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Opposing anti-gay amendments didn't hurt state-level incumbents

All of you naysayer, lazy-ass Democrats that were blaming everything from John Kerry’s loss to the common cold on gay people after the election can taking a flying, f*cking leap…

State lawmakers who opposed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage fared extraordinarily well at the polls even though all the states where the proposed amendments were on the ballot voted to bar gay marriage a new national poll shows.

The survey released Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign is almost identical to a smaller survey of five key states that was released last week.

The HRC found that only 1.7 percent of 640 legislators in 28 states, including Massachusetts where gay marriage became legal last year, were voted out of office because they opposed measures banning marriage for same-sex couples. Eleven of the 28 states had constitutional amendments on the ballot in November.

In releasing the report at the National Press Club in Washington, the HRC said its findings should help dispel widespread speculation that gay marriage was “one of the key moral issues driving voting behavior in 2004.

“Since the election, political observers have provided compelling arguments to discredit the belief that the marriage issue contributed in any significant way to the outcome of the national elections,” the report states.

Of the 640 legislators for whom the issue of marriage could have factored into their election, 604 or 94 percent won.

In the races of the 36 legislators who lost, the legislator’s vote against discrimination was cited as a factor in only 11 races. Only 1.7 percent of state legislators running for re-election lost their race because of their vote against banning marriage for same-sex couples.

“Voting against discrimination is good policy and good politics,” said Seth Kilbourn, HRC’s national field director, as the report was released.

Anyone trying to score political points by discriminating against same-sex couples should be put on notice. Prejudice does not win at the polls.”

…The report found that 100 of 103 of state legislators who voted against anti-gay constitutional amendments and ran for re-election won their races, compared to 196 of the 215 state legislators who voted for them

OK. Now that the good news has been spun, I totally disagree with Kilbourn’s last statement that prejudice doesn’t win at the polls. Come on, prejudice did cause a good number of people to vote for the amendments, and that’s reason enough to be very concerned. The fact that people are unlikely to vote an incumbent out of office is a known political reality. Unless the person is mired in scandal or doesn’t provide constituents with legislative support, most will be re-elected. And some are re-elected despite any logic, look at Marion “The bitch set me up with a crack pipe” Barry.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding