January 18, 2009
Smoking dope and marrying gays...
Posted by: Chris
On the one hand, the issue finished second among all ideas for immigration reform, but ultimately received only 1,325 votes in the second round of balloting. That put it not only out of the Top 10 but about a thousand votes short of the next 25 top ideas at the site.
On the other hand, marriage equality did make the final list, and equal marriage rights -- or even repealing DOMA or federal civil unions -- would effectively equalize immigration rights as well. While that's good news, it's instructive to see what finished ahead even of marriage equality.
In a fairly clever move, the folks at Change.org -- no connection with Change.gov, the official Obama transition site -- listed the top 10 finishers on the home page in something of a random order based on importance of the idea. But if you visit the web page for each idea, you can see how they really tallied.
Legalizing marijuana was the top vote-getter, just ahead of creating a new cabinet agency called the Department of Peace and Non-Violence.:
- Legalize marijuana, 19,530 votes
- Create Dep't of Peace and Non-Violence: 14,994
- Single-payer health insurance: 13,928
- Make the grid green: 12,913
- Repeal Patriot Act: 12, 285
- Exempt handmade toy makers from safety rules: 12,280
- Health care freedom: 12,062
- Pass the DREAM Act for immigrants: 12,010
- Pass marriage equality nationwide: 11,889
- Energy sustainability: 9,644
No other gay rights ideas, including repealing DOMA and passing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, made the top 35, which means they finished behind stopping puppy mills and introducing Esperanto as a foreign language subject in U.S. schools.
While you join me in a collective eyeroll, we can at least remember that the site was a useful venue to raise the visibility of immigration and marriage equality, among other LGBT issues.
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