The New York Times Magazine looks at the political prospects of the four Republican New York State senators who voted for marriage equality and provided the necessary margin for it to pass. “The four Republican apostates now had targets on their backs,” the Times reports. However:
…if you parse public opinion, you find the acceptance of gay marriage is not just growing; it is accelerating. This is driven, of course, by the overwhelming support of young voters, but also by white Catholics, who have grown more open-minded on gay rightss. …
Opponents of gay marriage used to hold their opinion more passionately than supporters. But as more Americans have openly gay children, siblings, friends and neighbors, the supporters feel just as strongly.
On the other hand:
African-American support for gay marriage has remained stubborn, hovering around 30 percent for years, for reasons of class and education and because of the centrality of church in their lives. According to internal memos of the National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay-marriage lobby sees an opportunity to play on the fact that some blacks resent hearing gay marriage likened to their own civil rights struggle.
Interestingly, the article notes that the four senators:
are upstate guys, from struggling former mill towns and diminished Rust Belt cities. So while the senators’ political calculus differs from district to district, their experiences give us a glimpse into how this issue is likely to play out in “real America,” as conservatives are fond of calling it, and not just in the coastal metropolises. Which is why the fates of these four are being watched intently by national lobbies and wavering politicians across the country.
Their re-election would be a welcome sign of progress.