By Thomas Newman
As a registered Democrat, Obama supporter, and an adamant supporter of gay rights, I am actually very glad that Prop 8 passed. According to the Gallop Poll News Service, 55% of unmarried people voted for Barack Obama in 2008, while only 35% of married voters chose Obama. These statistics suggest that married people are more conservative than non-married people, a point of interest in the gay marriage debate. These same statistics show that only 27% of gay people voted for McCain in 2008. Gay people are often considered to be liberal. However even the Democratic Party has refused in many cases to touch the issue of gay marriage, scared to anger other voters who may oppose the idea of gay marriage. If the Democratic Party has refused to support the campaign for gay marriage, then why do so many gay people support the Democratic Party? It cannot be a result of reciprocal action on the behalf of Democratic leaders, so another variable must be at play in shaping the political ideas and goals of homosexuals. The other variable influencing the political ideas of gay people is the fact that they cannot marry in most states. Marriage is a conservative institution, currently being defended by church-going conservatives who use religion as grounds for not allowing gay people the right to marry. Therefore, if California allowed gay people the right to marry, leading the way for other states to allow gay people to marry in the future, a culture of conservatism could potentially sweep through the homosexual population, tipping the scales in favor of the Republican Party. The potential impact of gay marriage can already be seen when the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections are compared. In 2004, George Bush received 23% of the gay vote, while John McCain received 27% in 2008. This increase could be a result of the few states that have begun to overturn bans on gay marriage, including California where the Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal, prompting the campaign for a ban on gay marriage. In presidential elections that are often decided by small margins, a drastic change in the political ideology of the homosexual population could give the Republican Party an advantage in future elections. This results in quite a dilemma. While I support gay rights, I am pleased that proposition 8 succeeded because the future success of the Democratic Party may depend on gay people not having the right to marry.