General Question

queenzboulevard's avatar

What can the President do concerning the issues of abortion and gay marriage?

Asked by queenzboulevard (2549points) October 3rd, 2008

The majority of people I talk to in my area are voting for McCain/Palin simply because they are pro-life. They could care less about the economy, because they’re minds are set that if they vote for Obama, they’re voting to murder babies. The same with gay marriage. They feel that if they vote Democrat, they’re supporting gay marriage in the U.S. In what ways is this true, and in what ways is this false?

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35 Answers

marinelife's avatar

The Democtratic official party position supports Roe v. Wade, which is a pro-choice position. Many Democrats deplore abortion and wish it to be a last resort, but believe it should be up to the mother.

Most Democrats reserve the sacrament of marriage as being between a man and a woman, but support civil unions (with all the legal rights of marriage) for same-sex couples. Democrats also do not support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

SoapChef's avatar

Oh for Gods sake, I have so little patience for people that think this way. These are the same people that will send our young people to Iraq to get their asses shot off. They don’t have a problem with killing innocent Iraqui babies and who knows how many we have actually wiped out, this is all information the government has been so careful to keep as quiet as possible. Sarah even thinks God has had a hand in this war. Do these people READ their bibles? As for the economy,vote McCain/Palin and they’ll caring about it, unless they are already rich and selfish. Stay out of peoples sex lives! How homosexuality affects the average homophobe, I have yet to figure out, except that thinking about it may make them feel all tingly down there. It is bad enough to listen to male politician tell me what I can and can’t do with my body. It is even more insulting to have this woman, who somehow(God had a hand in it I’m sure)became a governer talk about legislating control over my own body. It is enough to make me want to dress up like a Russian, hunt her down and bitch slap her!

marissa's avatar

It mainly has to do with what part the President plays in appointing new Supreme Court Justices, when necessary.
Here is an explaination. You can also start at the beginning of the article by clicking on the first step. Hope this helps :0)

dalepetrie's avatar

Most directly, on the issue of abortion, the final word on that has been Roe v. Wade which was decided by the Supreme Court. But some states have started to assert the idea that this should be a state to state issue and not a federal one, and South Dakota went as far as to pretty much ban abortion altogether. So, of course pro choice organization take the case to court, and whomever loses appeals and appeals and appeals until it ends up in the hands of the Supreme Court once again. Right now there are 4 conservatives, 4 liberals and one moderate on the court. If a conservative or the moderate left the court or died and a Dem was President, he’d likely appoint someone likely to side with the pro choice side. If a liberal or the moderate left or died and a Republican was President, he’d likely appoint someone who’d side with the pro life side.

Same thing essentially with same-sex issues. Most dems, whether they want to call it marriage or civil union think it’s inhumane to not allow people survivorship rights, benefit rights, rights to see your loved one in the event he/she is hospitalized, parental rights, etc. because they’re gay. As some states try to put ammendments in their constitutions, this also becomes a state rights vs. federal rights issues, people also sue about it, appeal over and over and eventually one of these cases will end up in the hands of the Supreme Court, right now because of the tie w/ the moderate it’s a crapshoot to bring your case there, BUT the next appointment WILL tip the balance, and once that happens, these things are going to be decided for decades to come (until someone finds another loophole and tries to challenge it again on a different basis).

The President can also sign the legislation brought to him by Congress, so if Congress passes laws regarding abortion or same sex rights and benefits, whether or not the President signs it is ALSO an issue to single issue voters. So yeah, the President is important who wins, the President has some scope of influence on anything that gets done, he is after all effectively 1/3 of the government’s 3 branches.

queenzboulevard's avatar

Good answers all! But here is another question. Do you feel that there are arguments to those who vote for McCain/Palin ONLY because they’re pro-life or anti-gay that could persuade them to look at other issues? Moral beliefs are obviously a huge issue to vote on, but should they be the only reason that a person votes?

