Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Feb/10

24

Gays & gun control

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By now you’ve probably seen the Ryan Sorba video from CPAC:

Right now opposition to gay marriage is a winning issue for conservatives. But how much longer? I wonder if we’re going to see a shift where conservatives are going to have to put anti-gay sentiments aside because of changes in the wider societal Zeitgeist. Similar to the way that the Left seems to have soft-pedaled or deemphasized the gun control agenda over the past 10 years.

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16 comments

  • Jeeves · February 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Right now opposition to gay marriage is a winning issue for conservatives.

    Winning? I don’t see it. I think the zeitgeist you refer to has already shifted. But gay marriage aside, Sorba’s rant seems to me a generalized condemnation of homosexuality–i.e., homophobia. CPAC seems immune to embarrassment. John Birch Society as co-sponsor? Sure, why not?

  • Marylander · February 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    It sounds like he’s saying “The reproductive act is for reproduction only.” I don’t think most heterosexuals would agree with that sentiment. He’s trying to make a non-religious condemnation of homosexuality based in natural right, and fails.
    He has a lecture series which presumably will become a book called “The Born Gay Hoax.” Opposition to gay marriage is one thing. Arguing against accepted science is another. Do the Republicans really need more of that?

  • Susan · February 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I don’t think gay marriage is currently a winning issue for the majority of Republicans/conservatives. Certainly not in the northeast. If Scott Brown had driven around Massachusetts promising to end gay marriage, Senator Coakley would be hosting her second or third Georgetown dinner party. But beyond that, outside of segments of the Bible Belt, do people really lie awake at night worrying about David and Carl’s nuptials, or do they worry about the economy, terrorism, and foreign policy? They may be uncomfortable with the concept of gay marriage, but how far up on their list of priorities is banning it?

  • Author comment by David Hume · February 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    susan,

    1) i don’t think it is that high on a list of priorities

    2) i think the northeast is somewhat anomalous, and even there new york and maine show that support for gay marriage is mixed

    in the medium-term i do think that gay marriage is inevitable in any case.

  • John · February 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    The age-related data on the issue are clear. I can’t think of any other issue that age is such a strong predictor of opinion than about gay issues. Even opponents of gay marriage have realized they are fighting a losing battle. The issue is probably a net minus for the GOP already.

  • Inductivist · February 24, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Opponents of gay marriage feel they are fighting a losing battle against judges, not public opinion–at least in the short-term. Republicans can hope for electoral victories as liberal judges tell voters to go to hell.

  • Don Kenner · February 25, 2010 at 6:20 am

    There’s a lot of inertia by citizens on this issue. Most Americans, even here in the South, don’t really care what Adam and Steve do. But there’s a sense that those who want to push gay marriage are also 1) soft on terrorism; 2) tend towards a more socialistic economy; 3) want to push explicit sex ed in the elementary school. This is not paranoia on their part.

    Any encounter (even through the media/internet) that Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver have with “gay America” is most likely going to be of the more militant variety, like the gay mime troupe that visits the California elementary school. Of course the parents were never notified in advance, and the administrator told the parents to get over their “racism.” (?) This becomes “Gay America” to the Cleavers even though Mr. Cleaver works with Bob, who’s living with Ted, both of whom are decent, upstanding, tax-paying, patriotic Gay Americans who keep their private life private.

    So the herd of conservatives (like the herd of liberals) tend to push against the other side’s perceived agenda. Fine distinctions matter little in politics, which is why libertarian conservatives, Log Cabin Republicans, tough-on-Jihad Democrats, and anyone whose politics aren’t cookie-cutter have little power on election day. In the end, we choose a train and get on; we can’t necessarily choose who we ride with, otherwise many of us would not ride with this Ryan Sorba nut job.

  • Don Kenner · February 25, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Oh — and I’m happy that the left has “deemphasized the gun control agenda over the past 10 years.” I didn’t know that. As a Texan whose family owns five handguns I look forward to even less emphasis on this issue by the left.

