Friday, November 03, 2006

Fight SSM? No So Much.

Salon does a slap once, slap twice on the anti-gay, anti-same-sex-marriage fixated. It claims they have dwindled to nearly nothing lately.

A short was on a new Gallup poll of white, religious voters. A key punch line is that they put SSM way down the list of issues. Asking both frequent church goers and the lesser churched, "Gay marriage? Oh, right. It was a top priority for just two percent of the people in either group."

Their attention went to the Iraq war, immigration and health care. Everything else was single digits. As a touchstone, the self-identified religious put Iraq up top at 68%, and the other put it at 60%.

Whether Americans think they covered their bases with DOMA amendments and laws was not a question. Also, longer-term, we'll have to see how quickly voters in the many such states begin feeling embarrassed and inclined to remove the legal and constitutional discrimination they endorsed recently.

Meanwhile, even a hotbed of hate, Colorado, is hearing far less bluster about the alleged radical homosexual agenda. As Salon reports it, even U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave has realized she can't get much traction there. Now, she's saying, "I am running on a platform of security. Economic security. Border security. National security."

Only six weeks ago, this chief sponsor of the state's anti-SSM constitutional amendment when she was a state rep said, "As we face the issues we're facing today, I don't think there is anything more important than the marriage issue. If we have gay marriage, our religious liberties are gone."

Now, poll results have prompted numerous anti-SSM pols to tone down and try other clich├ęs. Even such nasties as Focus on the Family are trying to shift attention to slamming Democrats instead of bludgeoning homosexuals.

Colorado State University political scientist, John Straayer thinks, "It has sort of worn itself out for some voters... the Democrats' success is as much attributable to what the Republicans are doing than to what [Dems] are doing themselves."

Musgrave has been comfortable as she is vitriolic in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to Congress in three decades. Now she could well lose to one, Angie Paccione.

A political activist and attorney in Denver, Ted Trimpa doesn't pretend that this is a sudden acceptance of homosexuals and SSM in his state. Instead, he says, "If things go as they look like they might, in the heartland of America voters are going to reject candidates with extremist political positions. What that says to me is the pendulum has swung, that the luster of using us as a political toy has passed."

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Anonymous said...

i wonder if your question about anti-SSM people "already covering their bases" is really a large part of the explanation for any falling anti-SSM rheroric. Once an anti-SSM amendment is passed in a state, the issue is used up. I'm guessing the anti-SSM fervor in states with pending amendments is as vitriolic as ever, but it was somewhat washed out in a national survey. As for Colorado, Musgrave is an unusual case because she now has the whole Pastor Ted Haggard debacle to confuse the issue. Must be tough for a career bigot to have her greatest ally outed as a serious buyer of male favors!

When it comes to eventually repealing all these anti-gay amendments, some states will clean house, but I'm certain most will never be bothered. It will take a Supreme Court ruling like Lawrence v. Texas (sodomy is legal bet'n two consenting adults) to remove their venom, but they'll remain in place as toothless protests in many states. Again, just like the sodomy laws.

massmarrier said...

I agree about the existing amendments soothing the savage breasts. I'm not so sure about the repeals though.

Those states that ended up with both DOMA laws and amendments were largely whipped into a frothing pack. That's the kind of passionate mistakes that sometimes get revisited and revised. Whether the feds or Supreme Court brings sense, order and compassion to this, there's bound to be reciminations and shame. They deserve it, but I fear that this will take decades, as with interracial marriage.