Gay Marriage Wedge
When you boil it all down, Christian Right leaders use gay marriage as a political wedge issue.
"Pro-traditional-marriage organizations ought to give a distinguished service award to the New Jersey Supreme Court," said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Land and other conservative religious leaders predicted that the court's 4 to 3 ruling, which was handed down Wednesday, would boost turnout of social conservatives in the midterm elections, particularly in the eight states that have constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage on the Nov. 7 ballot.
"I have to think there are Democratic strategists out there thinking the words of the old Japanese admiral: 'I fear all we've done is wake a sleeping giant,' " said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a Washington-based advocacy group. "They were coasting into an election with a Republican base with dampened enthusiasm. This brings it all back home to the base, what this election is about."
It's all about electing Republicans, baby.
There is a sign that people are getting wise to this. James Dobson is no longer the hottest ticket.
The next two rallies, in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 3 and Nashville on Oct. 16, were moved from stadium-size venues to smaller auditoriums, and the tickets, which had been on sale for $7, were given away. Each event also drew about 3,000 people, according to Focus on the Family spokesman Paul Hetrick.
"We don't gauge the success by the number of people," Hetrick said, adding: "I don't think it's the rallies [that flopped]. I just think it's more of a challenge to enthuse people about midterm elections."
There hasn't been a flop this bad since Carrie: the Musical.