Minnesota Liberal

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

On the road to tolerance

Many of Senator Kerry's supporters have found a scapegoat for Ohio and the election loss to President Bush. That goat is gay marriage. It may not be a widely discussed opinion, and it certainly will not be a public discussion- but I can guarantee that almost all Democratic communications specialists are blaming gay marriage. I heard it when I worked for the Minnesota DFL during the campaign and I am sure the election results have only strengthened that opinion.

I have two major problems with this issue being used as a scapegoat.

The first would be the natural tendency for the issue to morph from "gay marriage" to "gay activism". There are major differences between the two. You can't blame the gay community for the dirty gay baiting the Republicans chose to use. As Michael at AmericaBlog wrote on gay marriage:

Gays and lesbians did not push the issue forward and did not press Kerry to be more forthright. It gained national prominence because of court rulings and the natural desire of U.S. citizens to claim their basic civil rights. The Bush campaign played on hate and bigotry -- constantly making gay slurs about Kerry and Edwards, passing out fliers in some states that lied and said Kerry would allow gay marriage and ban the Bible, going back on his word and pushing a Constitutional Amendment that for the first time would take away basic civil rights of Americans rather than bringing new people to the table and the list goes on. Gays didn't lose Kerry the election. But hatred and bigotry against gay Americans certainly helped Bush win.

My second reason is far simpler- those Bush voters really didn't share Kerry's values. They don't share my values. And we don't need them.

If they want a candidate who will help write discrimination into the constitution... they chose the right man. People who voted for Bush are content in supporting the reversal of Roe vs. Wade. They are content with the government intruding into peoples personal lives. They are content with the mixing of state and religion.

Ohio has had massive job loss, and yet in some of the counties that were worst off... they still voted for Bush. Apparently for these voters and others around the country, the only thing worse than losing a job, taking a pay cut, or losing your benefits is... gay marriage/abortion/etc.

If only I could believe this to be a sarcastic exaggeration, but alas... it is true.
From Andrew Sullivan:

The single most important issue for Republican voters, according to exit polls, was not the war on terror or Iraq or the economy. It was "moral values."

It is my belief that in the near future these attitudes will change; at least in reqards to same-sex equality. I am part of a generation that believes sexuality is not a morality issue, but instead one of biology. And while we may have a difficult road with this President... every Presidential election is a step towards a more tolerant future.