Gay Marriage Foes Urge GOP to Cling to Sinking Ship

Somebody toss Gary Bauer a life preserver, please© Jorgenmac | Dreamstime.comA new poll shows that Texas is the latest state flipping for gay marriage. A poll put together by Texas Tech University showed 48 percent of Texans supporting same-sex marriage recognition and 47 percent opposed. It’s nearly a 10 percent increase in support in Texas since the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act last year. A federal judge also struck down Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage recognition in February, though the ruling is stayed for appeals.

But polls be damned, the same gay marriage opponents who have been fighting against gay marriage from the start are still trying to insist that Republicans need to keep embracing this culture war battle in order to please their base. They put together a poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to bolster their claims. Politico notes:

The survey by the GOP polling firm Wilson Research Strategies was of Republican and Republican-leaning independents and was taken over a month ago, sampling 801 people from March 18 through March 20, with a 3.5 percent margin of error.

The survey showed 82 percent agreeing with a statement that marriage should be between “one man and one woman.” It also found 75 percent disagreed that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.”

First of all, the wording of the questions matter. Reason-Rupe poll director Emily Ekins has previously noted that polls that ask whether people want to “redefine” marriage get greater disapproval numbers than polls that ask whether people want to “legalize” gay marriage. Both the questions address only the idea of “defining” or “redefining” marriage and nothing to do with policies or principles. It doesn’t ask whether the government should recognize same-sex marriages or whether government benefits or privileges should be extended to same-sex couples. The question was designed to get more negative responses.

And then there’s this graph reminder from Gallup:

Independent voter graphGallup

It’s a reminder that the Republican Party has been bleeding members since 2005. Only 25 percent of Americans identify as Republicans, while 42 percent identify as independents and 31 percent identify as Democrats. This marriage poll included independents who said they leaned toward the Republican party, but doesn’t indicate how many independents they surveyed leaned toward the GOP. Another chart from Gallup shows Democrats still outnumbering Republicans significantly when independent "leaners" were included.

Even as the popularity of President Barack Obama and his policies plunge, and the likelihood of the Republican Party taking control of the Senate following midterms increases, the GOP is still struggling with this issue. The Nevada Republican Party removed opposition to gay marriage (and abortion) from its party platform earlier in the month. And yesterday the Consumer Electronics Association, a trade association, announced it was going to provide financial support to the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay conservatives, apparently the first tech group to do so. As the Mozilla controversy has shown, there is political diversity within the tech community, but it is nevertheless largely supportive of same-sex marriage. Would any GOP operative look at the shifts in this country on gay marriage (especially among the young) and actually recommend listening to these guys?

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  • sarcasmic||

    How many people just don't give a shit anymore?

  • ||

    Present!

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    You know what else often starts with a bang but ends with a whimper?

  • Brett L||

    A cop shooting a dog?

  • From the Tundra||

    A date with Warty.

  • Brett L||

    Listen, its the gays who made this rear-guard defense necessary!

  • From the Tundra||

    Nice.

  • SusanM||

    Indeed. All of our thrusting towards SSM with rigid determination is soon to reach a climax.

  • OldMexican||

    As the Mozilla controversy has shown, there is political diversity within the tech community, but it is nevertheless largely supportive of same-sex marriage.


    To the point where they showed their own bigotry. History shows.

  • Brett L||

    Well, there was political diversity in the tech community, but that's probably behind us now. At least for C-level positions.

  • guru||

    Or writing the Halo soundtrack.

  • GILMORE||

    Last night i overheard Bill O'Reilly say something to the tune of,

    "'The Proponents of Gay Marriage have used nothing but Slander and Attacks and Politics of Hatred and Divisiveness and misrepresentation of the Facts in order to force their Agenda on Americans."

    He didn't elaborate further.

    It was on-par stupid with the following sentence which i just found while trying to google for the transcript =

    "More than one million people watched the Boston marathon today and there were no incidents. This is clearly a victory over terrorism."

    Call me crazy, but i think 'victory over terrorism' occurs when people like Bill can't make hay out of it anymore.

  • sarcasmic||

    As much of a dipshit as O'Reilly is, he's got a point.

    I mean, anyone who supports traditional marriage is immediately shut down for being a homophobic bigot, and the only way to prove you don't hate homosexuals is to completely denounce traditional marriage. It's not so much that gay marriage is "winning" or changing minds, as much as supporters of traditional marriage are tired of being attacked.

  • Mr. Soul||

    which explains the divergence between polls and ballots. Some ballot progress has been made, but poll support is always so much rosier than ballot support for SSM.

  • GILMORE||

    "anyone who supports traditional marriage is immediately shut down for being a homophobic bigot"

    I totally agree, particularly in light of the recent Mozilla thing. But i think that is a more recent phenomenon and that characterizing "all" of the gay marriage debate as nothing but ATTACKS is silly.

    he's using the 'language of victimization' to engage in bullshit Kulturwar kibuki-drama. War on Christmas, etc. I'm not "pro-gay marriage" myself so much as "don't give a shit" and/or generally think its their perogative and is not a "gay" issue so much as a general "Equal Standing under the law " issue. He seems to pretend that people like me *arent* the vast majority, and somehow its a fight between viscious supporters and polite and well intentioned opponents. Its bullshit all around.

  • AdamJ||

    Damn all these Californians coming to Texas and taking away our homophobia! What's next?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "polls that ask whether people want to “redefine” marriage get greater disapproval numbers than polls that ask whether people want to “legalize” gay marriage."

    So the policy of the gay activists gets more disapproval when it's described accurately than when it's described misleadingly?

  • sarcasmic||

    For all practical purposes they are the same thing. The only difference is semantics, and people who get hung up on semantics are stupid. Why do you hate homosexuals?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Why do *you* hate the bicycle-riders?

  • Not a Libertarian||

    Is it not rather unlikely that if the national GOP were to change positions tomorrow to be in favor of gay marriage that the net would increase of votes?

  • GILMORE||

    ""Is it not rather unlikely "

    You need to work on your sentence construction

    That said = no one here is much of a "GOP political strategist"

    Despite the howlings by Tony, Buttplug, Bo, et al, that people here are all closeted-harcore Conservatives, we're equally derided by proper conservatives as being "Cosmotarian Squishies", because we don't give enough of a shit about questions exactly like yours. Or people like Mitt Romney.

    That said - my opinion is that if the GOP *stopped fighting gay marriage* - or regularly staging ideological partisan charades around the issue - then it would probably result in a net increase in votes. The Culture War, in my view, is no longer the source of political success = if the GOP became more reliably the party of Fiscal prudence and Economic liberty, they'd see fantastic support. By continuing to flog the "God & Gays" issue they put off many more people than they do rally the base.

    Just my opinion.

  • taker||

    I'd rather argue about the government's ability to define interpersonal relationships at all. What business is it of theirs? Should a hetersexual couple have children (because that's biology) it's probably appropriate for government to help them along. But the days of "marriage" being in the legal lexicon doesn't make sense anymore. Except for the benefit of divorce lawyers, anyway. Get the government *out* of the marriage business altogether.

  • Josh M.||

    Fine by me if the Rs want to ride their sinking ship until they drown. I just wish they'd take the Ds with them. :(

  • REMant||

    Why would a LIBERTARIAN care what the government or a political party does about something that is no one's business but his own? Neither state nor party have any business becoming involved is marriage, anymore than in abortion.

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