Religious Right Pressures GOP To Fight Culture War

Worth noting what Politico reports today:

Santorum, in an interview Thursday on Mike Huckabee’s radio show, said gay marriage is a “mobilizing factor” for voters that can’t be ignored.

“I’m hopeful that [Romney] understands the power of these issues,” Santorum said, adding that Obama’s position “should put the social issues front and center.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said Obama handed Romney and the Republican Party a gift – and both will be negligent if they don’t take advantage of it.

“The president yesterday interjected an element into this election cycle that, while some may be uncomfortable dealing with on the Republican side, could very well be a deciding factor for the election if they respond to the president’s challenge to marriage,” Perkins said. “It’s no secret the Republican leadership has not wanted to be out front waving the banner.”

Romney doesn’t need to make it the centerpiece of his campaign, Perkins said, but it should be part of his stump speech.

“The missing piece for Mitt Romney was the intensity of the core conservative voter,” Perkins said. “The president handed him that piece yesterday if he wants to take it and put it in place.”

Mitt Romney was asked on Wednesday during his brief stop in Weld County about President Barack Obama’s new position in support of gay marriage–Romney said he doesn’t agree, and went a step further to say he doesn’t even support civil unions as proposed in the Colorado legislature. Meanwhile, GOP House Speaker Frank McNulty’s response to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s call for a special session repeatedly substituted the words “gay marriage” in place of civil unions, knowing full well that the bill doesn’t tamper with the state’s constitutional definition of marriage. Of course, there are a substantial number of voters who will support “civil unions” but not “gay marriage,” helping explain McNulty’s seemingly crass deception.

Bottom line: public opinion on the matter of equality for gays and lesbians is rapidly changing, and that change is a big part of much greater Republican support for civil unions in Colorado than has ever existed before. We believe, like GOP attorney Mario Nicholais of Coloradans for Freedom believes, that this is one of several issues on which the GOP must modernize its platform or risk permanently marginalizing itself as attitudes generationally change.

But as you can see, there are powerful forces in Republican politics who don’t agree, and who will fight this moderation–regardless of the consequences. We now know McNulty is one. We’re a little less sure about Romney’s core convictions on the matter, but he’s certainly not helping himself with sweeping statements of opposition like he made here a few days ago.

In both cases, they’re making it hard for Republicans who would rather not be marginalized.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    You’d think that after state after state has legalized gay marriage by overwhelming votes of the people, just like PPP Polling says they would.

    But what did I read today on a horrible conservative blog? EVERY state that has had a vote has overwhelmingly voted to defend traditional marriage? EVEN CALIFORNIA?

    But that can’t be true, because Colorado Pols says that everyone supports gay marriage now, and everyone who doesn’t will never succeed in politics again. So how can states possibly be defeating gay marriage over and over again?

    Why oh why can’t Republicans understand that if they’d just be DEMOCRATS, Colorado Pols would like them again? Perhaps someday we’ll get it right. Oh well.


    • jaytee says:

      That’s what those anti-gay marriage votes suggest. Sure. Keep telling yourself that. Hold that banner high.

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        35 states have held votes on the marriage question. ZERO states have approved gay marriage in a vote of the people, only through legislative and court action. The voters have rejected this every time they have been asked.

        Are you really saying that means nothing?

        • ajb says:

          I can’t cut and paste results, but if you follow the link you’ll find things like this:

          Time/CNN Poll conducted by Harris Interactive. Feb. 5-6, 2004. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE +/- 3.1 (total sample).

          “Do you think marriages between homosexual men or between homosexual women should be recognized as legal by the law, or not?”

          1994 Yes: 31%   No: 64%

          2004 Yes: 30%   No: 62%

          Not much change over that decade. But then something happens:

          Gallup Poll. May 3-6, 2012. N=1,024 adults nationwide. Margin of error +/- 4.

          “Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?”

          2006 Yes: 42%   No: 56%

          2012 Yes: 50%   No: 48%

          Every recent poll shows a majority supporting gay marriage.

          It looks like the year that opinion flipped was 2010.

        • Ralphie says:

          to weigh in on the rights of minorities.

          Otherwise we would still have slavery and Jim Crow laws.

          Of course, that’s probably OK with you; right Ahole?

    • rocco says:

      What conserves think is a “gift” is yet one more tidal wave, another group of people that you idiots have pissed off.

      What is wrong with you(?), ya just can’t seem to accept the way things are trending, unyieldingly, away from mean, nasty, and bitter toward common sense.

