- Posted May 15, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Same-sex marriage: Civil right vs. states' rights
Same-Gender Marriage Round-Up
Since President Barack Obama announced he was in suppport of same-gender marriage and added, however, it was a states right issue, the issue has been dominating news broadcasts and print news headlines. The announcement has produced various reactions.
For example, the Colorado State Legislature voted against a bill to allow civil unions in the state. This was pretty much a split along party lines. Obama, a Democrat, is for allowing same-gender marriage. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney defines marriage as 1 man and 1 woman and is against civil unions, but is for certain rights under domestic partnerships. The Colorado vote split for and against on those party positions.
Then there was the outlash in black churches across the nation this Sunday that has a split among the ministry about how forcefully to condemn and not support the President or to rally around the issue as a continuation of the civil rights movement. Either way ministers came down Sunday, church members reportedly decided overall to support the President for re-election even if they disagree with him on religious grounds on the issue.
Evangelicals and social conservatives have been given a reason to come out and support Romney in his quest to unseat the President. For the Romney campaign this was an unexpected gift. But rather than capitalizing on the issue, Romney has tried to keep the focus on the economy, jobs and the national debt.
But not everyone in the Republican Party has fared the issue as smoothly as Romney seems to be. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, son of presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul, got some heat for a joke he made over the weekend. And the heat came from conservatives and Evangelicals.
Senator Paul quipped, “The president recently weighed in on marriage and you know he said his views were evolving on marriage. Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.”
That brought a rebuke from Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based group that promotes civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
“I didn’t think that Rand Paul’s positions on anything could get any more bigoted, but he certainly has jumped the shark on that one,” Hartman said in an interview.
“This guy has got the worst track record for civil rights of any contemporary politician that I can think of and I am embarrassed for him to represent the state I call home,” he added.
R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a national GOP group that advocates equality for gays and lesbians, also denounced Paul’s remarks.
“Senator Paul’s comments were inappropriate and immature,” Cooper said in a statement. “The issue of marriage equality and the fundamental dignity due LGBT Americans under our law merits serious, respectful debate.”
Paul also was criticized by the head of the conservative Family Research Council, which opposes gay marriage.
Tony Perkins, president of the council, said Sunday on “Face the Nation” on CBS that he did not see the humor in the senator’s comments.
“I don’t think it’s a laughing matter. I don’t think this is something we should joke about,” Perkins said. “We are talking about individuals who feel very strongly one way or the other, and I think we should be civil, respectful, allowing all sides to have the debate. ... It’s not something to poke fun at other people about. This is a very serious issue.”
Of course the pollsters have been out as well. The President may not have helped himself that much with his decision to "come out".
A New York Times/CBS News poll released Monday night shows the possible political perils of President Obama's recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage.
Most of those polled say the president's position will not impact how they vote. But among those who say it will influence their choice, 26 percent said they are less likely to vote for Obama as a result, while 16 percent say they are more likely to.
Also troubling for the president is that a majority of voters suspect that his decision was politically motivated.
Sixty-seven percent said they thought Obama's announcement was made "mostly for political reasons," while 24 percent said it was "mostly because he thinks it is right."
In another potentially damaging sign, 70 percent of Independents attribute the president's move to politics, along with nearly half of Democrats.
Overall, Romney now has a three-point edge over Obama — a lead that is within the poll's margin of error — despite improving views of the economy. The Times/CBS poll had the race dead even a month ago. Romney now leads Obama among Independents, and has a 1-point advantage (again within the margin of error) among women.
In what seems an unusual outcome, it is being reported that Hispanic immigration reform groups are sidling up to GLBT activists to push together for civil rights and the reforms. The Hispanic community has been reported to be not so open to gays much like within the black community. Yet now the GLBT and Hispanics are joining forces.
President Barack Obama's shift to support gay marriage is energizing young Hispanic voters who have been working side-by-side with gay activists in their push for immigration reform. The alliance has been growing nationwide and helping dispel what many say is an outdated notion that Hispanics are less tolerant of gays than the general public.
"My members are telling me that we need to learn from the gay community," said Dee Dee Garcia Blase, founder of the Phoenix-based Somos Republicans. She is now head of the Tequila Party, which she formed last year with the goal of registering young Hispanics to vote for immigration-friendly candidates like Obama.
"We need to take a lesson from the (lesbian and gay) community with regard to being that loud, squeaky wheel that gets fixed," Blase said. "We need to be more aggressive, and we realize it."
As Walter Cronkite would say, "And that's the way it is."
From the Cornfield, that's the roundup of news from the same-gender marriage debate that appears to have a life of its own.