Friday, January 23, 2009

Does voting for same-sex marriage help or hurt politicians?

Does a politician's views on same-sex marriage affect your decision to re-elect him or her?

A new study by Freedom to Marry argues that same-sex marriage is a non-issue that doesn't hurt a politician's electability. The San Francisco Bay Times reports:

Voting for same-sex marriage or against an attempt to ban same-sex marriage is a safe move for politicians, a new study by the group Freedom to Marry has found. A review of such votes in 21 states by more than 1,100 legislators found that the legislators were consistently re-elected. The report revealed:

* Legislators who voted to end marriage discrimination in California, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts had a 100 percent re-election rate in all 499 instances in three consecutive elections.

* Legislators who changed their position from opposing to supporting same-sex marriage had a 100 percent re-election rate in consecutive elections.

* Legislators who voted for marriage equality in their state’s lower house and then sought higher office all won.

* None of 664 legislators from 17 states lost re-election after voting against a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

“For politicians, standing up for marriage equality is not touching a third-rail; rather, it is a track to re-election,” said Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson. “Legislators should take the findings of this report as proof that there’s no reason to back down from supporting the freedom to marry and opposing anti-gay measures. And those of us outside the legislature should not be afraid to ask our representatives to do the right thing.”

I think this is an interesting comment, considering that the point of elected officials is to select people to represent your views in the government.

As fellow DNA'er BeetleBlogger said, "This is not the opportunity to forgive and forget or turn the other cheek. It’s time to ask ourselves, 'What’s in the barrel?' and toss out those [bad apples] who pander to corruption and are rotten at the core."

She makes an excellent point - corruption doesn't seem to matter in today's political arena. What on earth has happened to reason, responsibility, common sense and virtue?

Californians have voted twice to uphold traditional marriage and define it as between one man and one woman. I would argue that the "right thing" is to respect the views of your constituency on all issues - especially when it comes to one so fundamentally linked to our society's fiber.

The family is the cornerstone of society - if we chip away at it enough, it will crumble, and we will fall.


Euripides said...

"Corruption doesn't seem to matter in today's political arena."

Yep, the people keep voting for them anyway. What a travesty of the republic we live in.