Monday, April 13, 2009

Gay Marriage and Young Republicans

Meghan McCain's in the news again with her comments on gay marriage and the GOP. According to Ms. McCain, for "progressive" Republicans, the gay marriage issue is "about reaching a wider base and redefining what it means to be Republican, and leaving labels, stereotypes, and negativity by the wayside."

Read the whole thing,
here. Ms. McCain argues that Ronald Reagan, in 1978, championed gay rights during a California initiative battle what would have prevented gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools.

The problem for Ms. McCain, and other advocates of same-sex marriage, is that Americans do not hold discriminatory views of homosexuals. Polls repeatedly find widespread support for the extension of equal protections to gay Americans. The problem is not the extension of rights to same-sex couples per se, but the redefinition of marriage itself. And huge majorities are opposed to changing the historical conception of society's normative tradition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Much of the meme on the left (alleging conservative bigotry) is in fact progressive totalitarianism and intolerance toward the traditional culture. That's why so many regular folks get turned off by the debate: They are hesitant to wade into the culture wars for fear of being attacked and browbeaten as homophobic when they are anything but.

Interestingly, Kristen Soltis, at The Next Right, finds some empirical support for Ms. McCain's argument on gay marriage and young Republicans. But
a careful look at numbers offered by Soltis, drawn from the General Social Survey, reveals that youth voters are not all that sold on the acceptablility of homosexual relations, much less gay marriage:

I recently completed research on the topic of young voters and the GOP: where the Republican Party is losing young voters, how serious the threat is to the party, and how the Republican Party should respond. And on this point, Ms. McCain has it right - the issue of gay marriage is one on which young voters and the Republican Party diverge significantly ....

Yet issues relating to homosexuality find vast differences between the young and older voters. In terms of the issue of whether or not homosexual sex is wrong, 44.3% of respondents to the General Social Survey 18-34 believe it is "never wrong" compared to 33.5% of respondents overall. Furthermore, 47.3% of respondents 18-34 said homosexual sex was "always wrong" compared to 55.6% of respondents overall.
Eh, hello? "47.3% of respondents 18-34 said homosexual sex was "always wrong ..."

That statistic sticks out like a sore thumb. This is 2008 data. If nearly half of those 18-34 think that homosexual intercourse is always wrong, it's not a particularly robust statement on youth support for gay rights, much less same-sex marriage. Futher, for all the talk of society moving toward more acceptance of gay lifestyles, that's got to be a troublesome statistics for the radical homosexual activists. Indeed, numbers like these explain precisely why the gay nihilists browbeat tradtionalists into submission: Radical leftists know that their agenda violates the deepest sense of social propriety, and so they must portray traditionalists as bigots and religious "extremists" to make the sale for their own licentiousness.

I just checked Google for my post from January on the radical gay of the political left: "
Gay Activists Plan Obama Inaugural Celebrations." At that entry I discussed the inaugural celebrations among gay activist groups, which included the deployment of "rimming stations" by those celebrating at the Doubletree Hotel in Washington. But note that a Google search for "rimming station gay" pulls up all kind of links to gay male sexual pornography. With all due respect to Meghan McCain, I seriously doubt these are the kind of "moderate conservative" views the GOP should be pushing. Or, at least, a look at young gay lifestyles reveals anything but a socially conservative outlook, and I'd wager Ronald Reagan would roll over in the grave at the thought of it.

Besides,
as gay conservative Charles Winecoff argued recently, the gay rights agenda is really not about "inclusion" or "full acceptance." It's about social revolution:

Eight years after 9/11, the LGBT community gets its activism fix by indulging in nostalgic, anti-establishment indignation over petty domestic slights. Ganging up on an annoying little old lady carrying a cross at a Prop 8 rally satisfies the itch between workouts and White Parties. But wouldn’t it be genuinely awe inspiring to see masses of musclebound gay men taking on, say, a congregation of homophobic Islamic “thinkers” (who, BTW, love the idea of pushing gay men off cliffs to their death)? ....

Civil unions already offer gay couples the same basic legal status as married couples in several states, including California (and they’re a lot easier to get). But as a result of the gay community’s mass hissy fit to usurp marriage, the religious right has been re-ignited in its holy war against legal recognition of any gay relationships at all ....

40 years after the Stonewall Riots, it’s time for the LGBT community to reconnect with what made us rebel in the first place: the right to live not as conformist dhimmis, but as social, intellectual, and artistic pioneers. Instead of stirring up resentment trying to snatch a piece of a stale pie we don’t really need - and setting back our cause in the process - we need to keep moving forward, not “separate but equal,” but different and equal.

There's a lot to think about for the GOP in acceding to the demands of "progressive" Republicans for a wholesale cultural change that is nowhere near supported by a majority of Americans. Not only that, the youth demographic is open to political persuasion toward more conservative ideals on lifestyle and families.

