The coming fight over gay marriage in California is going to be "nasty and divisive," and it might not prove to be the boon Republicans think it will, Tim Rutten writes in the Los Angeles Times. "Any time one group of Californians uses the ballot box as a tool to have another group declared less or different," he notes, "people take it personally and things get rough."
Though pollsters find public sentiment fluid, it's shifting against a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. And, Rutten reminds, social issues have worked against Republicans in the past, and it's no coincidence that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's against the measure, is the GOP's lone state-wide office-holder.