Cole on Gay Marriage, Smith on Evangelicals and their Votes

May 18, 2004 Off By leigh

Juan Cole has a well written piece considering issues of gay marriage and homophobia in Islamic countries.

Juan Cole has a well written piece considering issues of gay marriage and homophobia in Islamic countries.

For me, it’s fairly obvious, conservative religious commentators and their “flock” are scared of anal sex (there, I’ll probably be parental control blocked by half the world) and it’s connection with notions of infantile cleanliness. Since they can’t get their heads beyond the notion of that activity (conveniently ignoring the minor role it plays in gay sex, and its practice in hetro, lesbian, south sea island and animal sex, in their denunciations of “unnatural behaviour”), they find themselves backed into their ideological corner attempting to argue the “unnatural” act of legal acceptance of co-habitation and sharing of wealth and obligation (practically the only things left unique to marriage) of a certain group of people.

Rumsfelds term “deadenders” seems more applicable to this issue than Iraq’s subservience to neocon colonialism. But as George Monbiot has pointed out, evangelical, apocalyptic Christians constitute 15-18% of the U.S. voting population. Given their doctrinal control system of weekly church-going, if they all vote because Jesus told them to, in a country that on last presidential election only managed 56% voter turn out, they form a formidable voting block.

Call Karl Rove many deserved names, but stupid is not one of them…he perfectly plays Bush to the voting block. If the Jewish voting population splits down political lines, that is roughly another 1%, leaving Rove with about 9% to capture. This assumes the voter turnout does not increase, which one expects it will due to the economy and high profile scandals. Factor in a Nader vote somewhere around 6% (which will be unevenly distributed and strategically voted, so that is more likely 2-3% in swing states). From the Schwartzenegger election, it would seem the Hispanic vote will vote down party lines, leaving the issue resting fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Black vote. This electorate overwhelmingly votes Democrat (90%), but given Katherine Harris’s ability to deny them a vote in Florida in the last election, is very difficult to assess their impact. If I were Kerry, given it could be this tight, I’d be making sure every Black voter was registered and enabled to vote.