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Cash Cow Spotted In New Hampshire

NH Lawmakers Consider Rolling Back Gay Marriage

It’s too tragic to be funny,
But by following the money
We can see the motivation for the movement to repeal
See, despite the sponsors’ spinning
They don’t really think they’re winning
And that’s really not the reason they’ve been showing so much zeal

All their proper protestations
Are designed to cull donations
From the homophobic bigots who’ve been keeping us amused
And whose wallets and whose purses
Offer dollars up with curses
And who never seem to notice that they’re mostly being used

And a liberal agenda
Needs supporters who can spend a
Lot of money, so the issue is plus for them as well—
Every time some bishop hollers
The reaction raises dollars
So the left has every reason to just let the bigots yell

Don’t expect it to be ending—
Not since politics means spending
And the money flows when angry mobs hurl epithets and names
In the fight for same-sex spouses
It’s a plague a’ both your houses
When it comes to rights and freedoms, then enough with playing games!

Rant follows:

First off, I really don’t think there is a ghost of a chance of an actual repeal. The public are 2-to-1 in favor of same sex marriage; the recent California Prop 8 ruling addresses the repeal of a right that has already existed, and “Live Free Or Die” is a powerful phrase. But still, a handful (a large handful, to be sure) of legislators are pushing for repeal of NH’s same sex marriage law.

There are currently churches that openly, eagerly welcome same-sex couples, and gladly will marry them in accordance with these churches’ beliefs. The current “repeal same sex marriage” protesters are not after religious freedom. After all, they would deny these churches the right to marry same sex couples as they currently do.

These protesters do not want a separation of church and state; they want the power of the state on their side, against churches that cannot muster the same support. The 1st amendment protects against this. No conservative should support this, nor any liberal. The only people who should rationally support this are theocrats who believe themselves to be in the majority, or protected by being god’s favorite. And frankly, there are too few of those in New Hampshire to register.

So why the continued kerfufflage?

My suspicion is that if we looked at the motivation on both sides, we would see that this issue brings in donations. Keeping it on the front page, frightening one’s own side with tales of horror about what happens if the other side wins, puts money in the coffers of politicians from the ends of the spectrum, and not so much to the bank accounts of those who don’t speak up on the issue. It naturally dichotomizes, and rewards increasing polarization.

If I were cynical, I’d suggest that there are political conservatives who look at the statewide polls and know that same sex marriage is here to stay in NH, but who see the source of their own donations (and sometimes, the polls of their local districts) as a reason to go out and thump a bible publicly.

Comments

  1. qwerty says

    As a long time supporter for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” I often thought that much of the rhetoric both for and against repeal was just to raise money. And yet, Congress finally did the right thing and repealed it.

    But, for the most part, I agree with your premise that much of what passes for political discussion in this country is only a means to obtain funds. And fearmongering (in this case, homophobia) is an excellent way to raise money.

  2. HighDudgeonAZ says

    I detect a strain of false equivalence argument here. Yes, both sides of the same-sex marriage issue use fear to drive up donations, but one side has a legitimate reason to be afraid.

    Outlawing same-sex marriage further dehumanizes homosexuals, making them targets for more discrimination, and far worse. I think we can also agree that these so-called righteous protectors of marriage will not limit their agenda to “the gay problem.” Their sphere of “undesireables” and “degenerates” is ever-expanding.

    There is legitimate reason to fear the bigots who oppose same-sex marriage and every reason to donate money to stop them.

  3. plutosdad says

    The cynical part of me thought the same when Komen withdrew funding for Planned Parenthood. Both groups received a surge of donations for a few days, until Komen repealed their ban.

    These issues are like the New Coke of politics.

  4. F says

    We waste so much money on the dumbest crap. It’s too bad those who want to gain or maintain freedom for everyone have to spend, too.

  5. Cuttlefish says

    If there is legitimate reason to be afraid, then you are quite right. And (publicly at least) each side will claim they do have legitimate reason to be afraid. I may be wrong, but I don’t think so, in thinking that the issue is pretty much settled in NH. There is a veto-proof majority of Republicans, but a great many of those Republicans want nothing to do with repeal.

    NH Republicans come in many flavors. There are nutjob social conservatives, often religious, who want to define marriage their way and define women as property. But there are also political conservatives, who honestly don’t want the government in people’s lives. Not even *gasp* in their bedrooms! In addition, a two-to-one preference *for* same-sex marriage in the general population, and the subset of Republicans who can count and don’t need a weathervane to know which way the wind blows also do not want anything to do with this stinker. A two-thirds majority is needed; I doubt that they can scrape together a bare majority. There are too many nationally prominent conservative voices (it really doesn’t take many) coming out in favor of SSM, that any thinking Republican can find cover and sound patriotic.

    You can’t unring a bell; this state (again, in my opinion) is staying “live free or die.”

    But damn, the donations come in when we beat this drum–for both sides.

  6. Steve says

    Your mistake is assuming that they care what people want. They don’t. At least not when they disagree with them. If the public were against SSM, they’d be in favor of a referendum (if legally possible). But given the numbers they think they have to repeal it themselves

  7. Cuttlefish says

    Jalyth–

    A quick search shows that I am not the only one to use it, but it is indeed rare. I’m glad you made me search, because I found the delightful variant “kerfufflinate”, which I am totally stealing, and thinking it has a certain kerfufflinity about it.

  8. Cuttlefish says

    Steve–but they do care what people want–but only insomuch as it predicts cash and votes. If their own donations rise as a function of being for or against, they will go that direction whether or not the overall public does.

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