Monday, November 13, 2006

Issues in 2006: Gay Marriage

"...issues of faith, family, the definition of marriage and the sanctity of human life will be a major factor in Connecticut on Election Day." -Peter Wolfgang, CT Family Institute.

So. Was it?

Here are the numbers. From the Family Institute:
We won 40 races and lost in 26. That's a 61% success rate in an election year where we saw massive losses in state houses across the country. [...] Against Love Makes a Family endorsed candidates in open seats, we won the only match-up in the Senate, LMF won three in the House and we won one in the House. Almost all of our losses were in races where there was a long-term incumbent and we endorsed a Republican first-time challenger.

Meanwhile, Love Makes a Family seems to have done a lot better. Here's their list of candidates--77% of which won. In head-to-head matchups with FIC-endorsed candidates, 70% of the LMAF-endorsed candidates won.

In terms of raw numbers, then, LMAF seems to have done a lot better than FIC. However, both organizations heavily endorsed incumbents. In races for open seats, they split the difference. Neither organization's challengers fared well.

That result suggests that their endorsements had little impact, which is probably true. In the most recent Quinnipiac Poll that asked the question "What do you think is the most important problem facing Connecticut today?" the answer "gay marriage" or something similar didn't come up. People were a lot more worried about taxes, the economy, transportation and education than social issues.

So in summary, LMAF did a bit better with its endorsements than FIC, but in the end this election simply wasn't about their core issues.


Anonymous said...

"...but in the end this election simply wasn't about their core issues." Absolutely true. The Iraq War overshadowed everything.

Anonymous said...

Given how the Democrats did, nationally and locally, in 2006 shouldn't LMAF's candidates have done more than "a bit" better? Wolfgang overreached by calling FIC's issues a "major" factor, but here and there their stuff did seem to play a "hold the line" role against the losses the Right was destined to suffer this year. Particularly in place like the 16th district where they published that op-ed against Zoni. FIC's trumpeting of its Caligiuri connection has been little noticed outside of their own blog.

Anonymous said...

Last year, FIC was going around screaming that every legislator who voted for civil unions will pay for it in the upcoming elections.

Well, as far as I can tell, there was not a single legislator who voted for civil unions that lost their re-election. Not one.

The majority of Connecticut voters either support civil unions, or they simply do not care one way or the other.

FIC, like always, is all talk.

ALittleBitDramatic said...

I think the fact that people don't really care about this issue is a default win for Love Makes a Family. I don't think anyone could have imagined a huge pro-gay marriage tidal wave sweeping over the CT polls and ousting anti-gay imcumbents. We could have imagined some serious civil union backlash. It didn't happen. Point LMF.


I don't think it was an issue at all in the 58th & 59th... No candidate brave enought to raise the issue in public.

A voter did ask Jarmoc her position at the polls last week. When she said she would vote to support a gay marriage proposal the man politiely said thank you, and told her he was voting for Charlie Woods.

Anonymous said...

I think it's also worth noting how badly some of the FIC challengers lost. For example, Dan McCann, an active candidate and East Haven town council member running for the second time, got absolutely slammed by Mike Lawlor. Granted, Lawlor has been in there for a long time, but East Haven is a pretty conservative town and that was a pretty good thumping.

cgg said...

Genghis, you are so going to appear on the FIC blog again tomorrow!

For better or worse gay marriag, or opposition to it isn't a priority with voters here. We passed Civil Unions and the world didn't end. Gay marriage could be the next step.

Anonymous said...

I agree, LMF won this battle. FIC was nowhere to be seen this election.

Civil unions didnt become an issue in anyone's race at all.

ALittleBitDramatic said...

Genghis, you are so going to appear on the FIC blog again tomorrow!

Tomorrow? Try right now! LOL

ctblogger said...

The general public could care less about this issue and NOT ONE candidate even brought up the topic during their campaigns.

The sky didn't fall when CT gave the O.K. to civil unions and I think public could accept gay marriage as well (no matter what James Amann says).

