Bil Browning

Republicans Dropping Marriage Equality Boogeyman?

Filed By Bil Browning | July 03, 2011 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: anti-gay legislation, culture wars, Dean Heller, Indiana, marriage amendment, North Carolina, Republicans

Have they finally come to their senses? Are Republicans abandoning the culture wars radioactive-church.jpgin favor of their corporate masters' bidding? After all, most Fortune 500 companies now support LGBT workers.

...A week after New York became the biggest state to legalize gay marriage, Capitol Hill is all but silent on the topic. Using the power of the federal government to ban gay marriage was all the rage in Republican circles from the mid-1990s right up through the 2006 midterm elections. But Republicans, more focused on spending, taxes and economic issues, are no longer anxious to tangle over spousal rights for same-sex couples.

"The only person who ever asks me about it is, I think, the media," said freshman Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). "When you got the highest unemployment, highest foreclosures and highest bankruptcy, social issues right now take a back seat to putting food on the table."

The shift in emphasis to economic issues, the departure of iconic GOP cultural warriors such as Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), and poll results showing the American public has become more comfortable with same-sex unions have all combined to push the matter off the congressional plate.

There's simply no percentage in making it a top priority -- or even an item on the agenda -- many Republicans say.

While this might be happening at the federal level, it's important to point out the huge gaps between what's acceptable in that far-off land called Washington and the more local state and city politicians who still cling to bigotry and division as an election tactic.

Don't forget that in Indiana, the Democrat Minority Leader (and former Speaker of the House) voted in favor of a marriage discrimination amendment, while in North Carolina the Democrat-In-Charge is denigrating gay relationships and advocating for an amendment. Oh, Democrats. They never tire of out-righting the right wingers in a desperate attempt to woo voters who will never vote for them in the first place.

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Annette Gross Annette Gross | July 3, 2011 6:07 PM

Will Indiana ever come to its senses and move into the 21st century? Why are our legislators so hell-bent on clinging to bigotry and religious ideology? Eric Miller and his cronies are using this issue as a way to blackmail legislators to do their bidding, ostensibly to "save the family" but really as a way to make money. Come on Hoosiers - wake up! The world is changing and you need to get with the program!

Annette Gross Annette Gross | July 3, 2011 6:07 PM

Will Indiana ever come to its senses and move into the 21st century? Why are our legislators so hell-bent on clinging to bigotry and religious ideology? Eric Miller and his cronies are using this issue as a way to blackmail legislators to do their bidding, ostensibly to "save the family" but really as a way to make money. Come on Hoosiers - wake up! The world is changing and you need to get with the program!

I'm not sure the scare tactics from 2004 can be used nationally, especially after six states and D.C. passed marriage equality. It works better locally, like here in Tennessee. Same with abortion rights (with the exception of healthcare reform and the Hyde Amendment). Or maybe that's optimism.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 4, 2011 4:51 AM

What could easily defeat Obama is the 25 million is the depression levels of unemployment and underemployment. Even Republicans can figure that out. even if they're as responsible as Clinton and Obama for causing and maintaing those levels.

The left, and increasingly, unions will continue to point out that un and under employment could easily be zeroed out by ending Obama's six (and counting) wars, taxing the rich at the same rate as FDR, Truman and Enisnhower - 90% - ending the bailouts and using those trillions to green the economy using union hiring halls. And there'd be plenty for socilized medicine if Obama plan of giving it to insurance companies was trashed.
I think they might decide to put their emphasis on econoimic faiolure and do all they can to exacerbate it but I doubt they'll forget that homophobia is as effective for them now as racism was in the last century.

We should fight for a plan to offer the banksters bail instead of bailouts and taxing them till they drop and for constitutional amendments to guarantte good wages, hosuing, education, healthe care and equality. emtnTheir problem is that most of their candidates, like Obama, are bigots who oppose same sex marriage and a large part of their party sees bigotry as the way to victory.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 5, 2011 1:59 PM

Sorry for the spelling errors. I used spell check but evidently the paste didn't take.

