January 16, 2005


Va. focus of battle over gay marriage (Nina J. Easton, January 16, 2005, Boston Globe)

Two months after voters in 11 states overwhelmingly approved constitutional bans on gay marriage, Virginia has become ground zero for activists on both sides of the issue. Democrats and Republicans are closely watching the state as a test case for how to proceed next.

As the general assembly opened last week, conservatives introduced four versions of constitutional bans, declaring that last November's elections proved America will never accept gay marriage. Meanwhile, 250 gay activists descended on the capital Thursday in an attempt to lower the temperature on the issue, seeking to speak to legislators on a personal level, a lobbying effort that culminated in a meeting with their nemesis, Marshall.

Standing uncomfortably in the middle of the emotion-packed siege is a leading Democratic presidential prospect, Governor Mark R. Warner. Democratic strategists eager to recapture the White House by making inroads into the Republican-dominated South are looking to Warner for clues on how to recalibrate the party's message on cultural issues such as gay marriage.

''He's one of the few Democratic governors who understands how to frame cultural values in conservative red states," said Republican pollster Whit Ayres.

But so far Warner, a Harvard law graduate whose 2001 campaign featured ''Sportsmen for Warner" signs and his sponsorship of a NASCAR race truck, is keeping his distance.

In other words, as must be obvious to nearly everyone by now, Democrats can't reconcile their support for gay rights with their desire to court middle America.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2005 12:18 PM

Oh, I don't know oj, maybe they just haven't been able to get their message across to the American people. ; )

Posted by: Bartman at January 16, 2005 1:09 PM


Posted by: oj at January 16, 2005 1:35 PM

Yes, OJ, their message of "hope", "help" and "relationship building".

Posted by: Dave W. at January 16, 2005 4:46 PM

Re: Message?

Wasn't that Feinstein's lament the other day?

Posted by: Bartman at January 16, 2005 6:36 PM

They're more likely to offer us a compelling massage.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 16, 2005 10:08 PM

Mea culpa. I meant Boxer, not Feinstein...not that there's much of a difference.

Posted by: Bartman at January 17, 2005 6:33 PM