Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Republicans and Gay Marriage

Posted by Warren Peterson on September 8, 2010

Thanks to SP for sending me the below thought provoking blog from rottenindenmark:

Why the American Left Drags Its Feet on Gay Rights
By: Mike Babb

One thing I couldn’t get over when I first moved here was how politically diverse the gays are. Some of them are left-wing, some of them are right-wing. Some of them are racist, some of them are patronizingly inclusive. ‘Jesus,’ I remember saying on one of my first weekends, ‘It’s like being gay doesn’t even mean anything.’
And it doesn’t, really. Gay marriage has been legal in Denmark for 20 years, and gayness has been a political non-starter so long that politicians have to be asked about it, and then they all give pretty much the same answer. Anti-gay sentiment isn’t completely banished, but you hear it come up about as much as you hear about, say, the flat tax in America. It’s there, but it’s not a divisive issue in many races or party manifestos.
In other words, gays have no built-in incentive to be left-wing. In America, gays are mainly limited to the blue end of the spectrum because the right-wing wants to actively curtail their rights and reduce their quality of life. For gays, self-preservation trumps the economic and social issues that most other citizens vote on.
If gay marriage gets legalized in the States, after a few political aftershocks, I think a lot of gays would start to migrate rightward. It would be slow, but in the long-term gays might even be a reliable Republican voting bloc. Gays tend to be affluent, and eventually, the dimensions of self-preservation would warp to exclude Oppressed Minority and include Yuppie Wealth Preserver.
I wonder if American left-wing politicians know this, and this is part of why they don’t grant full civil rights to homosexuals. As long as we’re second-class citizens and one of the parties is slightly better than the other, they can take us for granted. Giving us full marriage rights would effectively put both parties back at Go, and they would have to compete for our votes.
I’ve been wondering that this year, as the promises made during the presidential campaign haven’t materialized, and as the Democrats face the loss of the majority that would have made pro-gay legislation reasonably easy to enact. It’s about time we started asking whether it wasn’t the opportunity that passed, but the politicians.

Mike Babb graduated from Nathan Hale High School in Seattle and Western Washington University. He holds masters degrees from University College London and Aarhus University in Denmark. He is employed by Danish Institute for Human Rights.

If Mr. Babb is right, Republicans are missing an opportunity to pick up support currently conceded to the Democrats. Capitalizing on that may be a ways off. Polls show a steady trend toward favoring gay marriage, but broken down by political leanings, religious affiliation and section of the country, there is still strong opposition. Conservatives, church attendees, and southerners are against while liberals, over half of independents, less religious and northeasterners tend to favor.

Gays are not excluded from the party as evidenced by existence of the Log Cabin Republicans, a vocal pro-gay group, the “outing” of known Republican operatives such as the former national GOP chair, Ken Mehlman and the Cheney’s support for their lesbian daughter, Mary. But party platform planks defining marriage as between one man and one woman do reflect the general view of the majority. People will have to decide for themselves if the same-sex marriage issue trumps Republican positions on the economy, runaway deficits, taxes, smaller less intrusive government and national defense. The latter should be the prime voter consideration in 2010 and 2012. The former can wait.

Sound Politics

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One Response to “Republicans and Gay Marriage”

  1. You might want to check out my posting on Ken Mehlman, which I think you might find interesting.

    Mehlman says gays should join GOP because they are “against Muslims”: http://queerfaithnews.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/gays-and-lesbians-called-to-protest-islamphobia/

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