Will gay marriage issue spur a ‘Moral Majority’ revival?

Will the re-emergence of gay marriage as a presidential issue start a revival of the “Moral Majority”-type revival of religious voters coalescing into a significant activist voting bloc? I think it’s probable, particularly in the southern and Midwest Bible Belt states.

There is a contradiction between polling that shows a small majority for same-sex marriage and how support for same-sex marriage fares when it’s put to a vote. Those opposing gay marriage win, not only in conservative North Carolina, but even in very “blue” states such as California and Oregon. (Apparently some Americans are embarrassed to tell pollsters they oppose same-sex marriage.) The New York Times’ Ross Douthat, in an interesting blog post (read) points out that given the choice, most Americans would prefer that gays and lesbians be granted civil unions, rather than marriage rights. That’s not an acceptable alternative for the gay and lesbian community, and other strong supporters of marriage rights, who have framed the issue as one of civil rights. Any solution that is less than marriage is akin to separate “black,” “white,” water fountains in the Jim Crow South.

And herein lies a revival of sorts of the old “Moral Majority.” There are probably a third of Americans who are opposed to either civil unions or marriage for gays and lesbians. The decision by President Barack Obama to publicly support same-sex marriage, while admirable, has moved an issue that was always percolating on the back burner closer to the front of the stove.┬áIn recent campaigns this wasn’t the case. The Tea Party movement, for example, has virtually nothing to say on social issues, let alone gay marriage. Its focus has been on excessive government spending and deficits.

Will gay marriage be the key reason if President Obama loses re-election? Not at all. But, thanks to recent events, a not insignificant portion of the electorate will be motivated to political activism — and the voting booths — due to opposition to it. That’s an event that wasn’t on the horizon even two weeks ago.

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11 Responses to Will gay marriage issue spur a ‘Moral Majority’ revival?

  1. Mikeasell says:

    Doug,

    I would argue that this will also get a very volatile and mobile of pro-gay marriage to the voting booths as well. I think Obama has the strategic upper hand because this issue will come up during the national debates. Romney has almost religiously painted himself into a corner. he has tried to keep a little elbow room on the matter by using statements like he does “not prefer” or “favor” gay marriage. He is leaving the door open for the civil unions talk, if he loses points. Obama has drawn a clear line that will allow for far left contributors to come out of the closet- pun intended.

    Obama can now paint Romney as someone who sees America in social classes with different rights, tax codes and privileges. He can also say that the government has overreached by getting involved in people’s personal lives, this will be a good defense against the claims that he has a socialist agenda.

    Its a risky move by Obama, but one that puts Romney in box.Don’t underestimate young people’s strong feelings against what they perceive as inequality, even in a red state like Utah, who hosts the second largest gay parade in the country.

    This is one of the many issues that only gets debated during elections, because it is so divisive. Obama just threw the first punch before the bell rang.

    • midwinter says:

      Yup. And really, Obama had nothing to lose with all of this and only gains to be made. The people who are pissed off about it weren’t going to vote for him anyway, and the people who were disillusioned with him are heartened. It puts Romney and the GOP in the position of being against equality and freedom for all.

      I have to say, though, that I don’t think this was planned. The Obama response after Biden pulled a Biden was pretty awful for the first 24 hours.

      • Erick says:

        Obama picked up some gains, but I’m going to wager that he only managed to strengthen his base. He isn’t going to gain a lot of new ground from this.

    • Mikeasell says:

      I read the Krauthhammer article. It’s it written from a conservative point of view, which assumes what Obama is thinking and “trying to hide.” There is no moral discrepancy, at least not one that the general public will pick up on, that says that recognizing it is a right and then letting states decide is hypocritical. I have the right to carry a weapon here in Utah, not in New York, it’s mentioned in the constitution but it is still state right issue. Not a valid point by Krauthhammer. People don’t vote on subtle moral points, they vote on bold, overly-simplistic statements that bring out emotion. The LGBT movement is more cohesive than Blacks, Hispanics, or any other minority. They are more likely to march, vote, protest, boycott and tend to have more financial backing. Obama, who had their partial support during the last election, just picked up the estimate 10-12% of that active voting population, not to mention the other 10-20% (my estimate) that see this as a civil right issue and are willing to vote about it. Obama has just picked up the support and financial backing of Hollywood, the Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolie’ that did not fully support him last time because of his stand on gay marriage, will be campaigning for him this time. So in short, Obama has increased his base and captured some undecideds, Romney is still in primary mind set, talking to the core. I think that this was a brilliant move by Obama…to let Bidden go first to test the waters and then jump in with the script that this is about being a human being and the American value of equality. To do this right as the conversation about Romney and Mormons having had a sketchy past with civil rights is waning, is very smart. I am already seeing the articles pop up talking about this all over again. This also puts Romney on the path of splitting hairs all summer long, making him look as a flip-flop, it brings out the two topics that as governor, Romney was very liberal about: Romneycare and gay rights.

