Many GOP politicians waving white flag on gay marriage — how about in Arkansas? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Many GOP politicians waving white flag on gay marriage — how about in Arkansas?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 8:10 AM

click to enlarge THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN: The Washington Post charts support for gay marriage over the last decade. - VIA WASHINGTON POST
  • Via Washington Post
  • THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN: The Washington Post charts support for gay marriage over the last decade.


Lots of national reporters are noting that Republican governors and senators are by and large reacting with a shrug to the Supreme Court's decision not to hear appeals from give states where lower courts had struck down bans on same-sex marriages. 

The Hill notes that Rep. Tom Cotton's campaign did not put out a statement and did not reply to requests for comment (of course Sen. Mark Pryor is mum too). 

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza says it's all over but the grandstanding

The Supreme Court's refusal to take up challenges to laws legalizing gay marriage in five states has an immediate impact: Gay couples in those states can now wed. But it has a longer-term impact too; it's another piece of evidence that the fight over gay marriage is effectively over in this country.

The Post has lots of charts like the one above showing what appears to be an inexorable trend. More from Cillizza: 

Now, all of these charts make a very clear political argument: The country is rapidly growing more accepting of gay marriage and it seems — given the generational and inter-generational changes in the numbers — very unlikely that that trend will reverse itself. That's a simple political fact that Republican strategists have been trying to drill into the heads of their candidates in recent years; spending significant (or really, any) time talking about opposition to same-sex marriage is a straight political loser with virtually all voters not in the social conservative wing of the GOP base. (Sidebar: That's an amazing transformation in the politics of gay marriage; a decade ago, George W. Bush's reelection victory was credited in no small part to a number of ballot initiatives banning gay marriage on the ballot in key swing states. In 2004, 60 percent of Americans opposed gay marriage while 31 percent supported it, according to Pew.)

Of course, that long of arc of history bends toward justice slowly, and even if the fight over gay marriage is "effectively over," there's still more fighting to do. As the Human Rights Campaign's Arkansas Director Kendra Johnson put it yesterday in a press release, “Any time same-sex couples are extended marriage equality is something to celebrate, and today is a joyous day for thousands across America who will immediately feel the impact of today’s Supreme Court action. But this news is an unfortunate reminder that LGBT Arkansans still lack basic legal protections against discrimination, and cannot legally marry the person they love in the place they call home.”

I'll be curious to see if Cotton ends up commenting one way or the other. Hutchinson too, though I can already imagine the procedural hedging and wishy-washy flopping sure to come from Ol' Finger To The Wind Hutch. And, too, what about Pryor and Mike Ross? On the more local level, we know what Sen. Jason Rapert thinks about judges who would dare to overturn the ban, and we know that Rep. Justin Harris believes that he'll be proud to tell his grandparents that Arkansas was a leader in the nation (at being retrograde). His grandkids might not be so proud of him based on the trends, but we'll see. There will always be holdouts, standing athwart history yelling stop, even if history may not judge them kindly. 

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