Congrats Karyn Polito! (the gay marriage debate is SO over here)

I was thrilled to learn this morning that Karyn Polito, Charlie Baker’s running mate, has come out in favor of gay marriage.

(I learned it from today’s Globe story.)

Does Polito personally support gay marriage? I have no idea, and in Republican politics, that doesn’t matter. Really! I have never tried to convince a Republican that gay marriage is a good idea. What I do tell people here in MA is that I am OK with it, want nothing to do with stopping it, and that the political debate in this state is over. Really over. Over like the-right-of-women-to-vote over. It will never be overturned.

Was I angry at how it happened years ago? Yes – very! I was outraged that a document written by John Adams was supposedly the basis of men marrying each other. But I got over it. Over time, so did lots of people. A large, permanent, and growing majority of this state supports it – or is OK with it – and it is spreading across the country.

Politically, and especially among the young – a small but increasing number of younger voters will not vote for someone if they are against gay marriage no matter what else they believe. To placate social conservatives who insist on opposition, we are definitely losing the votes of young people and gays.

Oh – and if you think – like Michael Sullivan did – that you can use code words like “I support traditional marriage” – because gays and the media won’t understand what you mean – you’re freaking crazy. (Spare me the talk about his DOMA fig leaf.) If you want to run statewide in this state, you either come out and say you’re OK with gay marriage or you will be written about like you’re a bigot. That’s reality – even though it is absolutely possible to be against gay marriage and not be against gay people. I know many who are. (Though, of course, any gathering of people who are against gay marriage often ends up with anti-gay views being expressed as not everyone can pull this off.)

Does this mean we have to embrace the entire gay agenda? Like kicking the Catholic Church out of the abortion business? Taxpayer-funded sex changes for convicted murderers in prison? Broad transgender rights laws with lots of unintended consequences? No way. But acceptance of gay marriage is now required in our elected political leaders here.

The Republican party in this state cannot sacrifice any ability to win higher offices in order to satisfy a shrinking, aging group of people who would rather lose fighting gay marriage instead of increasing their chances of winning.

For my fellow social conservatives who are threatening to walk away from the Baker ticket over this – don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. We probably can’t win without you as you’re fond of saying – and you may be right – but I am damned sure we can no longer win with you.  

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  • Karl Marx

    “Republican wing of the Republican Party” will never come around to the social issues and they ignore the rich New England strain of Republicanism that got itself elected over the years. “We probably can’t win without you as you’re fond of saying – and you may be right – but I am damned sure we can no longer win with you.” They don’t want to hear it. And Independents don’t want to hear from them.


  • Republicans are supposed to be in favor of the rule of law. Last I checked the 14th Amendment guarantees equality under the law. As far as the state (meaning the government) is concerned it’s a contract with obligations on both parties who freely enter into it. Let the churches decide if they choose to recognize it as a marriage. That’s not to say that their aren’t societal issues involved regarding the upbringing of children as numerous studies have shown. But there are similar societal issues with the prevalence of divorce and out of wedlock childbirth in heterosexual relationships as well. And to deny people the right to freely enter a contract is discrimination, period.

  • MerrimackMan

    But I think you need to keep your desire for revenge against the social conservative movement in check. If the GOP is to win in this state, we need to show the social conservative right the sort of respect and deference they often fail to show to the more moderate wing of the party. That’s the only way we win around here. So, keep that door open, let’s have a robust GOP Gubernatorial primary, and onto victory next November.

    Now if we can only get that pesky McCormick out of the race…

  • As long as there’s no law against trying to reproduce offspring with someone of the same sex, then states should allow same-sex couples to marry. But soon we will need a law against transgender reproduction and same-sex reproduction, because it will be too expensive and unethical and lead to eugenics and loss of natural reproduction rights. That will need to be a federal law, because it would be an interstate commerce industry. And once that’s a federal law, then states won’t be able to declare same-sex couples married anymore, they’ll all be declared void.

  • But wait – every pro-ssm Republican has lost statewide (Baker, Brown 2012, Gomez) whereas every single Republican that has ever won statewide has been against same-sex marriage (Romney, Brown 2010). Am I wrong? When has a pro-gay Republican won?

  • speaks to creditbility. If you have a person who has believed and pushed a certain belief their whole career and all of a sudden changes their mind, it makes me question what they really believe. I understand people who are questioning Polito’s sudden change of heart on this and can see how some people might consider not supporting the gubernatorial ticket. It’s not the issue of gay marriage, it is the perception of having someone saying anything to get elected, a trait that many of us are tired of seeing.