View From the Hill

Some Vermont legislators who voted to legalize same-sex marriage may fear losing their seats, but Massachusetts and New York voters have reelected nearly every pol who's voted for marriage equality in those states.



In fact, nothing
illustrates this point better than Colorado, which now has a
Democratic governor, a Democratically controlled state
legislature, and went blue for Obama last November. What's so
telling about this is that heading into the 2004 election,
exactly the opposite was true -- the GOP controlled both state
chambers and occupied the governor's mansion.

Several different
political observers in the state (including professors and
strategists) have told me the Republican Party ejected
themselves from office by putting a laser-beam focus on
"family values" to the exclusion of kitchen-table issues.
By 2008, even the relatively conservative voters of Colorado's
4th district had handed walking papers to U.S. representative
Marilyn Musgrave, who had forged her entire political career on
social conservatism and authored the Constitutional Marriage
Amendment in 2004.

And one last note on
this week's wrap-up: Maggie Gallagher also mentioned that her
organization would be trying to mobilize antigay activists in
the Northeast to combat the strides being made on behalf of
marriage equality there.

That might be difficult
since the people who are most excitable on the issue are
Christians -- apparently a dying breed these days. Not only has
the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation
risen from 8% to 15% since 1990, notes this

week's cover story


but the Northeast has emerged as "the new stronghold of the
religiously unidentified."

The article cites R.
Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary, as posting a column reading, "A
remarkable culture-shift has taken place around us ... The most
basic contours of American culture have been radically altered.
The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus of the last millennium
has given way to a post-modern, post-Christian, post-Western
cultural crisis which threatens the very heart of our

If indeed the storm
clouds are gathering -- as depicted in the National
Organization for Marriage ad -- perhaps it is not because of
same-sex couples who wish to dedicate their lives to each
other. Maybe it has more to do with a radically conservative
Christian theology that became so rigid, it rendered itself
irrelevant to the lives of average Americans -- not far
different from the Colorado Republicans.

Tags: Politics