I will use myself as an example. I would consider myself pro-life and anti-gay marriage. However I am voting for Obama because of what he will do for the economy and for what he will do in Iraq. I get criticized for that because the people around me say “my vote for Obama is my support for killing babies and letting gays get married,” which I do not feel is the case at all.

dalepetrie's avatar

I don’t vote on one issue, but if you do, who am I to say you shouldn’t be able to? To some it’s a balance, and to others, they care about one thing, period, and that’s all that matters. If their purpose is bigger than themselves, I can understand. I’m not a religious person, I am pro-choice and pro gay rights, but I’ve voted for Republicans in the past. I vote for the best candidate. But I understand the mindset of someone who thinks abortion = murder, murder is wrong, God wants me to stop it, the laws of God are more important than the laws of man, and even if I like everything else about the opposing candidate better, it doesn’t matter, I need to make that sacrifice because otherwise I won’t achieve salvation…well, I don’t agree with you, but I can’t question your motives.

SoapChef's avatar

Why don’t you explain to them that this was the kind of thinking that gave George another four years? I bow to Karl Rove, he did a superlative job of brainwashing.

Bri_L's avatar

Ask them what good is voting for McCain just because he is pro-life when people will go without healthcare because of him. How many adults AND children let alone unborn children will die because they can’t afford healthcare under his “idea” of healthcare assistance.

maybe_KB's avatar

AIDS victims creating more AIDS victims


10–14 yr. old babies having babies
Self induced abortion WILL INCREASE by the 100,000’s

Suicide..This is reality- It will increase.

Cancer patients going through Chemo, radiation, etc…
(If you, your family & your Dr. know or just don’t want to take the chance that you may not be able to survive child-birth. Let them have a choice what is best…Lord knows they may already have a family to be raised)

How about the men & women who are actually USING BIRTHCONTROL?
What about the vindictive/jealous or just plain abusive people(which by the way are in the 1,000,000’s) that sabotage their mates/lovers USE OF birth control.

Aren’t we using such methods for, how do you say….A REASON!?
(I’m pretty sure we’re taking such precaution(s) to actually prevent from having babies or abortion)

In RE: To gay marriage(s)
I don’t recall either party support 100%!
I believe (as we ALL should)
You give ANY one person your total dedication for the rest of your life- that individual should have the same rights as a traditionally married couple.

galileogirl's avatar

While the insurance for birth control, safe abortion, prenatal care and women’s wellness care disappear, the next step will be Viagra dispensed from from vending machines…ain’t the free market system grand?

cyndyh's avatar

Neither candidate supports gay marriage.

dalepetrie is right that the president’s the veto and the judicial appointments have long lasting effects. But let’s not forget that judicial appointments aren’t just for the supreme court.

If you really want to reduce the number of abortions you need to make sure there’s support for sex education and available birth control. Less unwanted pregnancy means less desire to end unwanted pregnancy.

Once an unwanted pregnancy happens, here’s another thing you can think of. What kind of situation is a woman making that choice facing when deciding? If the situation is poor education, a cut throat existence, no health care, homeless, hungry, and zero hope for the future then bringing a baby into the world seems to be less of an option even than risking her life to abort. But if a woman sees a real choice for having a healthy baby with a future for herself and the child, she much more likely to choose to have that child.

Bri_L's avatar

didn’t Biden say they supported legal unions and that marriage was somthing that needs to be determined by your faith?

He did say they supported all the rights like visitation etc.

nina's avatar

I think those issues are best left alone: we have bigger fish to fry: economy, medical care, foreign policy and, if there is time and energy left – ECONOMY again

Judi's avatar

In answer to your question, a President appoints Supreme Court Justices who rule on constitutional issues. The religious right’s fear is that if we elect a more liberal leaning President, he will appoint liberal leaning Justices and they will never defeat Roe v. Wade, and they may rule that limiting marriage to between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

galileogirl's avatar

I don’t think the Supreme Court could ever make a judgement about a particular medical procedure. Roe v Wade is about the govt having the right to inject itself in a private decision, in this case abortion. If Roe v Wade is overturned then the govt could have the right to make decisions about what medical procedures we can, cannot or must have. ie in some cases they might be able to decide if an individual should not reproduce

Judi's avatar

But it was decided by the Supreme Court and can be overturned by the Supreme Court. That’s why this election is so important.

galileogirl's avatar

Roe v Wade is about the right to make private decisions, only one of which was abortion. Just like Brown v Board of Education was about whether separate accommodations could be equal, only one of which was school integration. Supreme court cases are only heard when they cover broad constitutional issues. That’s why the push is on to make abortion a constitutional issue through the amendment process.

