The LGBT community has been celebrating since Tuesday after Barack Obama was re-elected as president. For LGBT Americans, the election marked a watershed moment: For the first time, a popular vote enshrined marriage equality. No, make that three votes: Maryland, Maine and Washington State. In Minnesota, voters refused to enshrine a gay marriage ban in the state’s constitution. And in Iowa, voters did an about-face and rejected judicial interference by refusing to recall the judge responsible for marriage equality in the Hawkeye State.
While union members, Latinos, blacks, liberals, women, LGBT voters and their supporters were all dancing in the streets, ultra-conservatives across the country have been busy throwing hissy fits after being decimated on Election Day. Their constant mantra that, when put to voters, marriage equality would always go down in flames, well, went down in flames.
"Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case," a statement from the National Organization for Marriage, a group determent to ban same-sex marriage, read. "Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
That so? Then what about these four states (five counting Iowa)? It all comes down money, Brown complained: "The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states."
This was not a complaint when NOM, which received heavy support from the Roman Catholic Church and other organizations, was far outspending its opponents. NOM also showed selective memory in its having trumpeted heavy support in the black community, especially in Maryland, where blacks make up nearly one-third of the electorate. The group also ignored the fact that Maine and Minnesota, while hardly red, are certainly far from solid blue.
in elections, a victory is a victory. A narrow loss is about as meaningful as a near-pregnancy. But no one told NOM’s leader, Brian Brown, who, in an interview with the Washington Post, tried to paint a rosy picture of the Maryland vote. Marriage equality "barely won" in the Free State, he said.
Frank Schubert, who is responsible for creating the group’s devious ads and is responsible for its ground game in the contested states, expressed his disappointment as well. "It appears that we have lost by a point or two in each state. It’s important to consider that these battles occurred in a very difficult political landscape," he said in a statement. "We were contesting in four deep blue states and were outspent very badly in all of them - at least four-to-one, and greater in some states. I have to accept that losing in this very difficult political environment was always a real possibility."
He went on to say that be doesn’t believe "the spin" that America is "in support of gay marriage" and insists that anti-gay marriage activists in Maine, Maryland, Washington Sate and Minnesota, "narrowly lost four difficult contests in four very deep blue states after being badly outspent."
Vowing to ’Fight On’ in These States
The head of Preserve Marriage remarked on Washington State legalizing gay marriage and echoed NOM’s sentiments in saying that Referendum 74 was "narrowly approved."
"We are disappointed in losing a tough election battle on marriage by a narrow margin. But while we are disappointed, we are not defeated," Joseph Backholm told the Seattle Times.
Leaders from the Christian Civic League of Maine, an organization that campaigned to keep same-sex marriages illegal in the Pine Tree State, threatened after Tuesday’s outcome and to take the pro-gay marriage measure back to the ballot yet again. That would make it a third time at the electoral rodeo.
According to a statement from the group’s website, they are trying to work with other anti-gay groups, including Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council and Citizen Link "to provide resources for churches, pastors and Christians who will need legal protections for our religious liberties."
"We want to discern the possible impact of redefining marriage as well as the remedies," the statement reads. "Our priority is to help ensure your opportunity to live out your faith and ministry without interference."
For sheer train-wreck value, few can match ultra-conservative politician Eugene Delgaudio, who serves as a member of a county executive board in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., in his spare time. Otherwise, he occupies himself as head, and sole member, of the grandiloquently named Public Advocate of the United States organization. His one-man band has managed to receive the far right’s equivalent of an Oscar: being deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
On his website, he complained that the "gay lobby overwhelmingly outspent pro-family forces" in the four states that approved gay marriage.
"Overwhelming majorities still support marriage in most states and if you add up the numbers, it’s a winning issue 100 per cent of the time until now," he wrote. "But with anti-marriage forces stopping us in four liberal states it is not time for the end game and it is not time for the fat transvestite to sing yet." (Whatever that means.)
