The National Journal does a weekly, completely non-scientific poll on where the left and right blogosphere is on a given issue. This week, one of the questions was about same-sex marriage:
Bloggers on marriage
I don't think that the lefty results are all that surprising. The people being asked aren't the party establishment, but are semi-organically chosen grassroots thought leaders who maintain a public identity with a political ideology. They're more likely to be the hard-line party activist position, and most of them agree that same-sex marriage is something to support.
On the right side, though, the results are a bit more interesting, and do ring true to me. I remember that a long time ago for a post that I've long-since forgotten about, I was looking for a quotation from Michelle Malkin to show that she was homophobic. It wasn't as easy as you would think. Sure, I could find some basic statements after some searching on her site about her being opposed to various LGBT rights (not entire posts devoted to it, but statements within other posts), and later on I'd find a lot of homophobic jokes and innuendo, but I wasn't able to find some sort of "man on dog" quotation from her.
I wonder if exposure to the internet and the media has made conservative bloggers tone back the homophobic discourse because they know it isn't a long-term winner (unlike anti-tax rhetoric). Do they think it's better to just avoid the issue because they know that about half the party would actually start demanding secession should the GOP support same-sex marriage, but that sort of rhetoric doesn't actually lead to a solid majority?
But there's a lot more disagreement on the issue on the right than there is on the left. Here are two of the conservatives' comments
"The GOP stands to be on the wrong side of history again. Gay marriage is inevitable and, arguably at least, promotes conservative values in a way that non-marriage alternatives don't." James Joyner, Outside The Beltway
I'm guessing he'd formulate, had he more space, an argument about how alternatives to marriage destroy the institution. As if that's a reason to oppose them.
But, OK, same-sex marriage is fine, civil unions aren't.
"I believe absolutely in giving gay couples the full panoply of legal rights available to straight couples, and I believe those rights should be recognized from one state to another. I am equally firm in my conviction that marriage is an ancient and unique institution, and one inextricably intertwined with religion, and that the state should not redefine marriage to suit the political whims of the moment." Bookworm, Bookworm Room
Or, I guess, civil unions are fine, same-sex marriage isn't.
Republican politicians, on the other hand, don't seem to have much problem with talking about same-sex marriage or finding a unified position against it. And Democratic politicians don't seem too motivated to support it.
All interesting stuff.