Stumping Against Gay Marriage May Win You The Primary But Probably Not The General

Jon mentioned earlier this week that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) were in south Georgia stumping for their respective candidacies.  The Supreme Court’s ruling on the recognition of gay marriages was a hot topic.  I believe “tragic” and “radical” were used in their campaign rhetoric according to the Political Insider article.

From a personal belief, I don’t agree with gay marriage, but in terms of the “up and coming” new generation (yes, Millennials) in politics, gay marriage is becoming acceptable from a societal standpoint.  Pew Research, in fact, conducted a poll last March saying that 61% of young Republicans (aged 18 to 29) are accepting of gay marriage.  That’s a big percentage.

I know, I’ll have folks commenting about how the Millennial generation is the most unreliable voting bloc….which may be true, but if we are trying to “reach out to young people”, then perhaps we should tone down the rhetoric of how America will fall apart because two men or two women can get married in the eyes of the government and society.  I’ve seen a mixture of posts on my own Facebook feed concerning this SCOTUS ruling.  Surprisingly, or maybe not, there was a large mixture of my Republican friends applauding the SCOTUS ruling and those who were against it.

I believe the best way to navigate these waters is to advocate the freedom of congregations and pastors to not perform wedding ceremonies.  After all, I’m willing to bet that there will be a number of people who get their Internet ordination to perform weddings.  I don’t believe that First Baptist, First Presbyterian, or any other church should be forced or coerced by government to violate their own beliefs.  Of course, those same congregations should see this as a great time for harvest.  A time to be loving and share the Gospel.

Governor Huckabee and Senator Cruz are looking for a fast path to the nomination, and there are a lot of votes that still remain within Evangelical voting bloc.  They, as well as other GOP Presidential hopefuls, look to be the moral standard bearer, but there are other ways to uphold their beliefs without alienating those who may not see eye-to-eye…especially when those votes will matter come November 2016.  But haven’t we said this again and again?

I can only hope that our eventual nominee has the ability to tell it like it is as well as the optimism for our future.  “Everything is awful” with no substance on how to make things better will only cause us to strike out for a third time.


  1. Robbie says:

    Religious congregations and clergy always have had and always will have the power to decide what types of religious ceremonies happen under their purview, and that includes what types of marriages the will and won’t allow. Any politician who says otherwise is just trying to scare you.

    Gay marriage, or, marriage, as we now call it in this country, is here. It’s done. It’s a constitutional right and it’s not going anywhere. The candidates using it as a campaign issue are only trying to prove that they’re more anti-gay than the other candidates. Can we really call these people the “moral standard bearers” if they’re advocating for denying civil legal equality to specific groups of people simply because they don’t like them?

  2. FranInAtlanta says:

    First, I know many people who have a loving attitude toward gays who oppose same sex marriage.
    Second, I don’t think that government at any level should be in the marriage business, but that was settled a long time ago – SC, who saw fit to let some of my ancestors enter into American Indian/European-Ancestry marriages, began to license marriages in 1911.
    Third, since the government is in the marriage license business, I like the idea of signing up for a marriage license and the deal being done at that time. Then whoever is willing to do a religious blessing or officiate at a secular celebration is free to do so.
    Am pretty sure polygamy or polyandry or multiple marriages can get legal niceties under Subchapter S (might need an extension) but all of the goodies under two person marriages (average income on joint returns and various machinations under Social Security) just cannot be extended without harm to government revenue.

    • Robbie says:

      I’m pretty sure you mean “I know many people who *think* they have a loving attitude towards gays but they actually don’t, since they don’t want them to have any kind of legal protections or equal rights, and that’s not ‘love’ or even ‘like’.”

  3. jpm says:

    There is man’s law and there is God’s Law. When the two are in conflict I personally will follow God’s Law over man’s law. With that said; I believe strongly that God loves all of us, but hates our sins, and “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.”

    In response to Nathan’s 4th paragraph first sentence; Ordained Ministers and Churches may not be required to perform homosexual marriages – and that is good. But should not the people of the Minister’s flock also not to be forced to practice against those same teachings, and beliefs based in God’s Laws? The purpose of a minister is to teach, the purpose of the congregants is to learn from the teachings – then to go forth and spread the Gospel. When homosexuals force a government to prosecute a religious person because government says man’s law is superior to God’s Law what course do you think the religious person will choose? Perhaps this a separation of the wheat from the chaff. “My kingdom is not of this world”.

    It is my observation that as millennials get older, the former millennial begins to reject certain beliefs – such as man’s laws being supreme to God’s Laws. I even know one post millennial that wished she had not broken Leviticus 19:28. And perhaps more importantly she is now registered to vote for the first time.

    Because voters are made up of more than the millennials; choosing to whom gets our votes goes beyond the issue of government condoned homosexual marriage. The great thing for me is I am neither a democrat or a republican – both parties as parties are epic failures. My choices the last 4 decades have been based on what the person can and can not accomplish. The next election cycle will be no different for me as I give money and a vote to campaigns.

    With the exception to the word “us”, I agree with Nathan’s 5th & 6th paragraphs

  4. saltycracker says:

    I’d guess the millennials are more in the “sure, makes no difference to me” mode in the redefinition of public marriage. “To deny a small number is more drama than it is worth.” They are flocking to the non-denominational Christian churches that speak to them without the noise.