Statements from complaining right wingers continued to pour out from conservative organizations and anti-gay marriage activists as they suddenly discovered that they were on the wrong side of history and that Americans have woken up to basic fairness.
"Tuesday was a devastating day for pro-family advocates concerned about the advance of same-sex ’marriage’ and homosexual activism. While politics does not decide moral and spiritual Truth, it is an indicator of the heart of our nation," Peter LaBarbera, the president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, another organization labeled as a hate group by the SPLC, said in a press release. "No longer can pro-family advocates say that homosexual ’marriage’ has never been voted in by the people. Thanks to a never-ending bombardment of media-, educational- and pop-culture propaganda in favor of All Things Gay, homosexual ’marriage’ is now semi-popular, at least in Blue States."
Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Counsel, also made sure to get his two cents in about how he felt about the results of Election Day.
"Among the more demoralizing losses yesterday were the outcomes in Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, and Maine, where natural marriage lost for the first time in America by popular vote," he said in a press release. "It was a significant moment for the radical Left, which was helped to victory by the most pro-gay President in American history. While homosexuals may be celebrating an end to our movement’s perfect record, they still have a long way to go to match the 32 states where Americans voted overwhelmingly to protect the union of a man and woman."
Leaders of anti-gay groups weren’t the only ones whining about the LGBT community’s triumphant win on Tuesday. Conservative religious leaders echoed similar sentiments of disappointment.
San Francisco Roman Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was a strong supporter of Proposition 8, which forbade marriage in California. It is now making its way through the court system, which so far has been siding with marriage equality.
Cordileone echoed the chorus that insisted four-out-of-four was meaningless because his side "lost only by a narrow margin in four states." He reiterated his the church’s position that "marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children born of their union," according to CatholicCulture.org.
Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and also an evangelist, warned that America is walking down a "path of destruction," the Charlotte Observer reported.
Like so many of his ilk, Graham was speaking for God, whom he apparently on the spiritual equivalent of speed dial.
Unless we’re willing to repent for our sins, we will stand in his judgment," Graham said. "I want to warn America: God is coming around. He will judge sin, and it won’t be pretty."
Grieving for the Soul of America
Matt Staver, a lawyer and a former pastor who is the founding member of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement that the election results were a "referendum on the soul of America" and that many citizens around the country will "grieve today like we lost a friend or a close relative. Millions of Americans looked evil in the eye and adopted it."
"Abortion, same-sex marriage, and immorality carried the day. The great values on which America was founded were set aside because of selfishness unbalanced by biblical truth and commitment to Jesus Christ," he added.
The most virulent and dangerous anti-gay activist in the country is probably Scott Lively, who is responsible for the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda. Lively called Tuesday’s results "the progressive’s Godless Utopian fantasy" in a statement.
Several conservative websites reiterated the "America is doomed" meme.
Town Hall, in an article entitled "What This Election Means," attempted to explain why Republican Party Senate and presidential candidates went down on Tuesday. It wasn’t because they were out of step with an increasingly progressive, multi-racial America. It was because they were not conservative enough.
"Few Republicans were willing to speak for marriage, while the whole Democratic establishment and Hollywood campaigned for gay marriage. Last night really is a big loss -- no way to spin it," according to the article.
In Life Site New’s coverage of the election defeat, an article called "Aftermath: lessons from the 2012 Election" stated that ’after 33 victories, Tuesday night brought multiple defeats."
Predictably, right wingnuts expressed their outrage on Free Republic article. "And to think this nation was founded by Pilgrims who dedicated it in covenant to God and for the gospel of Jesus Christ only to degenerate into these abominations," one wrote. "I’m only in my mid fifties but destination Heaven is looking better all the time."
Another reader at least recognized that "It’s an issue of demographics. Young people are overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage, and have been for some time. As they age a small proportion of them will change their mind, but the majority will still support it. We just saw this play out, and frankly there’s no stopping it. I think it likely that the Republican party will officially endorse gay marriage within 20 years, perhaps as little as 10."
One can only hope.
From our media partners at EDGE