It’s a good day not to be anti-gay

Timothy Kincaid

March 19th, 2014

Remember when marriage equality passed in Illinois with the (necessary) support of a handful of Republicans. And remember how the anti-gays pledged to destroy the GOP traitors and replace them with true loyal purveyors of discrimination and hate.

Well, there’s this (WaPo)

None of the Republicans who voted for gay marriage lost.

When the Illinois state House passed a bill to legalize gay marriage last fall, just three out of 47 Republicans voted for it. On Tuesday, none of them lost. State Rep. Tom Cross (R) cruised to a 14-point victory in the primary for state treasurer while state Rep. Ed Sullivan (R) easily won renomination in his district. The third, state Rep. Ron Sandack (R), narrowly edged out his opponent by fewer than 200 votes, according to an unofficial tally. The close margin could mean the race goes to a recount. Sandack and Sullivan both faced pressure from third-party groups looking to oust them over their gay marriage votes. In Sandack’s case, the issue became a central focus. Had the three Republicans lost, it would have probably given pause to Republicans considering backing gay marriage in other states where the matter comes up in the future. But given two decisive wins and a third tentative victory, gay rights advocates have a lot to be happy about a day after the election.

jpeckjr

March 19th, 2014

Do we know if any of the R’s who voted against marriage equality lost in their primary races? That might also tell us something.

Victor

March 20th, 2014

We are very fortunate here in Illinois to have our efforts coordinated by Equality Illinois. Not since they orchestrated the narrow victory of moderate Republican George Ryan over his homophobic Democratic challenger Glenn Poshard in 1999 has this community’s political leadership delivered a more decisive blow, proving themselves once again to be remarkably adept at marshalling resources at every level to achieve a critical, strategic victory – one that sends a loud and clear message to both sides of the aisle. HRC could learn a thing or two from EQ/IL.

Ryan

March 20th, 2014

This is very good news. The GOP still has a very long way to go in general, but I do think eventually they will get there and abandon the religious right entirely. If I had my way, these three Congresspeople would still lose the general election to Democrats, (whom I agree with on far more issues than gay marriage), but since it’s not possible to defeat all Republicans everywhere, I’d much prefer these guys to ones NOM picked out. Of course, Republican voters in Illinois still nominated Susanne Atanus for Congress, a woman who blames gay marriage for tornadoes and autism, so yeah. There’s that. The GOP still has quite the hill to climb.

Nathaniel

March 20th, 2014

jpeckjr, I don’t know but I would hazard a guess that they went unchallenged in the primaries. The only two reasons I know of to challenge within the party are because the incumbent is no longer seeking to hold their seat, or they have voted in a way so outrageous that loyal party voters can’t stomach the thought of that person representing their party in the main election. With the TEA party still holding some sway, the latter scenario has been particularly true for GOP incumbents, though the issues in question are not always social in nature. Incumbents who have proved they are not RINOs by voting against equality are not likely to be challenged.

I would add that there seems to be some strategizing in states that have passed equality legislatively, but which still required some Republican votes. The bare minimum cross-aisle votes seem to come in, ensuring passage. If the party caucus were choosing to support equality, they would likely only risk the bare minimum of seats to ensure passage. They might further choose to risk seats that really aren’t at risk (Republican-leaning moderate districts) or were fluke wins not likely to be repeated in the next election cycle. The result would be that representatives from contentious or hard-right districts would not be challenged, their support for equality safely hidden behind closed doors and a caucus-guided vote.

Regan DuCasse

March 20th, 2014

I remember NOM’s pledge to how they were going to deal with candidates who didn’t toe their anti gay line.
Or openly support traditional marriage.

I’d like to see how soon NOM reports on the outcome. If they are going to admit this defeat, or pretend it didn’t happen and hope nobody asks.
NOM, FRC…Liberty Council especially like to make it look like they are busy doing much, and effective work.
A loss like this will inevitably be used as an op to beg for money for ‘the next time’.
They are millions in the hole, and their appearance at CPAC hardly made a ripple.
The slow withering death of NOM is satisfying to watch.

Nathaniel

March 20th, 2014

Regan, they may also spin it as an “the evil homosekshull lobby is spending more than us,” and use the close-call election as proof that they are getting through, but “just a few bucks more will help us encourage more pro-family voters.” We better hope that close call stays on the side of “our” guy, or the news of their (pointless) victory will be echoing for weeks.

Nathaniel

March 20th, 2014

“Had the three Republicans lost, it would have probably given pause to Republicans considering backing gay marriage in other states where the matter comes up in the future.”

If SCOTUS rules against anti-marriage laws in the fall term, that entire question might be moot. Indeed, considering most states have answered the question once-and-for-all, there are hardly any places where marriage equality will be a matter considered by local politicians. At this point, what we need to start seeing are repercussions against politicians who either support pro-discrimination laws, or oppose anti-discrimination laws.

Mark F.

March 20th, 2014

Ms. Atanus would have no chance in that district even if she wasn’t a nut. These unwinnable seats tend to attract nuts who just want publicity. Let’s see who gets nominations for the U.S. Senate and for the few really competitive House seats.

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