The Washington Post reports:
Exit polls and other surveys from last year’s election suggest that resistance to same-sex marriage is shrinking and mainly concentrated among certain segments of the population: older people, white evangelical Christians and non-college-educated whites. That is the analysis of a new study of the data by two pollsters, one a Democrat and the other a Republican.
Voters age 65 and older expressed opposition to allowing such unions in their states by a 21-point margin, with 37 percent supporting them and 58 percent opposing. Those younger than 65 favored them by eight points, 52 percent to 44 percent.
The disparity was even greater among religious groups, broken down along racial lines. White evangelical Christians opposed same-sex marriage by nearly 3 to 1. But every non-evangelical group — other white Protestants, white Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, African American non-evangelicals and Jewish voters — expressed support for such unions by double-digit margins.
Meanwhile, African American voters who described themselves as evangelical or born again were narrowly divided, with 45 percent saying their state should recognize same-sex marriage and 47 percent saying it should not.
Another “pocket of opposition,” the pollsters said, is white voters who do not have a college degree. Only 40 percent of them supported same-sex marriage, compared with 56 percent who opposed it. Other groups supported such unions: by 54 percent to 38 percent among non-white, non-college graduates; 56 percent to 41 percent among white college graduates; and 58 percent to 35 percent among non-white college graduates.
So, the future road map for equality is set.
This is just a hunch, but I would bet that the senior citizens who oppose marriage equality are more likely to be uneducated and clustered in intolerant states, thus increasing their likelihood to consider fried butter and funnel cakes legitimate food groups, which will surely influence the number of turns they will take at the voting booth. In other words, the cool seniors may be around longer to join the more open minded generations, which will expedite equality.
Clearly, it seems the number of degrees affects the degree of homophobia in society. So, the LGBT community must start considering education a “gay issue” and back tax policies and politicians that work to increase the number of people who graduate from high school and college. An ignorant society is an intolerant society and we can’t forget this.
Finally, we have the good ole’ Evangelicals, who appear resistant to reason and allergic to logic. I mean, what other segment of society regularly abandons their own kids to the street, as Evangelicals often do when they learn of their sexual orientation?
To be fair, there is some positive movement among younger Evangelicals, but the majority of these folks ensure that we will be fighting gay rights battles for at least a decade, even though we all know who will eventually win this fight. The zealots understand that the demographics are stacked against them, so they are already throwing tantrums and threatening GOP officials that they will bolt if the Party doesn’t foolishly stand with them and commit long term political suicide. According to the article:
David Lane, who organizes conservative Christians nationwide, said the more than 65 million Americans who identify themselves as evangelicals are feeling increasingly alienated from electoral politics.
If GOP leaders embrace same-sex marriage, he predicted, “it will lead quickly to the collapse of the Republican Party,” causing a core constituency to leave for a third party or to renounce politics.
“The debate is good,” Lane added. “We need to decide whether we are a Christian nation or a pagan nation and get on with it. The glory of a nation lies in its righteousness.”
First, this is a secular nation with a Constitution that ensures that all people are treated equally. Second, the glory of the nation depends on celebrating the strengths in our differences, rather than pursuing destructive religious tribalism and theocracy, which can only be maintained by suppressing the rights of others. The type of odious society these extremists hope to create would ruin this nation and lead to nothing but eternal conflict, as we often see with other fundamentalist nations.
The best thing that could ever happen to the Republican Party is for these arrogant, cantankerous, and super high maintenance Evangelical voters to take their marbles and go home. This divisive and intolerant special interest doesn’t play well with others and is devouring the GOP from the inside. The second these cretins split, the Republican Party will finally have the freedom to attract mainstream voters and will be back on track. The result will be significant improvements in cross-party relations in Congress, a sharp decrease in legislative intransigence, a lessening of petty disputes on Capitol Hill, and a stronger America.
The Religious Right began infiltrating American politics during born again Jimmy Carter’s run for the presidency. When he wasn’t sufficiently conservative enough, bigots like the late Rev. Jerry Falwell started the Moral Majority, and in the 1980’s Rev. Pat Robertson recruited Ralph Reed to start the Christian Coalition. Today’s incarnation is the Family Research Council, which is listed as a Southern Poverty Law Center hate group.
Can any honest person truly say that the bold insertion of fundies into American politics has led to a kinder, gentler, more compassionate, Christ-like America? Has the political system become more or less functional since the Neo-Puritans entered the political arena with their “my way or the highway” brand of legislating?
Indeed, thanks to the fundies, the Republican Party can’t even nominate a viable candidate for president. Sane conservatives eschew the process, which leads to a stage full of unelectable clowns — like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. Sure, the most normal candidate of the batch, Mitt Romney, won the nomination. However, in order to win, he had to disavow virtually every common sense position he had taken the previous two decades, and hilariously felt compelled to declare himself a “severe conservative” at the feet of his right wing masters. This left a badly wounded nominee who came across as bumbling, bland, and untrustworthy.
What do Republican officials have to gain by keeping the Religious Right on board, other than an increasing number of headaches, defeats, and threats of primary challenges? For the good of the GOP and America, they should tell these zealots to take a hike and return to their post-Scopes Monkey Trial caves.