  • Mike H · February 25, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Sorba was pretty aggressive and came off poorly as a result but it has to be said that CPAC didn’t exactly showcase a representative picture of the conservative movement when they allowed libertarian groups to dominate the floor.

    I do generally think that gay marriage is probably inevitable, there’s really a change in attitude amongst young people that you could observe over the last 10-15 years. I think it’s the result of a combination of educational and media influences. But even if you are a pro-gay right-winger then you probably should still be a little alarmed by that simply because it’s not like gay issues are the only issues on which the schools and media outlets are indoctrinating our youth. The election of Obama and the youth cult around him rose out of the same phenomenon.

  • Richard · February 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    The thing is, something like 40 states have already amended their constitutions to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. But once you’ve done that, you’re done. There’s nothing more to do unless a court decides that the traditional definition of marriage is unconstitutional. (Then the issue becomes our overweaning judiciary.) Otherwise, the traditional definition of marriage will stay in state constitutions until such time as the voters are willing to go to the effort of removing it, which will probably be decades down the road.
    Our federal system defuses these issues, if it’s allowed to work. I don’t support gay “marriage.” But since my state (Michigan) doesn’t recognize it, and the federal government doesn’t recognize it, I don’t have a lot of time or energy to worry about what’s going on in Hawaii.

  • Susan · February 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts found that, according to the Massachusetts state constitution, denying gay couples the right to marry was unconstitutional.

  • Tom_Meyer · February 26, 2010 at 8:17 am

    It’s difficult to parse out how much the boos were in response to the manner rather than the substance of Sorba’s remarks. I could be mistaken in this, but it also sounds like Sorba booed the GoProud speaker immediately before making his own comments.

    Regardless, it’s wonderful to see someone so uncouth and rude get booed by CPACers.

  • brandon · February 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I think that the conservatives who appear obsessed with gay marriage will always come off as wackjobs. In the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t even be on the radar considering the actual serious problems we face. I think a possible alliance could exist between gays and the right in the name of civilization. I know a great many gays who identify with the GOP on issues like illegal immigration, and the size and scope of government. A gay friend once remarked to me “I vote democrat but I’m actually more conservative. I like smaller government. ” Many gays also seem to have an odd affection for 1950′s era style and decor, which is interesting because it is often portrayed as a sort of culturally conservative golden age.

    I don’t think that “born gay” is considered settled science, but whether it’s genetic, womb events, or a result of circumstances that occur in early childhood development…anyway you look at it, it’s not really something a person has control over.

    The reality is that this guy Sorba is just a jerk, and even though I generally favor keeping with traditional marriage, I’d rather hang out at just about any West Hollywood gay bar than spend an evening with this Ryan Sorba character and his cohorts.

  • Marylander · February 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    @brandon
    It’s an interesting point you make on civilization issues. In Europe I can think of no group who has more to lose from Islamic influence than homosexuals. The most vocal among the gay rights movement are unfortunately crazed leftists who want to deconstruct civilization, but I’d say a larger group wants to recreate a nuclear family albeit with two dads or two moms. That’s why they’re pushing for marriage in the first place.
    As far as “settled science” what I meant is that no serious psychologists believe that gays can be “cured” which is what fanatics like Sorba want. There have been some interesting studies in identical twins, one of whom is gay and the other straight that suggest fetal development plays a larger role than previously thought. But no one other than religious fanatics and quacks think that it’s something that can be changed through “therapy.”

  • Lorenzo · February 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    There is something a little odd with being for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”: but not if you’re gay. If you think gays and lesbians are just folks, the dissonance is obvious. If you think they are not a legitimate form of the human, then then dissonance “goes away” but you put yourself into the hate-monger box.

  • Richard · March 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is what prompted 40 other states to amend their consitutions, just in case their own judges start getting bright ideas.

    I support the right of gays to be left alone by the state. I don’t support issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses, as though their relationships were normal.

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