The only candidate who came close to this tpoic was Joe Lieberman when (in a desperate attempt to get endorsed by anyone) accepted the endorsement of a group of Latino clergy who oppose gay rights. That event was only noticed by the New Haven Indy because they needed to fill up space on their site.

People want real issues tackled like the awful transportation, jobs, health care, etc.

Billy said...

Passing civil unions is a way to stop people for fighting for gay marriages. You want to see a backlash against the left, then get them to push for Gay marriage. You will see them lost power in a major way in 08.

Americans dont not care about the issue, its jsut that people who voted for civil unions were pre-empting the gay rights crap thats sweeping the courts nationally.

Genghis Conn said...


Note the backlash currently sweeping Massachusetts. Their legislature has now failed to put up a referendum on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage before 2010--basically, it won't happen. Ever. Gay marriage is legal and will continue to be legal in Massachusetts.

Life goes on. Society hasn't fallen to pieces. All the things social conservatives warned us would happen if gay marriage was legalized have failed to manifest.

I can tell you that my wife and I journey into Massachusetts every work day, and our marriage has somehow survived it. It is no threat to me, or to the institution of marriage. It's normal.

Also, "gay rights crap"?

Anonymous said...

"...but in the end this election simply wasn't about their core issues." Absolutely true. The Iraq War overshadowed everything. the Iraq war had absolutley nothing to do with the state elections - the subject of the FI assault and LMF defense.

Anonymous said...

LMF certaintly was a factor in the 16th Senate District, and their guy couldn;t have tried harder (unsuccessfully) to avoid the issue.

Anonymous said...

When you take away the spin, Love Makes A Family candidates did only a little bit better than FIC's, however, what is fascinating is how many candidates that they were able to endorse. According to their web site, they only endorsed in races where the candidate asked for their endorsement AND supported or was open to considering support for marriage and transgender equality. Two years ago, they would have had a handful of candidates willing to take such a position. Now they have 40 endorsed victors, who will all probably vote for marriage when it comes up. Add in the ones that LMAF didn't endorse because both candidates are supportive, plus the ones where a supportive candidate didn't ask for endorsement, and now it looks like it was a very successful election for LMAF.

Anonymous said...

LMAf will have to do a heck of a lot better than 40-ish votes to get gay marriage in 2007. As for the FI, measured against their own grandiose rhetoric they come up short. Measured against how little they should have accomplished in super blue CT they've done surprisingly well.

Anonymous said...

40 votes ain;t gonna move Jim Amann off his opposition. Had Zoni won, maybe things would be different. Obviously LMF is as much of a hindrance as a help outside yuppie districts

Shadow said...

Billy - I have STRONGLY disagreed with you on many of the things you post here, but you're right on the money with this one.

It is ridiculous, RIDICULOUS that gay marriage is being pushed as an issue when civil unions are not legal by federal law. The fact that a gay lifelong couple would not be able to visit each other in the hospital, or have control over their partner's funeral, or any of the other RIGHTS that come with marriage is BLATANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL (equal protection under the law). It's so blatant that it's an embarassment for me as an American to be typing about it here in 2006.

But you also can't legislate a word - that's unconstitutional as well (first amendment). When slavery was abolished, the n word was not abolished, but became less and less acceptable over decades due to gradual social change (the only true facilitator of evolution in any lexicon). If we had been foolish enough to try altering the meaning of the n word through legislation, you can bet it would have backfired; people don't like being told what they can and can't express, and that's the basis behind the first amendment. If the word marriage is going to expand to include gays, that's a decision people in society will make on their own, and any attempt to push them harder will make them that much more resistant. This should be common sense.

Unfortunately, though, many activists have put the cart in front of the horse, and gone for the WORD marriage before ensuring the RIGHTS of marriage. To draw another rough parallel, pushing gay marriage before civil unions are a national right is like focusing on the civil rights movement before slavery was abolished, or focusing on getting more women in political office before women themselves got the right to vote.

Unless the progressive movement starts putting the horse before the cart, neither one is going to get anywhere anytime soon. And to someone like me, who reveres our Constitution and its promise of equal rights for every citizen, that is very sad.