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Anti-gay-marriage ballot initiatives and "values voters"

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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 03:58 PM
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Anti-gay-marriage ballot initiatives and "values voters"
Since the "moral values voters won this election" thing is taking a beating right and left, I wanted to get in my own punch before it's completely flattened:

A lot of the support for that analysis depended on the idea that the fact that 11 anti-gay-marriage ballot initiatives passed in individual states is proof that the religious right dominated at the polling places. Well, the religious right may have been out in force on Nov. 2, but the sad fact is that those initiatives woudl probably have passed anyway whether they were or not.

Basically when you come right down to it, the segment of the straight community that feels comfortable taking a stand on gay rights is comparatively small. They may be perfectly fine with homosexuality in their day to day lives, and they may not care too much one way or another what anyone does on their off hours, but they still don't want to do anything that's going to make them look like they're part of the gay rights crowd. A lot of this can be attributed to the important but largely unacknowledged fact that many straight people are afraid to identify themselves too closely with the gay community for fear that this might suggest to other straight people that somehow they're gay themselves. And then, of course, there's religion, yada yada yada.

What this means is that if you want to stop an anti-gay initative from passing at the state level you have to kill it BEFORE it gets to the ballot. Once it's on the ballot, the odds of its passing are overwhelming, because most of the straight voters are not going to feel comfortable voting against it, even if they personally don't really care too much one way or the other.

With anti-gay-marriage initiative that's even more true because even sympathetic straight people--or straight people who think of themselves as sympathetic, anyhow--often don't see opposing gay marriage as anything that would really hurt gay people. After all, we seem to be getting along just fine without it. It would be different if they called these things "discrimination initiatives," but they don't.

Anyway, my point is that 11 out of 11 anti-gay-marriage initiatives passing is depressing but it does not surprise me one bit and I wouldn't expect it to have much of an impact on how the election turned out. Certainly it's not a sign that the gay marriage issue made or broke the election.

C ya,

THe Plaid Adder
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TwentyFive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:09 PM
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1. Racist initiatives would have passed in the 50's
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 04:13 PM by TwentyFive
Kennedy & Johnson stood up for equal rights in the 60's. However, if the KKK had been as well organized as the Christian Coalition (and, with Rush, Hannity & Coulter types on the air several hours a day) we might be living in a vastly different country today. Perhaps we'd see constitutional ammendments barring interracial marriage, elimination of affirmative action, etc.

The only reason gay rights are controversial is the Right is far better organized at getting their message out, capitalizing on wedge issues, and defining their opponents.

After this election, gays should have been out, protesting, chanting, setting cars on fire and causing riots. However, too many gays take this prejudice lying down. I think liberals need to stand with them....just like we did with MLK and Malcom X.
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