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The NY Conservative Party is (not) in Play on Marriage Equality

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What's the chance The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named will shun the official word of NY State's Conservative Party and vote in favor of Marriage Equality? The party did not give the Senator its line in 2010 and he was forced into an Opportunity To Ballot initiative, so there's no love for party officialdom there. But Conservative party voters also  contributed enough votes for The Senator (42,330) to overcome the larger numbers won by opponent Mike Kaplowitz (43,557).

Back when the Senator was running for Congress and the issue of Don't Ask, Don't Tell came up, he said in an July 2009 article: "I served with the best and brightest, and some of them happened to be homosexual."

And all during that election year, he consistently told voters that DADT's time had come. So how can one believe that it is acceptable that the men he served with, some who actually saw battle, are good enough to serve alongside him in the trenches but not stand alongside him in the aisles of a town clerk's office?

The Conservative party contributed more than 8,000 votes to his Senate race tally, which was enough to see him best Mr. Kaplowitz by 2,132 votes out of nearly 100,000 cast. And the official position of New York's Conservative Party is that homosexuals should all be on Fire Island decorating something or sharing boas and pumps with J. Edgar Hoover. So  it's not like a vote for Marriage Equality would harm the Senator all that much come his re-election bid next year, as party members voted for him in large numbers anyway.

But what could hurt the Senator's chances of re-election is the combined power and economic resources of all those "decorators" once they put their minds and their money into his opposition. He should also not forget that there are a number of moderate Republicans who support Marriage Equality who may not vote for him next year over this issue.  They're not very fond of him right now, and a NO vote could lose him their support. The 40th Senate District tends to be fiscally conservative, but rather socially liberal, even among Republicans.

And it's not like there isn't support for Marriage Equality in New York State. Recent polls show a solid majority (58% - 36%) in favor from across the political and religious spectrum. Even Catholics support it with 59%. And though  Republican support upstate is at only 45%, support in NY's suburban communities, of which we are one, stands at 64% and among moderate voters at 61%.

The greatest opposition comes from Conservative Republicans (59% opposed) and as noted before, the Senator went into the race last year and Conservatives knew where he stood on DADT, and voted for him anyway.

In other words, in our Senate District, support for Marriage Equality is a safe bet while opposition to the issue raises problems that may be hard to overcome. Losing a couple thousand Conservative Party voters is easy to deal with. Losing moderate Republicans and facing the political power of an upset community of boa-wearing decorators should put the  fear of political loss into anyone's heart.
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