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From Nate Silver, who doesn't necessarily agree with us 100% on the Rick Warren issue, but is nonetheless impressed at the new strength coming from the gay community:

One reason that cultural issues like abortion have been successful rallying points for Republicans is because such issues tend to beget an asymmetry of passion. While a majority of the country supports abortion rights under most circumstances, the average pro-lifer is probably more engaged by the issue than the average pro-choicer, thereby enabling the 45 percent to outweigh the 55 percent under certain conditions.

That may still be the case for abortion, where public opinion has been static for many years. But it may no longer be the case on gay rights. Just who is on what side of the 55/45 split depends on what question you're asking -- a majority of the public now supports civil unions, although not yet gay marriage. That's beside the point, though; what I think the Warren dust-up reveals is that the left is now willing to raise at least as much ruckus about the issue as the right. The left, of course, has always had its own moral compass, but it's now beginning to convert that into more focused, overtly political action. ...

I think the passion aroused among the left on the issue has been fairly impressive, and is potentially fairly consequential.

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