  2. Myth Believer says:

    What would spur a ‘Moral Majority’ filibuster nation wide, would be for Congress to consider legislation that would require all State Representatives wanting to STOP same sex marriages, to take a short polygraph test and psychosexual evaluation. I’m sure a Gay Pride, Super Packed, would quickly Gel– “life’s to serious to be taken serious”–and that all those conservative, evangelical CRIES and JEERS about the unlawful and awful separation of [Church] and [State] would soon turn to CHEERS. Politicians make strange bedfellows indeed. The apostle Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and BASE things of the world, and things which are DESPISED, hath God chosen,yea, and things which are NOT, to bring to NOUGHT things that ARE: THAT NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE. The Standard-Examiners’s May 16 “Our View” on “The evolution of marriage” and the accompanying gay, interracial slur by Grondahl is more than just a little bit demeaning–it’s absurd! Sex is sex, no matter how you slice it. Love and marriage might go together like a horse and carriage, but after we’re through bringing those little ones into the world, we kid ourselves to believe that from there on out we’re having sex for any other reason than for the pure, carnal, sensation of it. Heterosexuals, Bisexuals, gays, lesbians… all of us have to live up to that fact. To depict that the prejudice against interrracial marriage of the past is in any way homologous to the aversion to our sexuality, and unending quest for spiritual stardom, like I said, IS ABSURD.

  3. Myth Believer says:

    I guess that last line (self-deception) about bigoted hatred of interracial marriage belonging to the past, and that gay bashing is a look into our own empty identity of male or female, active or passive, reason or passion, moral majority or inferior posterior, righteous right or leftest wrong, somehow doesn’t at all belong. “Spiritual stardom” seems to be of the IN HEAVEN AS IT IS ON EARTH “quest”. I guess that’s why I’m a firm believer in Myth, don’t vote, and don’t belong to “The Church of Reason” that Robert Pirsig so diligently discloses in his “culture-bearing book” titled “Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.” I should have seen the red flags… they were everywhere… I killed every blog site I blogged on… the replys stopped comming. Any sense of security in my own sanity… thrown right out the window. “Aristotelian ethics, Aristotelian definitions, Aristotelian logic, Aristotelian forms, Aristotelian substances, Aristotelian rhetoric, Aristotelian laughter… ha-ha, ha-ha.” I don’t even know if Obama is a Mormon or if Romney is a Muslim anymore. “We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life, but with the power to think, to reason, and to ACHIEVE.” Yes, fight Mother Nature down to our very last breath; that makes more sense than suffering from Post Navel Drip. Why you might even become the Leader of the ‘Immoral Majority’ someday!

  4. Myth Buster says:

    The Moral Majority like Liberty University was founded by Jerry Falwell; Israel bought him a Private Jet. Tough to figure this out eh?

  5. Myth Believer says:

    If Mitt pulls off a Dubya as in 2004, it’s not the gays, but the Palestinians and American Indians that are Dubyou… AS IN SCREWED! Kind of like Newt saying Palestine is a Myth. Perhaps Echo Hawk, the Church’s new General Authority, Newt, and Mitt can all get together for a pow wow, and straighten’ out the whole SORDID AFFAIR.

  6. Myth Believer says:

    I’d rather be a Sioux than a Jew Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would. I’d rather be a Wandering Indian than a Biblical Palestinian Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would. Away, I’d rather sail away Like a swan that’s here then gone A man gets tied to the ground He writes the saddest song. I’d rather be a forest than a street Yes I would, If I only could, I surely would. I’d rather feel the earth beneath my feet Yes I would, If I only could, I surely would. Then away, I’d rather fly away Like an eagle that’s here then gone. Man gets tied down to the ground He writes the saddest song… the strangest song.

  7. John Curtis says:

    – The campaign for Same-Gender Marriage is NOT about
    marriage, it IS about the spreading of homosexuality.
    – It is about the creating of many secretive bi-sexuals in high
    places who will be politically controlled through blackmail.
    – And beyond that, it is about ultimately destroying the family
    unit and the nation-state altogether. Go to:
    – “The World Rule Conspiracy” at http://ge.tt/#!/9FZfpZ8/v/0
    and read the Who and the Why of it all.

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