Saturday, February 14, 2015

The GOP's Gay Marriage Dodge

For nearly 20 years the Republican Party has been welcoming the racist, homophobic Christofascists into the party and in the process causing sane, rational moderates to flee the insane asylum that the GOP has become.  Nowhere is this result of this process - I view it as a metastasizing cancer - becoming more difficult for the GOP than on the issue of gay marriage where a majority of Americans support marriage equality and upwards of 80% of younger voters support it.  Even as society has changed, the Christofascist have become ever more vociferous in their anti-gay hatred.  The craziness in Alabama is but one example of the increased insanity - and disregard for the federal courts and U.S. Constitution - that is now pervasive in the GOP base.  The few sane Republicans left find themselves trying to avoid the issue altogether.  A piece in Politico looks at the quandry.  Here are excerpts:

Republicans eyeing the presidency nearly all insist that states should make their own decisions on whether to allow same-sex marriage.  But the latest dispute in Alabama? That’s a topic they’d rather avoid.

When pressed on the fight in the Deep South state, where the chief justice has ordered county officials to ignore a federal court ruling permitting same-sex marriages, likely GOP 2016 contenders reached by POLITICO or interviewed elsewhere have largely tried to sidestep specifics.

Even some of the most conservative hopefuls prefer instead to talk more broadly about federalism and states’ rights, comments that come as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right applicable nationwide.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s answer is a typical example: “The problem is, I just don’t know the details of what arguments they are using” in Alabama, he said, adding that while he has “always believed that marriage has always been defined by states and regulated by states and should continue to be,” he would respect the Supreme Court decision.

The overall cautious responses to the Alabama case expose that there’s a limit to how far Republicans will go to oppose same-sex marriage as they prepare for a presidential election.

For one thing, even as the conservative base still strongly opposes gay marriage, the broader electorate is increasingly open to the idea. A May Gallup poll showed that 55 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, while just 30 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of self-described conservatives favor it.

Although Moore says he is taking a stand against federal intrusion, a favorite rallying cry for conservatives, experts note note that his legal arguments are shaky at best. His statements also have at times been provocative, making it even tougher for Republicans to line up behind him.

The fact that the latest flashpoint is in Alabama, where the call for states’ rights was part of its civil rights-era resistance to federal desegregation orders, makes the issue more sensitive for the GOP, which has long struggled among minority voters.

Still, it’s striking to see so many Republicans tread so carefully on an issue that less than a decade ago was a big political winner.

“There’s an understanding that a focus on the marriage equality fight is, No. 1, not a winning issue” for Republicans, said Gregory Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans.

“You’ll see more and more Republicans, like [former Florida Gov.] Jeb Bush recently, trying to carve out some middle ground,” said Richard Socarides, a former Clinton administration adviser and a gay rights advocate.

And then there’s Moore himself, who has drawn comparisons to former Gov. George Wallace, who invoked the states’ rights defense in arguing against school desegregation in the 1960s.

“There’s definitely resonances between Wallace’s opposition to federal court authority and some of the things chief justice Moore has been saying,” Krotoszynski said, noting both Wallace and Moore’s use of the phrase “tyranny” to describe federal involvement.

In an interview earlier this week, Moore said that even though he has “many friends that are homosexual,” he wouldn’t attend a gay wedding and he doesn’t believe the Supreme Court has the authority to “re-define marriage.”

The real problem with extremists like Moore, Huckabee, Santorum, et al, is that they refuse to recognize that there is a difference between CIVIL LAW marriage and religious  denomination marriage.  Churches and denominations can continue whatever myths and fairy tales they want, but those myths and fairy tales have no place whatsoever in the civil law.  Injecting them into the civil laws is in effect, an attempt to establish a religious dogma in the civil laws which violates the U.S. Constitution.

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