(Photo: Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi)
The race for president is in full swing – that is, the 2016 Democratic primary – and it is coming with a heavy price to family values.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, now the darling of liberal Democrats in New York, just solidified his support within the homosexual community by pushing a bill to allow same-sex marriage in New York. The bill was passed with help from a handful of Republican votes in the closing minutes of the legislative session and quickly signed into law by Cuomo.
Just as Republican candidates must attract a base of conservative support to make it out of a competitive primary, Democrat candidates must first court and win the hearts of the liberal left before hustling back to the middle. In many cases, that means supporting abortion and homosexual rights – issues that run against the grain of a majority of Americans, especially those with strong religious views.
Cuomo seems to be excelling at the first part by positioning himself as the crown jewel of the liberal left. The only problem is he appears to be gaining political ground at the expense of traditional marriage.
Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the board for the National Organization for Marriage believes Cuomo was simply “pandering” to supporters of same-sex marriage in order to get national exposure.
“Andrew Cuomo was just trying to appease a base he believes will elect him,” said Gallagher. “The reason Obama hasn’t come out for same-sex marriage is because he knows it’s a problem in the black community. Cuomo should be focusing on issues such as the economy, which in New York is a mess right now. But we’re just as upset at the Republicans, like Senator Mark Grisanti, who helped him pass a bill so many New Yorkers were opposed to.”
New York is now the sixth state to legalize gay marriage and securing its passage, especially with a Republican controlled Senate, was considered a long shot only a few short weeks ago. While the Catholic Church spoke out against the same-sex marriage bill, critics of Cuomo had reason to believe he used his contacts within the church to mute the criticism, a move that if true, will upset many Catholics nationwide.
Prior to reaching the governor’s office, Cuomo served as New York’s attorney general after a crushing 2002 primary led him to drop out of the race as he was certain to lose to fellow Democrat Carl McCall. He faced personal setbacks such as his controversial divorce from Kerry Kennedy. Cuomo’s current girlfriend most likely influenced his decision in some way given the fact her brother is a homosexual.
Cuomo will likely be tested on the stage if Democrats are willing to embrace same-sex marriage to voters nationwide. However, few strategists, including Democrats believe they are willing to take such a risk.
Cuomo’s supporters will certainly be touting his political skills, especially his willingness to strong-arm legislators in order to go against the biblical beliefs of the majority. Cuomo, while enjoying his newfound national exposure, is trying to dismiss talk of 2016.
“Obviously 2016 is silly,” Cuomo remarked on Talk 1300-AM this morning. “But I think what that’s saying is how profound an accomplishment marriage equality is.”
Potential Democratic candidates have not gone nearly as far as Cuomo has in advocating same-sex marriage issues.
For example, former presidential contender and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supports civil unions, but stopped short of endorsing gay marriage in her 2008 run, and while she is serving in her present capacity, cannot offer an official comment. Cuomo will obviously want to take advantage of what he perceives is his hard-won political capital.
How will moderate, Christian Democrats receive Cuomo? That make take some time to access, but it’s safe to say Midwestern and southern Democrat voters will be more challenging to sway than the more liberal, east and west coast Democrat Cuomo is used to dealing with.
“The majority of voters in most states are opposed to same-sex marriage and when they have the question put to them at the ballot-box, they simply say NO and move on to the next issue,” said Gallagher. “I don’t think Cuomo understands that.”