Thursday, October 26, 2006

SSM: Too Late the Alarm

As the analysis of yesterday's New Jersey pro-marriage-equality ruling begins, Salon is running a nice angle by Glenn Greenwald, lefty lawyer and author. He contends that despite the sudden shrill shrieks of right-wingers, they won't be able to rally new troops to vote against liberal candidates in 10 days.

Among his conclusions are:
  • Yet, aside from the limited and seemingly inoffensive nature of today's ruling, the Republicans' ability to milk the issue of gay marriage generally seems to be waning. [Greenwald cites 20 bans approved since 1998 by as much as 75%, dwindling to 2004 in Oregon with 57%.]
  • But this year, polls show much weaker support for these referendums.
  • Given the public's growing acceptance of civil unions, and even its weakening opposition to gay marriage, it seems doubtful that the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision will be of much use to Republicans -- either in galvanizing their dispirited base, or in changing the minds of those intent on throwing them out of office.
Even though the New Jersey Supreme Court stopped just shy of mandating marriage for same-sex couples who want, the predictable (and apparently very tired) screams went out. Greenwald notes:
Despite the New Jersey court's refusal to go that far, religious conservatives immediately sounded the alarm over the decision. Hugh Hewitt misleadingly announced that "the imperial judiciary imposes same sex marriage in New Jersey," while James Dobson of Focus on the Family urged his followers to vote on Nov. 7, warning them that "nothing less than the future of the American family hangs in the balance."
Anyone who would buy that babble seems to already have a closet full of it.

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