nina. 2008. "Momentum Gaining for Same-Sex Marriage. Honolulu Star-Tribune, June 28. http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/06/29/business/story03.html.