Today’s New Republic has one of the most intelligent articles that I’ve read to date on why gay marriage advocates are doing themselves (ourselves) a disservice by posing a public litmus test for Democratic presidential candidates:
Gay marriage advocates need to convince a substantial majority of the country that gay marriage is a moral good before pressuring presidential candidates to take a position on such a highly charged issue.
We shouldn’t cast our votes solely on a single issue in any case, yet many gays say they “will not vote for” a candidate (Clinton, Edwards, Obama, etc.) for being “not there yet,” as Edwards has put it, on gay marriage. Frankly I’d rather have a candidate who has a chance of winning–though not necessarily one of those three–and is honestly willing to discuss their ambiguous feelings about “gay issues” with me than one who hasn’t a snowball’s chance but tells me what I want to hear.
Of course the New Republic article shies away from separating civil and religious marriage into separate issues–which is really what’s at the root of the social unease with the very subject of same-sex marriage. But for now the advice given by the author is a solid foundation for future progress.
. . .In the present climate, asking that presidential candidates support same-sex marriage–while serving an important moral purpose–demands a significant political sacrifice. . .
Seeing the Democrats squirm on the issue of gay marriage may make for good political theater, but it does not make good politics.