Out With A Whimper

Is The GOP Realizing It Has Lost The Marriage Battle?

If there is one place where the GOP’s culture warriors would give full cry to their homophobia, it would be the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference. After all, it’s hosted by Ralph Reed, a (crumbling) pillar of the religious right. Red-meat rhetoric is a traditional hallmark of the event. So the big surprise at this year’s conference, which began Thursday, is that keynote speakers were relatively subdued when they spoke about marriage equality.

Sure, there were the obligatory applause lines. But among them, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin reference marriage equality just three times, largely in passing. The clearest call-out was from Rubio, who told the crowd “just because you disagree with someone on the definition of marriage, you get called a bigot.” He also listed traditional marriage as something “to preserve,” like jam or pickles. Lee mentioned traditional marriage in a list of conservative principles that included home-schooling, school prayer and right-to-life.

And that was it. You’d never know that a potentially ground-breaking ruling from the Supreme Court is just around the corner. There were no cries to rally the troops, to complain about judicial activism or to weep about the destruction of America.

All of which leads to the question: have even the most conservative elements of the GOP come to the conclusion that they’ve lost the marriage battle? We can count on the rhetoric when the decision comes down, but they aren’t using it as the wedge issue that they once did. If marriage equality is relegated to the fringe by the Senators speaking at a religious right conference,  you have to conclude that they know it’s game, set and match. Let’s see if the Supreme Court proves them right. The polls already do.

Photo Credit: Ralph Reed on Twitter

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  • 1EqualityUSA

    If it weren’t for cheating, voter suppression, and gerrymandering in States, too stupid to realize what’s going on, the GOP would be a dust bowl.

  • Cam

    “”Sure, there were the obligatory applause lines. “”


    What a weird thing to write. Lets reword it in a way that means the same thing but might explain it slightly differently.

    Sure there were the obligatory bigoted anti-gay statements guaranteed to produce applause from the audience.

    So you have them making anti-gay comments for applause AND have their most likely presidential candidate arguing against gay marriage and who ALSO just said that people should be able to fire gays from their job for being gay….

    And from that you get that this is somehow a subdued kinder gentler GOP?

  • Merv

    No, they aren’t letting go. If anything, it’s worse. The father of the conservative movement, Barry Goldwater, was outspokenly pro-gay. Can you imagine anyone of that stature today in the Republican party? Vice President Cheney was the closest, but he was still relatively muted. Romney said some good things in the 1990s, but that was only when he was trying to beat Kennedy. As a presidential candidate, he was very anti-gay.

    No Republican can say anything pro-gay because it would be political suicide in a party whose membership is so anti-gay. Remember when everyone thought Senator Portman was going to start a trend? Well, no trend.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I believe that the socially conservative right wing is even bored by their own rhetoric! They’ve put their party to sleep and a small minority who resist the verbal/oral anesthetic are the only ones talking in a stupor to a mindless audience. Gee, that deafening silence is great!

  • 1EqualityUSA

    #4 Quite poetic there, Dakotageo.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @1EqualityUSA: Thank you, but most of the time that I do something intelligent, it is simply by mistake, believe me, heh heh heh.

  • Ken

    To get their constituents to vote against their own interests, they distract them with a faux moral crusade against a minority group their constituents fear and misunderstand. It’s a common right-wing technique used by various parties in various countries in all ages. Today it is gays. Our time in the sun is limited. Tomorrow the honor will pass to some other minority.

  • Kieran

    They’d better wise up. It’s never a smart idea to alienate 10% of likely voters (not to mention their family and friends) and expect to win elections.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Kieran, It’s also that young people won’t want to be associated with an old, bigoted party. The GOP is an embarrassment. The Mitch Latent McConnell, John Latent Boehner, Rick Latent Perry pack of geeks is not a place to be these days. They have missed the train and are too ensconced in their entitled, white man world to comprehend that they are yesterday’s news. The party of “no” has been surpassed by the Party of “know.” Antiquated dinosaurs need to quietly fossilize and shut the Hell up.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @1EqualityUSA: And you call me poetic?!? I’m jealous of you! Kudos! :-D

Comments are closed.