Political director, The Huffington Post
The Sunday after the California Supreme Court issued their historic opinion matching Massachusetts in declaring the State’s ban on same sex marriage as inconsistent with that State’s constitution Peggy Noonan was a Sunday show guest. No middle of the road pundit she. I was surprised by her response when asked about the impact of the court’s decision. “I was struck by the silence,” she said. “People just don’t seem to care about this issue anymore. The nation has truly changed”
I am certain I never started a blog post in my entire career with a quote from Peggy Noonan. We don’t agree on much. But on this we certainly agree. Same sex marriage just doesn’t seem to be that big a deal in the political world this year. I am sure that plans are being made by the Republican Party across the country to try and surreptitiously exploit California marriages and their ensuing impact across the states in the fall elections. But the key point here is that they must be quiet. This is not a nation that tolerates intolerance anymore. And when the Conservative Vice President’s daughter has a baby with her lesbian lover, it sure doesn’t work as a partisan issue swatted about in the media.
Contrast the silence on the political scene with the joy being felt in the hearts of Californians waiting for their turn at the alter over the next few months. My inbox is flooded with wedding announcements, one more joyful, heartfelt and urgent than the next.
The urgency of course is that Tony Perkins, tonight’s guest on AC360°, is desperate for public disapproval of same sex marriage. He is not just desperate for their views (and granted in polling the country is split) but he needs people to care more about the “threat” of same sex marriage than they do about the economy or the war in Iraq. Because it is only if they care more about stopping same sex marriage than ANY other issue (unless they like corporate tax cuts) will they vote for the Republicans on the ballot in November. That just seems unlikely, Tony. People may not really want gays and lesbians to marry but they just don’t care as much as you need them to to do anything about it.
And to rub salt in the wounds of Tony and his allies are the leading members of his own party, Senator John McCain and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. McCain led the fight against President Bush’s constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. While he has since repudiated much of the rationale of his past behavior, he sure doesn’t want his hypocrisy unveiled regularly by making this a big Presidential issue. And in California, it is unlikely that the people will overturn the decision at the ballot box when their own republican Governor says that same sex marriage is great for the economy in California and he has no intention of trying to stop it.
Soon, the quiet we are hearing will be transformed into wedding bells across the country.
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