Gay Marriage: Politics
Meanwhile, there's an interesting aspect to the developing story of gay rights that I haven't seen talked about yet, so I thought I'd bring it up in case you want to think about it. And that is, that outside of some fairly small (but important) issues, gays on the whole are in many ways a natural Republican constituency. They're on average white, educated, high income. Of course, the Republicans will never give up the religious right (~15%) for gays (~3%). That's simple math. But if the political party is more or less impotent to legislate, then both factions can live under the tent. This is the case for, i.e. abortion: because of Roe v. Wade, the ability of the party to make serious change is null. Thus there can be prochoice Republicans - it's an issue, but not a party-central one.
The Republicans can benefit from gay marriage, assuming that they don't do anything in the coming backlash that locks them in as the antigay party. If the courts manage to legislate gay marriage, and there is not the democratic wherewithal from the legislative branches to stop it, then we may well see gays abandon the Democrats in the coming years.
If, on the other hand, the Republicans manage to pass an antigay Constitutional amendment, then they will alienate gays more or less permanently. I wonder if Rove is working this angle yet? Gays might be secured to the Republicans in a matter of 10 or 20 years. It will take generations for Hispanics to go Republican, if they ever do, seeing as they are already on the transfer-payment gravy train.