NY GOP Senator’s Loss Has Party Infighting About Gay Nup Support

PinkElephantWith news today that Stephen Saland, one of the four GOP New York State Senators to support marriage equality, had conceded his reelection campaign to Democrat Terry Gipson, only one of the aforementioned four GOP Senators is returning to Albany next month.

Saland and another both lost their fights, while the fourth retired. So, what does this mean for Republicans across the country who are on the fence about supporting marriage equality?

The New York Times tries to answer that very question in an article called “Costly Toll for Republicans Who Voted for Gay Marriage.” Here’s an excerpt:

Activists on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue nationwide had kept a close eye on the fate of the four New York Republicans, whose re-election battles were depicted as a de facto referendum on whether it was electorally safe for Republicans to support same-sex marriage.

The outcry against the Republicans had an awkward side effect — although conservatives contributed significantly to their fates, two of the three are being replaced by Democrats who support same-sex marriage.

But Michael R. Long, the chairman of the state’s Conservative Party said the races should amount to a wake-up call for Republicans.

“Principles matter,” Mr. Long said. “These guys were institutions. And I think their voters were upset and were tired of being taken advantage of.”

Gay-rights advocates on Thursday played down the significance of the election results, suggesting that, as with any local races, the outcomes were the result of a blend of factors.

For example… the senator who lost his primary, Roy J. McDonald of Saratoga County, emboldened his critics by saying that anyone upset with his position on the issue could “take the job and shove it.”

But don’t expect conservatives to accept that argument, no questions asked. One right wing activist, Rev. Jason J. McGuire from the group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, told the paper, “…Policies of appeasement always fail. And essentially that’s what they did: they caved to the governor and
really more liberal-minded interests rather than their core


  1. Ryan says

    Losing to Democrats who supported marriage equality means they made it past a Republican primary in which an anti-marriage opponent had the chance to knock them off, but failed.

    I don’t think this four seats means much about the chances of any Republicans who vote for marriage equality.

  2. Steve says

    And these Rethugs act like true blood conservative voters would vote for a Democrat just because a Republican is pro-gay. What rubbish

  3. Icebloo says

    It’s all just another excuse for them to continue to attack us and take away our rights. Republicans are scum.

    They are too dumb to listen. They just lost an election because their policies are too extreme yet they are continuing to move further and further to the right. Let’s hope they continue to do so then they won’t win in the midterms or the next election either !

  4. Diogenes Arktos says

    If the Republicans crow about the defeat of the “traitors”, that means they also have to be happy that the seats were lost to Democrats. I’ve given up trying to understand them.

  5. Chris says

    Isn’t this like the phobes in Britain who are saying that Torie support for Marriage Equality will alienate their core base of supporters who will in turn go and vote for someone else? WHO!? Labour or The Liberal Democrats!? They need to use their brains.

  6. says

    More reason for us to financially keep supporting democrats with our incredible money. I know I do. No wonder republicans are on a losing streak

  7. says

    What we’re seeing is major spin after a solid defeat. That’s all. You’re not going to see any re-assessment of policy positions until the adults take over the party again. Then the teabaggers and religious nuts will retreat to their bunkers until the Kochs need them again. Happens regularly.

  8. says

    We had people in VT who lost their elections after a pro CU vote. By the next election it was mostly forgotten. And isn’t it better to have voted your conscience? When the vote for marriage came around, one Republican voted for because he has a gay son. He’s been reelected again.

  9. Leo says

    Out of the 4 one decided not to run. One lost the primary to an anti-gay candidate only to have that Republican lose the general election to a pro-gay Democrat. Another won re-election. And now the 4th Republican lost to a pro-gay Democrat.

    If the goal of socially conservative NY Republicans is to impose ideological purity within the party I guess they can spin some success from these results, but if their goal is to actually influence public policy then this was a complete failure.

  10. Jake says

    Leo, you got it wrong:

    – 1 senator, Alesi, decided not to run. He was replaced wigth a pro-equality Dem

    – 1 senator, Grisanti, ran and beat his anti-gay opponent in the primary. Then he beat his opponent in the general election and will continue in office.

    – 1 senator, Saland, beat his anti-gay opponent in the primary but lost to a pro-gay Dem in the general. We have to admit that he lost because his anti-gay primary opponent continued in the general election on a 3rd party line, siphoning off enough votes to make Saland lose. But in the general election 87% of voters supported either the pro-gay Saland or the pro-gay Dem.

    – 1 senator, McDonald, was defeated by an anti-gay primary opponent. He lost by something like 100 votes and the turnout was only 15%. So NOM’s candidate got by on about 7.5% of the vote. Once he lost, McDonald decided not to continue in the general on a 3rd party line since he didn’t want to split the GOP vote.

    None of the above cases suggests that NOM has the voters behind it. What it suggests is that in some cases it has enough far right wackos who might go 3rd party and throw an election to the Dem.

    Incidentally, the Dem who switched his vote to yes, Addabbo, beat his anti-gay GOP opponent.