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Donnelly Weds Good Government & Good Politics

Last week, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly demonstrated a concept I have come to label as “enlightened self-interest.”

That means you do the right thing not only because it is the right thing to do, but you also get a benefit out of it. In Donnelly’s case it was coming out (pardon the pun) in favor of marriage equality, or in other terms, same-sex marriage.

Donnelly released the news via his Facebook page when he stated the following…

“In recent years, our country has been involved in an important discussion on the issue of marriage equality. While serving in the House of Representatives, I had the opportunity to act on a core belief of mine: we are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans. I voted to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and was an original supporter of the bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their sexual orientation. It is also for that reason that I oppose amending either Indiana’s or our nation’s constitution to enshrine in those documents an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ instead of a ‘we.’ With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all.”

Donnelly in the past had opposed same-sex marriage and so this change was pretty big news across Indiana.

Now, some have argued that Donnelly was only doing this for political reasons and that he will pay a price when he is up for re-election – and by the way, that won’t be until 2018. That is the political genius of this move.

We all know attitudes have been changing at road runner speed on this issue over the last decade or so. When Gallup polled the issue back in 1996, only 27 percent of the public supported same-sex marriage while 68 percent opposed it.

I think it’s also worth a mention that 1996 was the year “The Birdcage” was released in movie theatres.

Fast forward to the most recent Gallup poll done in November of last year and you’ll see that 53 percent of the public favor of gay marriage and 46 percent are opposed. Break that number down even further by age group and you’ll see that 73 percent of Americans 18 to 29 think gay marriage should be legal, while 57 percent of those over 65 think it should be illegal.

I am willing to bet there will be more of 18-29-year olds around in 2018 than 65-plus. If these trends continue, and there is no reason to think that they won’t, time is definitely on Donnelly’s side. And I think it’s also worth a mention that in 1958, 94 percent of the public opposed interracial marriage. Today, it’s 11 percent.

This is why I have to give Joe credit where credit is due. He came down on the right side of this issue and it looks like the future will bear him out. There is no logical, rational reason that same-sex marriage should be illegal.

And for the people who stay up at night agonizing over this issue and how horrible it is, I suggest you seek out some therapy. And just so you know, the same people who weren’t going to vote for the senator over same-sex marriage likely weren’t going to vote for him anyway so he loses nothing in that department. If anything, it’s a net win as Donnelly has picked up support from the LGBT community which was tepid at best in some circles.

And at the end of the day, politics is about addition. And by supporting marriage equality, Joe Donnelly will definitely come out ahead on this one.

  • u nigov


    Donnelly didn’t announce support when it mattered – before the election – because he probably would have lost. A shift of just 3% of voters from Donnelly to Mourdock changes the outcome.

    Donnelly didn’t announce between the election and his swearing-in, or shortly after swear-in, because doing that so soon would have underscored the fact that he sacrificed principles for the sake of votes.

    So with the Supreme Court likely to throw out DOMA in mid-late June, when could Donnelly annouce support for gay marriage ? Not too early – don’t want to look like a flip-flopper. Not too late – don’t want to be the last Democrat to pose as supportive of a fundamental human rights issue.

    The best time for Donnelly to flip-flop would be halfway between the day of his swearing-in as a Seantor, and the probable date of the court decision being announced.

    From swear-in, or Inaugration Day, to Donnelly’s announcement was 75 days.

    From annoucement to the most likely day the Supreme Court throws out DOMA is 76 days.

    How convenient. And he announced it on Facebook, after the Star had gone to press, iirc.

    The timing of Donnelly’s announcement is as politically callous as Democrat’s fair-weather support of gay rights.

  • Peteboggs

    Political division generated through uncommon or distortion coded, unfamiliar language, is not a recipe for agreement or peace.

  • pascal

    Better analysis than our host who has problems understanding rational things anyway.

  • pascal

    Pro-Homosexual Researchers Conceal Findings:

    Children Raised by Openly Homosexual Parents More Likely to Engage in Homosexuality

    By Trayce Hansen, Ph.D.

    Research by social scientists, although not definitive, suggests that children reared by openly homosexual parents are far more likely to engage in homosexual behavior than children raised by others. Studies thus far find between 8% and 21% of homosexually parented children ultimately identify as non-heterosexual. For comparison purposes, approximately 2% of the general population are non-heterosexual. Therefore, if these percentages continue to hold true, children of homosexuals have a 4 to 10 times greater likelihood of developing a non-heterosexual preference than other children.

    Some researchers who uncovered sexual preference differences between homosexually and heterosexually parented children, nonetheless declared in their research summaries that no differences were found. Many believe they concealed their findings so as not to harm their own pro-homosexual, sociopolitical agendas.

    All social scientists who conduct research in this emotionally-charged area have personal biases. That’s a given. But if the authors of these studies want to be regarded as scientists, and not activists, they must set aside their biases and straightforwardly present their findings.

    Regardless, no one should be surprised that homosexual parents are more likely to raise homosexual children. As one of the few forthright pro-homosexual advocates proclaimed, “Of course our children are going to be different.”

    In fact, many believe the percentages of non-heterosexual children in these studies would be even greater if more of the children had been raised from birth by openly homosexual parents. But most weren’t. A majority of these children actually were born into and raised by mother-father couples before one of their parents “came-out” and the parents divorced.

    Findings from the best and most recent twin studies have found that homosexuality, unlike eye color, is not genetically-caused. But there are a number of non-genetic mechanisms through which homosexuality could be transmitted from one generation to the next. Those mechanisms include role-modeling, social learning and differential reinforcement, as well as outright encouragement of non-heterosexuality by parents or others.

    No one knows for sure by what complex mechanisms homosexual parents disproportionately rear homosexual children. But regardless of how, it appears they do. The public needs to be made aware of the findings of these studies so that when courts adjudicate and citizens vote on issues related to homosexuality, they’re fully informed as to the possible consequences of those decisions on children.


    Reprinted with permission of Dr. Trayce Hansen.

    For a review of the research studies alluded to above, as well as additional analysis and references, see article entitled, “A Review and Analysis of Studies Which Assessed Sexual Preference of Children Raised by Homosexuals.”

  • pascal

    Do you think that there might be other concealed research or studies that Abdul might not be aware of…..as if that low bar is any barrier?