At Ballot Box, Marriage of Primary Importance

Barb Wire

By Tony Perkins

Family Research Council — Supporting marriage might cost you a job in broadcasting, but in Republican politics, it’s the best decision you can make. Indiana voters made that crystal clear in last night’s primary, refusing to “hold their peace” on two GOP House members who helped sink the state’s chance at a marriage protection amendment. Kathy Heuer (R) and Rebecca Kubacki (R) probably regret their decision to undercut the state’s marriage amendment now, after losing in a landslide rebuke of their liberal social positions. The women, who both lost to pro-marriage challengers, flip-flopped on the issue when the state was debating a November referendum — betraying the GOP platform and ultimately costing Hoosiers the chance to vote their values.

Of course, the media wants you to think that Americans everywhere are ready throw man-woman marriage on the ash heap of history. Don’t believe it. What happened in Indiana Tuesday only proves what the polling says: Republicans don’t just support natural marriage — they expect their candidates to. A few weeks ago, FRC released some pretty eye-opening numbers from a survey we commissioned by WPA Opinion Research.

In what should be a wake-up call to the GOP Establishment, 82% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage “should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.” And they’re tired of their elected leaders ignoring the issue — or worse, pushing the party in the opposite direction. Three-quarters of respondents scoffed the idea that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples” (with 67% strongly agreeing).

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Exhibit A: Tuesday’s victors. Pro-marriage amendment leaders won by big margins in Indiana — including the bill’s author, Eric Turner, committee chair Milo Smith, and Bob Morris. Jeff Raatz, who campaigned for state Senate, enjoyed an almost 2,000-vote cushion. For FRC Action and coalition, it was a gratifying night, especially after the disappointment of the marriage debate. Our sister organization poured thousands of dollars into ads and endorsements, determined to send a message to Republican incumbents that there’s a price to pay for turning your back on marriage. Even “Freedom Indiana,” one of the driving forces behind the amendment’s defeat, retreated after diluting — and then delaying — the marriage amendment.

As our friend Curt Smith at IFA pointed out in all the press coverage, “The overall message is that if you oppose marriage in Indiana, you take huge political risks. If you want to thumb your nose at the pro-family groups, you do so at your own risk.”

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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