Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Question for Conservatives

Where do you see the Republican Party headed on same-sex marriage?

First, do you think that conservatives somehow or another turn the tide back?

If not, when does opposition cease to be a litmus test for presidential candidates? 2016? 2020? 2024? The day after it becomes enacted nationally? Of course, that might take a long time -- can you picture a situation in which same-sex marriage is legal and not particularly controversial in, say, 35 states, but illegal in the remaining 15 states and still a litmus test at the presidential level? How do you see this all playing out for Republican politicians?

10 comments:

  1. It might vaguely resemble opposition to abortion, where the issue remains on the national radar and specific by-state restrictions (e.g. South Dakota) persist.

    But it will be opposition with far less teeth than that to abortion, since abortion involves the death of an innocent human, and with same-sex marriage...well, what opponent really cares?

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    1. This seems possible, though it's hard to imagine what sort of extraordinary limitations states could use to try to curtail same-sex marriage. Longer waiting periods for a marriage license? Mandatory pre-marital counseling? Stricter age requirements than what are on the books for opposite sex marriage? None of these could really come across as anything other than bald-face bigotry.

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    2. I think its going to be a long time before red states accept same sex marriage. Even in a blue state like New Jersey, where a small majority of the electorate tell pollsters they support gay marriage, the passion on this issue seems limited to gays, their family members, and college educated white liberals. So Gov. Christie's campaign for re-election in 2013 may not be much damaged by his veto of gay marriage, since the most committed supporters of it are already mostly strong Democrats, who are unlikely to vote for him in any case. So I do not see serious Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination supporting gay marriage until at least 2024, and more likely 2028 or 2032.

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    3. Perhaps more states would attempt to create some sort of "marriage-plus" that would be unappealing to anyone who's not a straight evangelical couple, but I have no idea at all what such a thing would look like, or how one could deter same-sex couples from signing up for it.

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    4. Covenant Marriages, possibly. The real trick will be figuring out how to survive the equal protection clause. Probably not possible, but you never know.

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  2. Not a conservative, but:

    I think this will fade as a litmus test by 2024. The age spread on gay marriage is real. Only in the deepest South/Utah do you find majority opposition to gay marriage among the youth. I don't think Republicans will be in support of gay marriage by 2024. I just think that it'll be SUCH a loser nationally and in swing states by 2024 that this won't get mentioned. My guess: something like 60% will support gay marriage by 2024.

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  3. "So Gov. Christie's campaign for re-election in 2013 may not be much damaged by his veto of gay marriage, since the most committed supporters of it are already mostly strong Democrats"

    50-55% of independents nationally, though, support legal recognition of same-sex marriage, a number practically indistinguishable from those of Democrats (57-64%). Republicans (at around 25%) remain out of the stream.

    I think a position like Christie's isn't going to lose him votes because of the views of those most committed; although there certainly are some Republicans who feel that way. I think it will lose him (some) votes because it contributes to the sensible objective view that he's not competent; a sitting governor who issues a veto and whose only comment is that he'd rather not have to make a decision and it should go to a referendum is pretty pathetic.

    However, he's popular enough he should win reelection.

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  4. Not a conservative, but...
    If Republicans lose in 2012, it will be time for soul searching (like 1965), and they will back off the cultural conservatism. So gay marriage will cease to be a litmus test in 2016.
    If they win in 2012, then, 2020.

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  5. Not that I have a "gay agenda" one way or another, I believe that the Republicans are not going to turn back the tide of growing political (and social) clout/support among homosexuals, so the best they can hope for is t try to (in the words of my grandmother) feed that issue with a long-handled spoon.

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  6. My guess is the Republican's will continue to make an issue of gay marriage until the Democrats elect the first openly LGBT President. At that point, a little light may dawn upon them.

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