Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Democrats Finally Stepping Into The Marriage Equality Fray?

This morning I came across a very interesting article via Pam's House Blend and originally from the Washington Blade that has been making it's way around the blogosphere....In it, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is quoted as saying that if she were asked to, she would consider spending money to fight the current round of same-sex marriage bans in Minnesota and North Carolina. The implication being that Democrats are taking a stand in those states on an issue they have avoided till now.....and if they will do there, they may continue to support marriage equality in future state fights as well. And by "she" we are talking about the Democratic parties money. Furthermore, she goes on to mention that individual state chapters of the Democratic Party were gearing up to battle these amendments. To which I can not help but think....oh, really?

 In her own words:

“I know that the party in each of those states will be combatting them,” Wasserman Schultz said. “And if they ask for our assistance, like any other state party request, we’ll certainly consider it.”

While this is good news....reading this has brought up some old frustrations for me a few things for me. Like....why now? Where was this support for California...or Maine when we all but begged for it? There was NO ONE from the democratic party then speaking out...or even acknowledging those ballet measures. "It's up to the states" was their mantra. In addition I have to ask a question I didn't expect to ever have to formulate in my life....what will this do to growing Republican support?

Before I begin, I need to say that ANY help we can get in stopping the onslaught of constitutional marriage bans in states that are getting nervous about the long term viability of DOMA is welcome. Individual states are rushing to get their own mini DOMA's on the books before the federal version could possibly be overturned just to make sure that no gays can smash cake in each others faces or register at Crate and Barrel. That the democrats want to devote attention to this is wonderful...that means boots on the ground and media resources that would otherwise have to be raised by local marriage advocate groups. It also means that a wider audience hears the message and lends it a certain amount of political gravitas it might not otherwise have had on the chewing gum budgets we have had so far.

That "they will consider it" is a bit puzzling,....since, why would you donate your time and effort to fight these amendments if you weren't planning on devoting the money necessary to do so. Also, her intimations that the Democratic Party, on the national level, would begin getting involved just begs the question.....whats changed? No one from the Democratic Party said a thing to help fight Prop 8...or Question 1 in Maine....yet, now that a few states have marriage equality, others are moving toward it, and the courts seem poised to take on DOMA...we seem to have crossed some magic line where it's no longer such a huge risk to support the gay community. Is this trend toward increasing support for equality on LGBT issues the reason why not just democrats are hopping on board....but also republicans?

Marriage equality passed in the state of New York for many reasons...but one remarkable reason was the support of so many conservative and republican politico's. Very conservative business and state leaders shocked the hell out of everyone and lent their money and considerable influence to what was a very contentious battle. At the time, I wondered whether this had been a sign that things were beginning to shift within conservative circles. After all, this is the very dame political party that has spent decades defining itself against us. For their to be any measure of support let alone the lobbying we saw take place in New York was  amazing and a very hopeful sign......And then the 2012 Republican nominee hopefuls began opening their mouths and all those hopes were dashed.....alas.

But if there was some element within the conservative movement that simply did not care to fight marriage equality anymore...might the Democrats taking a direct hand in state referendums and amendments push those conservatives right back into the mind set of stonewall resistance to anything gay simply because it is now linked more directly with their opposition? Where they might not have cared before could become an issue to fight again simply because the democrats have now taken a stand.....late though it is

Personally, I think that there are enough rabidly anti-gay voices in the republican party that have the national ear that looking for support anywhere conservative is not likely to yield results. The mode du jour is to be the MOST ideologically pure conservative out there and that means promising to roll back any progress the gay community has made since Stonewall. What ever happened in New York does not seem to extend to the republican party at the National Level....and since theirs no love lost there, what ever help democrats can bring to the fight is more than welcome...and perhaps I need to let my grudges about the past go and move with the "evolving" circumstances we seem to find ourselves in.

 Is this the beginning of a game changer?....more grand standing on the part of the democrats unwilling to take much risk on our behalf?...or simply more outgrowth of the trend to see gay rights issues as necessary and long overdue?

Since this was heralded this morning as "Big News"....let me know what you think.

Until next time dear readers....


  1. I think it is hard to change right now, but I do think that if you look at young people who would lean republican they are not happy with the party on social issues. Also I would not be surprised to have large companies wanting marriage equality especially when it comes to taxes, as many of them provide the same benefits to gay couples as straight ones, the problem that they face (and their employees) is that those benefits are taxed as if they are providing the partner/spousal benefits to strangers that don't work for the company which is a lot of taxes. So for the companies their is a real tax savings to marriage equality.

    I think that the republican party has way over reacted to the tea party which is a very much unliked minority even with in the party that has been shown buy at least one survey made up almost exclusively by what used to be the religious right who up until the tea-party where being pushed to the fringes of the GOP.

  2. UGH!!!! EVOLVE ALREADY!! How silly! Guys!! We are in OHIO! and all is okay. I came out in "91!!!! These politicians are so afraid of the religious right but they are a fringe group.. Trust me..the general least here is fine. Maybe I am looking through "rose colored glasses" but being openly gay here has been wonderful! Dave and I have NEVER had a problem with neighbors or coworkers and they ALL are on OUR side!!! As a matter of fact I was talking to my supervisor at work about the whole thing yesterday. We were talking about gay marriage. These are her words... " is just so and Dave have such a great relationship-better than so many straight married couples that I know. If anyone deserves to be is you guys." So yea..let's just hope Bryan...

  3. Although I don't know much about those parties and their movements, I am very happy to hear this news. Thanks for sharing with us the news as well as your thoughts on it!

  4. 'Change is inevitable, evolution is optional'. People nowadays slowely change their attitude, they start thinking like: "let's use our energy to build and create" instead of wasting their energy and life on trying to stop things which cannot be stopped. In order to evolve, people have to change. In my opinion the most successful example at the moment is how people start to consider the impact on the 'planet/nature' whenever descisions are being made. The same thing will happen to everything else, it's just simply in our nature to fix what isn't right.
    Greetings from Europe!