Why this Republican is Voting No
Over the weekend, the Wisconsin State Journal published an excellent op-ed by Bob Hall, the former Republican whip of the Massachusetts Senate. Hall now lives in Madison and ardently opposes the ban. He writes:
My fellow Republicans believe that gay marriage is a wedge issue, which will bring socially-conservative voters to the polls. And while their votes won't change anything on gay marriage, they figure those voters will also support Republicans, perhaps with enough votes to keep control of the Legislature and win the governor's office.Hall certainly isn't the only Republican voting "No" this November. You can read a few Republican Voices for No and learn why other conservatives are voting against the ban at our Republicans for a Fair Wisconsin web page.
I'd like to tell you that in my five terms in the Massachusetts Senate I never played politics with issues like this. And I'd like to tell you that I'm tall, rich and good- looking, but that wouldn't be true either.
The fact is, I was a pretty successful politician, and I knew how to play popular issues. Since I'd like to see Mark Green in the governor's office, and intend to vote mostly - probably exclusively - for Republicans this November, I should like this issue, right?
But it's not just bad government, it's bad politics. There are a lot more gay folks than my fellow Republicans believe, though many are pretty quiet about it, given the prejudice that still exists in our society. When you add up all of their family members and friends, that's a pretty big chunk of voters to write off.
Contrary to popular opinion, gays and their families don't think alike on every issue. Many of them are conservative on spending, taxes, crime and national security.
I want their votes on my side on those much more important issues. I don't want to drive them away from our party for a short-term political gain. Nor do I want them voting as a bloc against Republicans this November.