There's been
some talk lately of the formation of third political party, which would in effect be a splinter movement breaking away from today's GOP. So far that chatter's been associated with the Tea Party protests springing up around the country, but if the national Republican Party capitulates to the Megan McCain's and David Frums, it's not unlikely that the push for a new conservative party outside of the traditional two-party system would pick up even more steam.

**********

Related: Gay Patriot looks at the same data from Next Right, and then adds:

I don’t think the GOP need be pro-gay marriage to win the youth vote. I do think it needs [to] offer a vision of choice and opportunity to contrast the Democrats’ preference for government solutions and one-size-fits-all approaches.

That said, I think the best path for the party would be take a more neutral stand on gay marriage and favor a state-by-state approach, consistent with the federalist principles which once undergirded the GOP.
It's interesting that had Iowa taken the "federalist" route this last week, we would not have seen the approval of same-sex marriage in that state.

7 comments:

Tom the Redhunter said...

"They are hesitant to wade into the culture wars for fear of being attacked and browbeaten as homophobic when they are anything but."Ding! Ding! Ding!

"The gay rights agenda is really not about "inclusion" or "full acceptance." It's about social revolution"Give that man a cigar

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks Tom!

Tim said...

I love the inherent contradictions in Donald's posts. Here's another howler:

"The problem for Ms. McCain, and other advocates of same-sex marriage, is that Americans do not hold discriminatory views of homosexuals..."

and

"Furthermore, 47.3% of respondents 18-34 said homosexual sex was "always wrong""

So, yes. The majority of non-conservatives maybe do not hold discriminatory views. However, it's a nice chunk of those conservatives, who do discriminatory views.

ICONIC FREEDOM said...

Conservatism has been historically about fiscal responsibility; however, for years it has been co - opted by those with other social issues by which to influence an otherwise free society.

If Republicans would step off the soapbox of social issues and bathe in freedom, free choice, individual freedom and nothing more politically - they would find more support.

Like the free market - let each place value as he decides and let none infringe on that choice in as much as the choice is at no cost to you without consent.

Each must decide for self the pursuit of happiness - anyone identifying the nation as Christian starts to distance from all other Americans who have a different identification or no identification of religion

It's not to say that Christians would not or could not continue to advocate for issues which are important to them, they would just do it irrespective of government.

consider gay marriage as a recent example - how could Republicans shift the discussion?

Get government out of marriage

Secular ceremonies are symbolic

Religious ceremonies are religious but symbolic in the eyes of gov't

Legal contracts for issues of health, wealth & bequeathment

Eliminates all discrimination

Does not favor one religious view over another nor imposes religious view of marriage

Churches continue to define marriage as they wish

Equality - equal access to all who wish to get married, can do so and no individual freedom, ideology or choice is infringed

If someone is looking for “acceptance” or “endorsement” they will need to get it outside of their government

No tax credits, subsidies or entitlements for a personal choice to get married

Now, start applying the idea of getting gov’t out of abortion, education, etc. and more people can sign onto the idea of individual freedom, free choice for all and each will decide for self.

Who would be the person to stand up to a microphone and say, "I don't want to endorse or uphold personal freedom" for the world to see & hear?

Those who don’t endorse such action toward freedom, seek to control by limiting choice rooted in personal identification and decision about what religion, what god and what ideology needs to be upheld and followed to the extent of enacting laws, legislation and putting civil rights to a vote.

Republicans have the health to self-correct on this if they make the choice to do so; if they don't, they only reveal that their ideology is greater than wanting human beings to live free in free choice, even if that choice isn't their choice - unless they think they know how others should live, much like liberals behave

Rob said...

You're reading the statistics a bit selectively. Though 47.3% of respondents aged 18-34 think homosexual sex is "always wrong," 53.4% of respondents aged 18-34 think that gay couples should have the right to marry. Presumably a substantial number of the remainder support civil unions or domestic partnerships.

There are plenty of people who support legal rights for gay people even though they don't appropve of homosexuality.

Ryan Dixon said...

I guess you are right when you say the Apple does not fall far from the tree... she is as much as a moderate as her father. She is trying to be a celebrity in the Republican Party.

Ryan Dixon
http://youngrepublicans.tv

Drawlines Blog said...

You make a lot of good points. I'm just getting turned onto your blog now so pardon me while I catch up.

These issues are so important both to the GOP and to the GLBT community. I consider myself a part of both. We have to be able to attract more representative voters into the Republican party, period. Likewise, Republicans will never become more open to GLBT causes if we do not include their voices reciprocally in our discussions and ask for their support.

Please read more on the Drawnlines Blog:

http://drawnlines.blogspot.com/2009/04/expanding-gop-tent.html

http://drawnlines.blogspot.com/2009/03/gays-to-leave-democrats-alone-at-altar.html

or www.drawnlines.com