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Political propaganda on same-sex marriage

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Nov 20, 2003

Standing the facts on their heads, a Boston Globe columnist warns Republicans that they will lose votes if they fight against same-sex marriage.

That's arrant nonsense. The public-- even in Massachusetts!-- is overwhelmingly opposed to same-sex unions. If Republicans find a way to rally that sentiment, they can cruise to electoral victories.

BTW, columnist Joan Vennochi is engaged in some revisionist history about the 1992 GOP convention. The truth is that Republican poll numbers soared after the Houston convention; the elder Bush lost the election for very different reasons.

Still, let's be mindful of the fact that when propaganda is repeated often enough, it gains public acceptance. In 1973 the American public was overwhelmingly opposed to legal abortion. But over the years many GOP candidates have become convinced that taking a clear pro-life stance is political suicide. Why? Because they've heard that message so often-- from op-ed columnists in the Globe, for instance. On abortion, the propaganda campaign has worked; now it's beginning on same-sex marriage.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 21, 2003 7:36 AM ET USA

    There is no "they" -- it's "us" or "we." We need to form our political parties from the ground up, not the top down.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 20, 2003 11:16 PM ET USA

    I would be fascinated and gratified to see a strong Republican response that actually led to anything concrete. But, I've been voting for Republicans since becoming Catholic in the late '80s and rarely do they do more than talk big on social issues. They inevitably cave in when the old media nobody watches or reads anymore threatens to portray them as heartless. Frankly, I'm beginning to think I've wasted a lot of votes. If they can't come through on this one, why bother with them anymore?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 20, 2003 11:03 PM ET USA

    I hope the Republicans run the risk :-) It would be hilarious to see the Democrats waffle on the issue...I don't think that any of the candidates want to lose 49 states. And the time to push this would be NOW. In 20 years, the public will almost certainly be more ambivalent about the issue (the age demographics on gay marriage shows a correlation between youth and acceptance of gay marriage). Push the issue now, get laws in place, precedents...or we may lose...

  • Posted by: - Nov. 20, 2003 9:53 PM ET USA

    There used to be a large sign facing South on the Massachusetts side of the Vermont State line which read: "You are now leaving the Bay State and entering the GAY State." I wonder if someone has now turned the sign around and altered the wording ??

  • Posted by: - Nov. 20, 2003 11:21 AM ET USA

    The same pap is being touted by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. It's important to remember that most who work in the media rarely set foot in the real world. At most, they take the commuter train from their downtown offices to their pricey suburbs. Living too much with the Arts and Entertainment editors can warp one's judgment.