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Marriage equality demonstration
Remember 2004, when Republicans used gay marriage bans as a wedge issue in swing states? Well, welcome to 2014, when Democrats are doing the same, to rather different ends:
Consider Pennsylvania, where Democrats have lambasted Republican Gov. Tom Corbett for comparing gay marriage to incest. Facing a tough re-election campaign, Corbett decided this week not to appeal a federal court ruling striking down the state's ban of gay marriage.

Or Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is hitting his Republican challenger for casting votes that denied gay people protection from discrimination. In Arizona, Democrats plan to hammer Republican legislators who passed a law allowing businesses to refuse to serve gays for religious reasons.

As Corbett's decision not to appeal shows, this is an issue with real power. Since it's one where there's an especially big divide between young voters and the Republican Party, you'd think Republicans would be scrambling to get on the right side of history, if only to avoid losing a generation of voters. Some are. But there continue to be significant chunks of the Republican base holding on to bigotry, and that will be tough for the party to overcome and move forward:
Connie Mackey, head of the conservative Family Research Council's Political Action Committee, said [using anti-gay measures to turn out conservative religious voters is] still a solid strategy. Voters still oppose gay marriage, she argued, and Republicans should not let themselves get faked out by overconfident Democrats.

"The people in the states think one way and the establishment and the courts are showing a different face," Mackey said.

Not really, though. Sure, support for marriage equality varies by state, so if when you say "the people in the states," you mean Mississippi and Texas, maybe. But even in those states, opinion is changing rapidly, and not in a way that would make Connie Mackey happy. But if she and the Family Research Council want to keep their heads in the sand, and keep pressure on the Republican Party to ignore the realists in its ranks, that's great. Please, Republicans, keep listening to them.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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