Gay marriage vote costs US politician seat in Congress
Thu, 29 Sep 2011
A US politician who backed same-sex marriage in New York has lost a traditionally safe seat for the Democrat party and a poll has suggested his position on marriage was a key factor.
Democrat David Weprin, who backed a redefinition of marriage earlier this year, lost the election to his Republican rival in a district which has been held by his party since the 1920s.
In Scotland, the Roman Catholic church has warned the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) that it does not deserve the votes of 800,000 Roman Catholics if it presses ahead with same-sex marriage.
A New York poll has revealed that voters in the 9th district, which is 40 per cent Jewish, said the definition of marriage was a key factor in their vote.
The ‘flash’ US poll, which concluded as the election was coming to a close, was commissioned by a pro-traditional marriage group called the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
The poll found that David Weprin’s position on same-sex marriage was a specific factor in the voting decision of 72 per cent of Orthodox Jews, 29 per cent of Other Jews and 27 per cent of Roman Catholics.
NOM’s President Brian Brown said: “This survey demonstrates what many people have been saying for a long time – David Weprin’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage cost him election to the US House”. The election was won by Republican Bob Turner.
In Britain redefining marriage is being consulted on by the Westminster and Scottish Governments.
Last week the Westminster Government announced plans to hold a public consultation asking how – not if – the legal definition of marriage should be changed to allow homosexual marriage. The announcement was made by the Liberal Democrats’ Lynne Featherstone – an equalities minister.
Earlier this month the Scottish SNP-controlled Government launched a consultation on whether to redefine marriage.
But the move was criticised by Roman Catholic Bishop Philip Tartaglia who said that “such a government does not deserve the trust which the nation – and including many in the Catholic community – has shown in it”.
And Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, warned that redefining marriage would have “huge implications” for Scottish society and schools.