I was right. The New Jersey decision has lit a fire under the GOP.

From NY Times:

Wednesday’s ruling, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples, had immediate ripple effects, especially in Senate races in some of the eight states where voters are considering constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage.

President Bush put a spotlight on the issue while campaigning in Iowa, which does not have a proposal on the ballot. With the Republican House candidate, Jeff Lamberti, by his side, Mr. Bush � who has not been talking about gay marriage in recent weeks � took pains to insert a reference into his stump speech warning that Democrats would raise taxes and make America less safe.

“Yesterday in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage,� Mr. Bush said at a luncheon at the Iowa State Fairgrounds that raised $400,000 for Mr. Lamberti.

Now remember, the decision did not state that gays must have the right to the religious institution of marriage. They just have to have the same legal rights, which I believe will end up turning into a law mandating civil unions. The right is already trying to confuse this, so let that be what it is.

More as it develops…

I found this post of mine, where right-wing pollsters were using push polling tactics to “push” this issue back into the minds of the faithful. Thankfully, religious leaders denounced it, but still…

And then, another story today about how giddy some religious leaders are that this happened so close to the election…

“Pro-traditional-marriage organizations ought to give a distinguished service award to the New Jersey Supreme Court,” said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. […]

“I have to think there are Democratic strategists out there thinking the words of the old Japanese admiral: ‘I fear all we’ve done is wake a sleeping giant,’ ” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a Washington-based advocacy group. “They were coasting into an election with a Republican base with dampened enthusiasm. This brings it all back home to the base, what this election is about.”

Yes, it’s all about gays…not helping the poor, not helping the weak…we’ve gotta keep those gays from getting married or everything will fall apart.

Politics Onward No-Gay-Marriage Soldiers