    To appeal to millennials the GOP might want to talk to those that prefer individual freedom to pursue the things they value. A level playing field in taxation, everyone participating in health care by carrying insurance (accepting premiums for poor lifestyle choices), environmental concerns, laws and public safety, ease of mobility (transportation), immigration laws that welcome those seeking jobs and freedom. They are tricked by easy money, debt encouragement and misspent taxes to live at levels that will eventually restrict their enjoyment. Unfortunately for too many that comes quickly.

  5. Ed says:

    As I said in another thread: you guys have a serious reckoning to make. Evangelicals are the foot soldiers in your coalition. They are also vastly diminishing in terms of real numbers and influence on any sort of general national debate. All while becoming more important to the GOP.

    So do you sacrifice a few cycles by casting them off and hoping you can emerge a stronger, relevant party in the future that can stick around?

    Or do you appease them now to win elections for the next decade only to grow irrelevant and regional?

    I wish you guys the best of luck, you’re going to need it.

    • Baker says:

      smug much?

      while im with nathan here, i dont think its all doom and gloom for Republicans of any type. one party is about to nominate a pathological liar near-billionaire who seems to think its her right to be president. another party is having a vigorous debate about whats important and policy questions in a wide open primary. while i definitely think republicans are going to have to work hard, im not feeling too down.

      having the state legislatures controlled by repubs in 68 of 99 different cases isnt so bad. 31 republican governors compared to 18 democrats. seems like a nice strong bench republicans are developing.

      what are the dems developing? a guy from san antonio whose last name happens to be latino but whose only experience was a being a ribbon cutter getting $3000ish as “mayor” of San Antonio.

      i feel alright.

      • Ed says:

        HRC won’t win the nomination and the GOP controlled map drawing at the latest round of redistricting–I would hope they have legislatures. And anyway you’re missing my point.

        Religiosity is decreasing. Social mores are changing quickly towards something more akin to progressivism than conservatism. At what point does the GOP realize that socially conservative evangelicals are not the way to winning elections in the future and decide to not build the party around them?

        Do it now and you risk losing so many elections you won’t be able to recover. Wait and winning elections for the next decade might have no bearing past that. It isn’t a good spot to be in.

        • Baker says:

          um….HRC won’t win the nomination? So Bernie gets it? Someone else? I like Jim Webb. I think he could be good.

          Exactly why did the GOP control map drawing at the latest round?

          Anyways, I get your point. I just think you’re putting way too much value into your people don’t like evangelicals theory. From the point of view of a committed Dem, they may seem terrifying. To lots of other people, they may not agree with evangelicals all the time but they likely know plenty and know that they don’t seem like too crazy a folk in general (Trump supporters not included, they’re crazy).

          What do you mean by social mores? Gay marriage? Sure. Other social issues? Not necessarily (see A-word polling). It’s a big tent. The party is not necessarily built around evangelicals. There are plenty of fiscal conservatives, plenty of more libertarian-minded folks.

          • Ed says:

            Well I’m very religious and not a committed Dem but O’Malley is also running…and a few more will jump in. HRC couldn’t beat John Edwards (!) in Iowa. She’s not the unstoppable juggernaut people think she is.

            Look, it’s more that socially conservative Evangelicals represent a shrinking population that will find less and less resonance with voters. People don’t have to be “terrified” by Evangelicals, they probably aren’t and don’t hold their views with contempt. Cherry pick gay marriage if you want. What else can Evangelicals rally around for a new social issue? Abortion? We’ve been treading water for decades and more people are siding with pro-choice positions than pro-life ones (even within the Catholic Church). People are going to be pro-gay marriage but anti-other gay rights issues?

            And yes, the party is built around evangelicals. Who else provides the bulk of volunteers and boots on the ground? Who else has such sway in Dixie, the GOP’s stronghold? Who else are the leading POTUS candidates clearly kowtowing to? At the very least if you cast off socially-conservative evangelicals as a Republican you’re never winning a POTUS primary, and if you pull off a miracle and make the general you’re losing. It’s like a Democrat hoping to not rely on labor.

  6. benevolus says:

    As I’ve said before- the problem originated when governments started using the word “marriage” in the law. Apparently religious people didn’t object to that very much, but now it’s a religious word that government shouldn’t define? Too late! I suggest the biblical scholars find a new word to use for the translation.

    • blakeage80 says:

      Groups of people reverse positions on issues all the time. Democrats on the issue of racial discrimination, for example.

      • benevolus says:

        This is true, but instead of trying to deny the practice, why not just try to change the words? If the word “marriage” is so sacred, y’all should be pushing to remove it from secular documents.

        • John Vestal says:

          The issue is the co-mingling of the terms “marriage” and “matrimony”. They’ve become interchangeable in common use and connotation. Reference to the secular contractual arrangement of “marriage ” predates its connection to religious rites by over a thousand years (see: Hammurabi, Ur-Nammu). Many who think of marriage solely in the religious/spiritual perspective erroneously believe dogma somehow conferred upon them some kind of trademark rights to the term.

          • saltycracker says:

            That secular or religious marriage thousands of years ago was between male and female.

            It is interesting that the earliest structural sites are believed built during religious pilgrimages. From this came agriculture and domesticated animals.

            There have been relationship rules, penalties and boundaries for thousands of years but not much positive in the sexual rules outside husbands and wives.

            • benevolus says:

              But the point is, in the secular world the definition of marriage isn’t “handed down from God”. It is up to us to define as we prefer.

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