Ironically the Bill of Rights , the first amendments, was demanded by the anti-Federalists (the spiritual ancestors of modern conservatives) to spell out individual rights and prevent a too-powerful federal govt. Hmmmm, how up becomes down!

galileogirl's avatar

Re: what, the link didn’t work for me

cyndyh's avatar

The link is still not working. What are you trying to show with it?

queenzboulevard's avatar

The links just aren’t working…It’s an article about some points people made.

queenzboulevard's avatar

The article is called “This time, Roe vs. Wade really could hang in the balance” in the LA Times.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

For me personally, when voting, I try to look at all of the issues. The moral ones, the ones which will effect the economy, etc. However, I will never, ever vote for someone who denies basic rights to any individual. If there was a Republican who could miraculously and instantly fix the economy but wanted to outlaw abortion or gay marriage… Well, they could just fuck right off. The world will not, truly, become a better place until all issues are addressed, not just a few here and there. The economy has and always will fluctuate. Women (until recently in American history) and gay people have never been on equal ground and it’s wrong.

My thinking has a lot to do with being an INFP, I think. I am not religious but I see Good vs Evil anyway. Man’s Inhumanity to Mankind. I’m on a mission, in this lifetime, to stop things like that from happening. In big ways, small ways… I will play my part to make this a better world – for everyone. And Republicans, generally, are just not out to do the same. They don’t typically think people are equal and for stupid reasons. I will never vote for someone like that.

cyndyh's avatar

It’s the idea that no one is free when others are oppressed. I hear you.

galileogirl's avatar

Interpreting that MLK quote was the essay question on my last Civics test, yay

LetsMakeTheWorldBetter's avatar

When queenzboulevard said he wanted to make a better world for everyone, did he mean to exclude unborn babies? Science and logic both lead to the fact that life starts at conception and, therefore, fetuses in the womb should have the right to live just as any other human. 1.2 million unborn babies are legally being murdered every year. Every voter should look at all the issues but it’s obvious that some are much more important than others. I could never vote for a canidate that wanted to deny the right to life to the most vulnerable of America’s citizens.

galileogirl's avatar

Lets: Different people have different priorities and it’s important to understand what others’ are just as valid as your’s are. Or do you believe that only your values are “correct”?

For example, I believe the living are more important than an a nonviable collection of cells and I think that the geographical accident of birth does not give greater value to one human life over another.

See while you may choose to vote based on a candidate’s attention to the POSSIBILITY of life within less than 00.1% of our nation, I am more concerned about his attention to the ALREADY living all over the world. Don’t you agree that that is a valid benchmark, too?

SoapChef's avatar

Great answer g-girl. I feel exactly the same way.
@Lets I could never vote for a candidate that wanted to deny my right to choose what I do with my body.

queenzboulevard's avatar

I said I wanted to make a better world for everyone?

Bri_L's avatar

@ galileogirl – What does “the geographical accident of birth” mean please?

dalepetrie's avatar

I’ll let gg speak for herself but I just took that to mean, before we’re born, we have no control over our own destinies, where we are born, geographically speaking isn’t a function of any decisions we have made, it’s a function of decisions made and circumstances faced by the generations which preceeded us, therefore it’s no more than an accident of geopolitics and decisions over which you have no control which determines where you were born.

galileogirl's avatar

I couldn’t have said it better.

Bri_L's avatar

AH, gotcha . Thanks Dale and galileogirl. I wasn’t even close on that one.

alive's avatar

i know this is coming a few days too late, but the president cannot do much about either of those.

1) abortion: this is based on a supreme court descision. they set the precedent for all the case law to follow. Roe v. Wade is based on a citizen’s right to privacy, it does not address the quetion of whether a fetus is a human or not and therefore unless we decide as a nation that people deserve LESS PRIVACY that precedent is not likely to be overturned… and the president will not have much say in that decision

2) gay marriage: we saw that bush’s proposed ammendment was shot down fast and hard. i think overall people do not want to alter the constitution in any way, because frankly that is DRASTIC. the constitution is not something to be played with “willy-nilly.” since it is VERY unlikely that a national constitutional ammendment will pass the question becomes a state by state question. in other words it is the state’s right to decide, based on their own people, laws, culture, state constitution etc. the president will not have much say in a state’s discussion of gay marriage either.

but the republican party doesnt tell people that. they get a lot of votes by not telling people that the president actually has little or no power when it comes to these two specific issues. “single issue voters” will vote for anyone who says
“i am pro-life!”

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