Gay Voters and the Democratic Primary

I should have added Cathy Cox to this week’s loser list given the amount of outrage in the gay community over her statement about Judge Russell’s ruling.

The AJC offers us this about that constituency and how it will or will not react.

For Democratic candidates, it’s a constituency some avoid in public but court behind closed doors. They don’t wish to alienate the socially conservative majority, but don’t want to turn off a possibly core group of voters. On gay marriage, the problem for Democrats is that the ban also has strong support in parts of the black community. African-Americans make up about half the Democratic primary vote. So candidates can wind up walking a tightrope. Support for the gay marriage amendment could help some candidates, but hurt in others.

Enter the two major gubernatorial hopefuls, Cox and Taylor.

Two years ago, Cox, Georgia’s secretary of state, called the amendment “unnecessary

12 comments

  1. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Here in Georgia, the smart thing for any Democrat to do is publicly oppose Gay Marrige. However, I think it would have been smart for Cathy Cox to keep her mouth shut on the reccent and unfair ruling, she was not in a position in which she was required to comment on the situation..plus I know that I and most Georgian’s that know of Cathy Cox considerd her against Gay Marrige with out a statement telling us where she stands..she just struck me as one who opposes Gay Marrige.
    But this is another set back, and Mark Taylor is now leading her by 51% to 36%…But my man Sonny has a 60% approval rating right now, so I know who will win.

  2. GetReal says:

    Cathy’s problems come from the unsustainable game she has been playing. It had to come to an end sooner or later.

    To progressive metro Atlanta primary voters, including those strongly opposed to the 2004 gay marriage amendment, she is the candidate who represents change not only from Governor Perdue and the Republicans, but also from the right-of-center Democrats who have been elected statewide and until recently controlled the General Assembly.

    To old line conservative Democrats outside metro Atlanta who still vote in Democratic primaries for local races, she tries to represent a return of the right wing Democrat. She tries to capitalize on the resentment many still feel toward Barnes (at least in part because of the flag change) and the tie that Taylor has to Barnes on that issue. That’s why so many of the rural conservative white Democrats still in state House have either openly endorsed her or are clearly in her corner even if they haven’t come out for her. That’s what she was when she was in the House – hence her co-sponsorship of the bill to force local governments to fly the old 1956 Georgia flag with the Confederate battle emblem.

    Judge Russell’s ruling forced her hand because she had to say something on a high profile social issue that divided her two universes. She had to decide who to throw over the side, and she chose her liberal metro Atlanta supporters, many of whom considered her 2004 stand against the anti-gay marriage amendment a key part of their strong support for her.

    My personal opinion is that all she’s done is put herself in the worst possible position. She’s not going to get votes from people who will not vote for someone who opposed the amendment. She opposed it, and they will know that. She has lost support (both voting and financial) from people who supported her because she opposed it. But what’s worse is that she exposed herself as a politician who will abandon a supposed moral belief for political expediency. Her position now basically boils down to, “I was against the amendment until I saw the results of the 2004 referendum.” That doesn’t exactly telegraph the fortitude of someone who should the Governor of a big state like Georgia.

  3. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    “To progressive metro Atlanta primary voters…”

    I love it when hard core left wing liberals refuse to call themselves “liberal.” It’s like its a bad word even among those who would be called liberal.

    Democrats? Who could ever understand them?????

  4. GTdem says:

    McCain-Rice\’08 was right about one thing. Cathy Cox should have kept her mouth shut. There was no need for here to make such a strong comment. Her response should have been much more like: “We need to allow the legal system to work.

  5. Decaturguy says:

    GTDem, you are absolutely right. She could have essentially given the same message without losing her core base of supporters. But she didn’t and the rest is history.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  6. stewils says:

    I find it interesting that no one has pointed out that Constance Russell (the Fulton County Superior Court Judge) is a lesbian. Her homosexuality is well known in legal circles — judges and lawyers can confirm this. I guess the media doesn’t think all the details surrounding this controversial ruling are necessary for the general public to make an informed opinion.

  7. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Stewils, I didn’t realize that..If that is indeed true I wish she would have done the fair thing, and excused her self from the case. But you cant expect such fairness from a liberal activist Judge who is intent to legislate from the bench.

  8. RiverRat says:

    This ruling is only controversial from a political stand point – I haven’t heard much argument over the substance of the ruling. It is a pretty by-the-books ruling from what I can see. I don’t see how the judge’s alleged sexuality has anything to do with the substance of her decision – which hasn’t been seriously challenged on legal grounds.

  9. GTdem says:

    First off I have no knowledge about the orientation of the Judge.

    McCain-Rice\’08,

    You can’t be serious. If a homosexual judge should have recused herself because she would favor homosexuals, then a heterosexual judge would have to recuse herself because she may unfairly favor heterosexuals. Chances are that you’re not going to be able to find an asexual judge to make this ruling.

    ‘liberal activist judge’, ‘legislate from the bench’ sounds like every Bush sound bite on Judicial maters. These catch phrases are getting old.

  10. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Well, she obviously had a strong political opinion prior to hearing the case…and for your information we do have a problem in this country with activist judges..look at Massachussetts.

  11. Headin\' South says:

    The opinion written by Judge Constance Russell is NOT an example of an activist judge. I’ve read the opinion three times. Though there is one small factual conclusion about which reasonable people can disagree, no reasonably informed, logical person who reads the opinion will believe it is an example of the decision of an activist court.

    I’m sure I take issue with Judge Russell on several items, but her opinion is logical and sound and strictly and carefully follows the Georgia Constitution. Before criticizing the Court, read the opinion carefully.

    … And remember, Judge Russell essentially has provided an outline to the legislature as to how to prepare the referendum properly.

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