What could easily defeat Obama are the depression levels of unemployment and underemployment. Even Republicans can figure that out. They're as responsible as Clinton and Obama for causing and maintaining those levels.

The left, and increasingly, unions will continue to point out that un and under employment could easily be zeroed out by ending Obama's six (and counting) wars, taxing the rich at the same rate as FDR, Truman and Eisenhower - 90% - ending the bailouts and using those trillions to green the economy using union hiring halls. And there'd be plenty for socialized medicine if Obama plan of giving it to insurance companies was trashed.

I think they might decide to put their emphasis on economic failure and do all they can to exacerbate it but I doubt they'll forget that homophobia is as effective for them now as racism was in the last century.

We should fight for a plan to offer the banksters bail instead of bailouts and taxing them till they drop and for constitutional amendments to guarantee good wages, housing, education, health care and equality. Their problem is that most of their candidates, like Obama, are bigots who oppose same sex marriage and a large part of their party sees bigotry as the way to victory.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | July 4, 2011 6:43 AM

With profound apologies to Bil and Annette for going off-topic, will Bill Perdue please post the text of a constitutional amendment designed to "guarantee good wages"?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 5, 2011 2:21 PM

It doesn't take a lot of imagination. Just a lot of political will to promote workers and the unions that fight for them.

Specifically about wages it'd be pegged to a fixed dollar rate based on a particular year and the rate of wages and benefits in the best union contract with and a proviso for COLAs for rapid adjustment to inflation. It would also criminalize anti-union practices.

Similar guarantees could be made for full education, socialized medicine, interest free home loans, declaring back rent to be back house payments and transferring ownership of housing on that basis, ending predatory wars, equality in the form of a CRA, taxing the rich until they drop and etc.

The point is that when the AFL-CIO unleashes our Labor Party to combat anti-worker Democrats (and Republicans), projecting our program in the form of constitutional amendments becomes a potent political tool to organize mass movements around them.

Democrats and Republicans will complain that those are not the proper subject matter for constitutions and socialists and revolutionists will say 'So?' and go on organizing for them.

Evilgelical fundamentalisticals still dominate and control the Repug Party. So, the xns--- Repugs--- will always use Gay Americans as a divisive issue that will scare Americans who don't think for themselves.

The answer is that (a) the lefty-GOPers already support marriage equality (Thank the stars that NY legislature had several of those), the mainstream GOP will not support but will just shut up about it, and the Tea Baggers will dig in their heels and continue to insist that legitimized same-sex couples of any type (marriage or civil unions) will lead to the collapse of civilization, and possibly the Milky Way Galaxy.

The GOP has not reached a "tipping point" just yet -- and I predict it won't tip until well over 50% of US population lives in marriage equality jurisdictions. (Right now, even if marriage equality wins in the CA case, we are only at about one-third marriage equality.)

Sorry to be so rude ... but it is no secret that some of the process is simply a matter of the older Republican voters dying off.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | July 4, 2011 3:33 PM

AJ's point is well-taken, except that there ought to be an alternative to depending on older GOP folks dying off.....Sarah Palin might accuse the LGBT movement of riding the alleged "Obamacare death panel" train.

Frankly I think that those who've written recently about the threat of one's distancing onself from one's family as opposed to passively tolerating the opposite has some application here. The more persuadable GOP people "in the middle" have family, friends, neighbors, etc. who are LGBT. They need to be constantly prodded to answer why they insist on voting against their own flesh-and-blood, etc. All back to putting a human face on all of this whenever and wherever we possible can.

Johnny K. | July 4, 2011 8:24 PM

I recall reading that a major right-wing figure in Nevada has stated (post-NY) that same sex marriage is inevitable, and Nevada should consider rescinding their constitutional ban for a cut of the wedding bucks. Seems like rather a tipping point for me.

It seems difficult to group all "Republicans" together in one generalized way, just as it would be difficult to group all Democrats as such. Many more libertarian leaning Republicans already have long supported GLBT rights, and the TEA Party's influence has been mostly to try and affect financial change, not social. For the writer or commenters to lump them all together as crazy Christianists is a grave mistake, and one that often hurts the GLBT community more than it helps us.