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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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Comment Preferences

  •  GOP claim that it leads to bestiality in 5,4,3,2.. (8+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:38:06 AM PDT

  •  I have to admit... (5+ / 0-)

    ...that I'm a little unhappy that repealing Measure 36 won't be on the ballot in Oregon, just because it would get out the vote for Jeff Merkley.

    Given the choice, though, I'm relieved that marriage equality is now the law in Oregon. And there will be other ballot measures. ERA and recreational pot use come to mind.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:02:11 AM PDT

  •  My guess is that sometime in the next SCOTUS (7+ / 0-)

    term they will hear a case and the result will be universal marriage equality nationwide. I really do think it will happen that quickly.

    That won't stop the bigots though. They will continue trying every end-run they can find to restrict the rights of LGBT persons. After all, the same group is still trying end-runs around the Voting Rights Act. So, it's not going to go away, but I think they will see some pretty major defeats and soon.

    Heck, they already are. If you had asked me when Margaret Marshall in Massachusetts handed down the Goodridge decision if we'd have this many states with equality today, I would have said you were dreaming.


    by commonmass on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:03:44 AM PDT

  •  An Atomic Wedgie Issue nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Aunt Pat

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:06:58 AM PDT

  •  State bans were sold under false pretenses (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Aunt Pat, foresterbob

    I believe a standard myth used was that churches would be forced to perform SSMs, which is a lie. Obviously that begs the question as to whether or not lying for the lord is a sin or is there a loophole if it involves slapping down "teh gay (sic)"

    •  Well, the guy who was the spokesman for the (5+ / 0-)

      RC Diocese of Portland admitted that he "lied for the Lord" back in '09. He also admitted that it bankrupted the Diocese, which is true: they spent so much money fighting equality that they had to sell their Chancery and close the Cathedral School.

      Now, they "won" in '09, but they lost in '12. Of course, the Diocese was a very minor player. They are bankrupt.

      All over fighting against the civil rights of LGBT persons. Interestingly, Roman Catholics in Maine supported and voted for the equality bill in some pretty impressive numbers, including Mayor Brennan of Portland who has been an outspoken supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights and second district Congressman Mike Michaud, who is running for Governor and is not only Roman Catholic, but also openly gay.

      Across town on State Street, at Loring House and St. Luke's Cathedral (the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine), they were busy doing everything they could to support marriage equality.

      So yes, the "religious freedom" argument is a total red herring and it was refreshing to see that squirrel from the RC Diocese, who operated as a kind of Karl Rove "mini-me" admit that their tactics were deceptive and wrong.

      Sounds like sin to me.


      by commonmass on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:31:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  myth and superstition (0+ / 0-)

      They churches have running myths to oppress people who they don't like forever.  Take the divorce thing.  Many were against no-fault divorce, and typically against divorce in general, but it was not the government that 'forced' them to marry couple in which one or both were divorced for reasons other than infidelity. By the 50's many churches were already softening their stance on divorce.  As time went on and it became clear that families would go to churches that would marry divorced people, the churches caved.  After all, what is the purpose of many churches, to set a moral example, or separate the people from their cash?

      To make it clear that church stance on divorce is about oppression and discrimination, the religious right elected a adulterer who divorced and illigitimately remarried to the white house.

      More evidence needed?  The catholic church married Newt Gingrich to his third wife 2000, while the alleged liberal haven of New York did not have full no-fault divorce until 2010.

      I still think that progressives made a mistake by not pushing civil unions as the norm, depreciating church ceremonies to formalities.  Every couple is married when they receive and sign the marriage licenses and it is countersigned by a clerk. With all rights conferred.  Churches would then be free to discriminate as they wish, and in the case of my church that has performing formalities for almost 30 years, marry couple regardless of gender.

      •  Abandoning civil unions was NOT a mistake. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Moving marriage into purely civil union status and redefining the word "marriage" to mean "holy matrimony" could have taken decades. Meanwhile, gay families would suffer without equal rights. This process of claiming the right to an already existing institution fast tracts equality while also changing the dialogue and furthering social acceptance of gays and lesbians.

        The basic problems with an extended, ongoing civil union transition are:

        1) CUs and marriage are separate and unequal in the eyes of the law as well as the public.

        2) Some states banned civil unions as well as same-sex marriage.

        3) Marriage and divorce case law would not have automatically applied to civil unions. That's a whole lot of legal precedent that has to be rebuilt for civil unions.

        4) States that delay equality will eventually be undermined by the full faith and credit clause that forces them to accept other states' same-sex marriages.

        5) The federal government could drag its feet on accepting states' civil unions, withholding full marriage benefits for years.

        6) SCOTUS will eventually step in to mitigate the issue of  the few remaining states refusing to allow gay marriage.

        7) Because we went for the gold and fought for full marriage equality instead of civil unions, there is an accepted meme that our relationships are just as valid as a man-woman relationship. Public perception is evolving quickly toward acknowledging and supporting same-sex families to match the law of the land. This can only be good for young gays and lesbians who need role models and society's support as they envision their future lives.

