THE GAY CARD
Andrew Sullivan is, if nothing else, single-minded:
[T]he liberal base seems more fired up than the conservative base – 47 percent strongly want Bush defeated, versus 37 percent who strongly want to see him re-elected. I guess a major anti-gay push is now in the works at the White House.
The entirety of Bush’s comments on homosexuality from Tuesday’s SOTU:
A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.
Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage. (Applause.)
The outcome of this debate is important — and so is the way we conduct it. The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God’s sight. (Applause.)
So, the extent of the “major anti-gay push” would appear to be maintaining the status quo but with a nod to individual dignity and value. Indeed, most of his remarks are the standard line against an activist judiciary rather than about homosexuality per se.
One could certainly wish for a more proactive change agenda. But being wishy-washy and essentially side-stepping this issue is hardly turning up the anti-gay rhetoric. Indeed, John Kerry repeatedly emphasized his opposition to “marriage”–presumably meaning “gay marriage”–on Fox News Sunday earlier today.