A recent poll shows that in the state of Washington – where gay marriage was just legalized – support for it holds a strong 22 point lead. This is certainly good news, and it’s no wonder that the LGBT organization “Freedom to Marry” is selling it. It’s wonderful and important to celebrate these moments in the fight for equality.
But it’s a terribly political move.
And one that I fear we might regret after this years political election.
The problem you see, is simple. This is a political year, and every move we make will have an impact on the future. Already, a campaign is underway in Washington to challenge the gay marriage law, and this type of talk is the same type of talk that came months before California’s proposition 8 passed by the voters.
This article, by CBS News, attempts to address why there is a disconnect between voters and polls, like the recent one in the state of Washington. It attempts to suggest that voters face a moral dilemma, and do not want be seen as anti-gay by pollsters, but while in the voting booth, they vote their consequence. The CBS article also notes that most gay marriage laws were passed in 2004, where people felt differently about gay marriage.
I say bullshit.
Because to suggest that voters can go from being overwhelming in support of gay marriage, as they are in Washington now and were in California this time in 2008, is ridiculous. A huge block of people who are morally torn on the issue of gay marriage are not liars, regardless of which pollster is calling. They are moral leaders in a society that could use them, who are truly questioning their faith. That’s no easy feat. And they need to stop being blamed for the on-going debate regarding this very emotional issue.
No, the real problem is that the gay community just isn’t good at politics. Time Magazine ran this article that said as much regarding proposition 8, as well as the two other states that passed gay marriage bans that year.
During this election we have to do well, as so much is riding on it. We only have so many cards to play, and when it comes to this moral issue, one that is being asked by voters on the federal level years before anyone expected it could, or should be, we need to play each of them wisely. That’s why we cannot pass up the card of being the so-called “underdog” — even if we aren’t. Similar to how President Obama said he was the underdog a few months ago, we need to do all we can do set the bar low in terms of our measured success, only to retain support, and keep our base active.
It’s game on gay activists.
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