      Yeah, the “evangelicals” are going to “shame” everybody into being mean, intolerant, uninformed, bigoted, and embracing your anger.

      Right, that might happen.    

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      Did that make the opposition right?

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        But this is not the same issue. Look at the lack of support for this among African Americans. Don’t you think they would know discrimination when they see it?

        • Middle of the Road says:

          Any minority, be it women, Latinos, African Americans, Asians, et al, can feel prejudice towards another group of people. You draw the juvenile conclusion that because African Americans are a minority that have experienced extreme discrimination, they are the defining factor of what discrimination looks like?

          A great part of their discrimination on gay issues stems from their religious background–much like discrimination among your own party stems from same said religious upbringing.  

        • 1. “lack of support for” does not equal active opposition to.

          2. African American preachers do not speak for all African Americans. My partner and I sat through many a fire and brimstone Ecclesiastical sermon when he was alive, but but also got many a hug and handshake at church BBQs, fish fries and picnics–and on the church steps after those sermons.

          3. Yes, they would know you if they saw you.

    • MADCO says:

      Only Colorado has passed TABOR. 17 other states have tried, some are on their 4th or 5th attempt . But no one wants it.  (Even here voters voted no 8 times, before saying yes by a narrow margin the 9th. And then we changed the law so the single subject rule  prevents another up or down vote.)  

      Integrating the military polled very poorly – President Truman said hooey! and did it anyway.

      Abolishing slavery took a bloody war.

      Gov’t creation of the  FDIC took a collapse of the banks, though the very idea of a public insurance fund for private business polled terribly.

      But it’s all good- cause being anti equal rights for the some Americans  cuts across all your key demos.  GLWT

    • As an American and a patriot who believes that the US system of government is among the best-designed in history, and that the US Constitution is perhaps the most important document in history, I like this system just fine.

      On the other hand, if you feel so strongly that the will of the people is best served by exclusive mob rule rather than a system of checks and balances, perhaps you would prefer to live elsewhere.

      I don’t have time to get into a long argument right now, but one last point: A disenfranchised minority rarely wins in general elections against a wealthy, enfranchised minority bent on keeping the minority disenfranchised. This does not mean that the enfranchised majority enjoys moral superiority or represents accurately the conscience of a nation.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      that Republicans would quit trying to stick their noses in a womans vagina and tell her that the government controls their reproductive organs but election after election we see the same obsessive effort to mandate government control over individual liberty.

      The issue of denying two people who have lived together their whole lives the chance to see one another in the hospital is also one of an obsessive effort to mandate individual control over individual liberty.

      The commonality between these two issues is that the conservative like this jackass hate government and mouth platitudes about the preeminence of individual liberties but in their twist souls they crave government control over our most personal lives even though they have absolutely no interest or relation to those they hurt.

      Self-righteous Pharisees who could care less about the hypocrisy of their positions.  What a flaming fool.  Thank God there are people who are willing to standup to these bullies and proclaim the sanctity of the rights of the individual over the insensitivity and invasion of the state.  We call these defenders of liberty Democrats.  

  2. cdsmith says:

    I belong to several political mailing lists about issues that have nothing to do with GLBT rights, and I’ve been seeing “calls to action” from the conservative side forwarded through them all day.  They may not be the majority, but they are sure they can be the loudest.

    This would be a good time to place a few calls to some representatives and the Governor’s office, if that doesn’t represent you.

  3. Normally I would have put it in the open thread, but it addresses AGOP’s assertion that opposition to gay marriage is somehow different in its standing than opposition to the abolition of slavery and the granting of rights to “people of color”.

    Deadspin: Christian School Forfeits State Championship Game Rather Than Compete Against Player Who Is Black*  (The article notes: Editor’s note: Due to a technical error, the word “female” was replaced by “black” in this post. We regret the error.)

    If you think opposition to gay marriage is somehow different, just substitute “mixed race” for “gay” – it really makes the same amount of sense.

  4. dwyer says:

    For the first time, a priest is on trial charged with covering up sexual abuse.  Here is the link:

  5. davebarnesdavebarnes says:


    Below is a remarkable document. It’s a memo circulated by Jan van Lohuizen, a highly respected Republican pollster, (he polled for George W. Bush in 2004), to various leading Republican operatives, candidates and insiders. It’s on the fast-shifting poll data on marriage equality and gay rights in general, and how that should affect Republican policy and language. And the pollster’s conclusion is clear: if the GOP keeps up its current rhetoric and positions on gays and lesbians, it is in danger of marginalizing itself to irrelevance or worse.

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