        •  do not disagree (0+ / 0-)

          but I think such discussions are missing one key point.  As long as we allow those who are ruled by superstition and bigotry to define what is real, what is valid, what is acceptable, we are fighting a losing battle.  The courts cannot tell the bigots what is valid, only what is legal. That is why there is so much discussion about churches being 'forced' to marry same sex couples and shop owners being forced to make wedding cakes for them.

          By not going to civil unions, we lost the chance to neuter those who are protected under the constitution to a right to discriminate, oppress, and even advocate the murder.  It is not that marriage equality is a not a reasonable path, it is that marriage equality is the path that leaves us open to future damage.

          Look at the past.  The was interracial marriage, where bigots supported by the religious superstitious people would prevent children from the benefit of two parents because the parents were seen as different races. There was divorce, in which the church told women that if there husbands beat them and raped them then it was the fault of the wife for not doing what the husband said, or not doing her duty, or being a generally sinful person.  It was best for the women to stay in such a marriage, even if it killed her.  Then there was homosexual marriage, in which some old superstitious men, not the law per se, deemed love between the same gender as different from love between  different genders. The civil union law could have been written to be equal to marriage but the bigots and the superstitious fought it.

          The point is that when the next issue comes around, say the person hood laws, instead of the religious freaks have reduced power, they now are damaged but are as powerful as ever because it is clear that the civilized portion of society will always negotiate change to accommodate their bigotry.

          •  They are VERY neutered on the gay marriage issue (0+ / 0-)

            Mozilla proved that. High level people will keep a low profile and keep their opinions to themselves from here forward.

            NOM was just ordered to release their donor list because they cheated and violated election law in Maine. Only the hardcore idiots who have nothing to lose will continue to give them money.

            The spread of gay marriage is a done deal. Some states will drag their feet, but no federal judge is going to backtrack and go down in history as the last remaining bigot to stand in the way of the fairness and equality that society has demanded. No judge wants to be known as making a decision as bad as Dred Scott v. Sandford (can you feel me, Fifth Circuit?)

            This is no longer about convincing conservative christians to "save" marriage. No matter how much they stick to talking points, they're doing NOTHING to save marriage. Preventing divorce, encouraging dead beat dads to take responsibility, now that would be walking the talk. All they're doing is beating the same old drum to keep "teh gays" out. Even their own followers are starting to get a clue.

            From here forward, it's all about what kind of money NOM and others can strip from fearful or hateful people, and how they can use that money to buy Republican candidates.

            We expose them there, and we continue to make them look like fools, and we'll have nationwide marriage equality within a couple of years.

            Then we'll be glad we went for the gold and didn't accept separate and unequal civil unions.

            •  Also, regarding personhood laws (0+ / 0-)

              I think we need to change the dialogue. We've floundered for a way to describe "reproductive choice" and allowed our opponents to define the content of the discussion. They've presented women "choosing" to have an abortion as if it's some willy, nilly decision. They have successfully made women feel bad about their "choices" above and beyond the hardship of the decision itself.

              We need to reframe the discussion using stronger explanations that throw blame back on our opponents. For example, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan voted Yes on a law that would have banned abortions even in the event of incest or rape of a child. Wow. Who is he, or any man for that matter, to make that decision for any woman or girl? If men can make those decisions on behalf of women, then we are relegated to property, like farm animals or dogs, that can be forced to reproduce at the will of the owner. We are not lesser beings;  we supposedly are equal to men in this country. No man should be allowed to treat us like livestock. Hence, when women are forced to bear children against their will, the specific men voting and enforcing that are violating the rights of women not wanting to bear a child.

              See? Take the word "choice" out of the conversation and start hammering home the idea that women are not livestock. Make them look like pigs for trying to force women to bear children against their will.

  •  Still amazing how quickly things have changed (0+ / 0-)

    I can actually understand why the likes of Mackey are in denial. Things have shifted so drastically that they can't comprehend it and they're left reeling like a punch-drunk boxer.

  •  Marriage equality is not the issue in PA (0+ / 0-)

    As much as I support marriage equality, it is not even in the top ten issues that are affecting Corbett's popularity in PA.  Except in Philadelphia ( which is admittedly half of the state), his 19ht century stand on this issue probably gets him as many votes as he loses.  That is unfortunate but true.  Corbett's standing is so poor on the basis of his education policy, workers' rights and the minimum wage, refusal to expand medicaid, and reduction in state services.  Outside the cities, many of the democrats are as anti-gay as the republicans.  this is a sad but true fact; if not for Philly and (to a lesser extent) Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is West Virginia.  The young people are slowly changing that, but they're not even close yet.

    "I like your Christ...I don't like your christians, they're so unlike your Christ" Ghandi

    by joetalarico on Fri May 23, 2014 at 10:21:56 AM PDT

  •  also (0+ / 0-)

    The electorate in non-presidential elections skews older, so even if this is a slight wedge issue in 2014 it will be a much bigger one in 2016.  

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