Conservatives: Gay Marriage Debate Hurts Religion genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

Supporting gay marriage

In an effort to ratchet up the rhetoric for the November midterm election, religious conservatives are making the assertion that the debate over same-sex marriage has resulted in attacks on religious freedom. Clearly, the goal is to once again focus evangelical and other religiously inclined voters on the divisive wedge issue in order to promote a strong conservative voter turnout. Fox News has the full Associated Press article here.

By expanding the discussion from marriage to religious expression, social conservatives say they will reconnect with religious voters and religious leaders who don't necessarily view same-sex unions as a threat.

"There are a number of pastors that said,'Look, we don't get involved in politics, I'm not going to get involved in this issue, I just want to preach the gospel,'"said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council."When they realize their ability to preach the gospel may very well be at stake, they may reconsider their involvement."

Perkins and others are building a case file of anecdotes where they say religious people have spoken out against gay marriage only to be punished. Perkins specifically cited the decision by Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich in June to fire his appointee to the Washington area transit board after the board member referred to homosexuals as"persons of sexual deviancy."

Apparently, firing a public employee for making judgmental and unfounded divisive remarks is unacceptable behavior to religious conservatives. On the other hand, they assert that those who support equal rights for gays are fomenting religious oppression...a fully illogical, upside down equation. Nonetheless, they seem to believe that they are anointed with the righteousness that comes from their biblical interpretations and are therefore merely doing Gods work in promoting the victimization of gays.

Eight states have ballot initiatives in November to prohibit gay marriage, including some states with closely contested congressional races. Perkins said religious conservative groups planned to use direct mail and the Internet to alert voters about the stands candidates have taken on the marriage issue.

I would expect the Bush administration to increasingly invoke the issue as the midterm election approaches. The alliance between evangelicals and the Bush administration remains strong despite occasional reports to the contrary. Clearly, religious conservatives are focused on an additional conservative appointment to the Supreme Court...something that could be in jeopardy should Democrats gain control in November. I have no doubt that same-sex marriage and the next Supreme Court nomination will be the primary topics of church driven get out the vote efforts.

Daniel DiRito | September 14, 2006 | 9:32 PM
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