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Wednesday, 11 October 2006 00:00

Taylor, Shuler share similar views on gay marriage

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Gibbs Knotts, a political science professor at Western Carolina University, took time to address the gay marriage issue and how it might affect the upcoming election between Rep. Charles Taylor, R-Brevard, and challenger Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville.


SMN: Is gay marriage a viable issue that Republicans can use against Democrats in the aftermath of the Foley page scandal?

Knotts: I think it would be tough to connect the Foley scandal and gay marriage. First, Foley is a Republican so it will be difficult for the Republican Party to make the Foley scandal any type of issue. In fact, I would think the Republicans would want to avoid the Foley scandal as an issue in the upcoming elections.

SMN: Both candidates basically agree that marriage should be between a man and a woman. While Taylor is in favor of a Constitutional Amendment in support of the man/woman marriage, Shuler favors states tackling this issue. Who might benefit more from taking a stand on this issue?

Knotts: The issue of gay marriage was on the ballot in 11 states in 2004. All 11 states voted to ban same-sex marriages. The results in the neighboring state of Georgia were 76 percent to ban gay marriage. From a political perspective, it makes sense that both candidates have taken the position that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I don’t think the nuanced differences between Shuler and Taylor on this issue will resonate with WNC voters.

SMN: Will this issue — and the moral values issues that dominated the 2004 national elections — now take a back seat to the War on Terrorism and the War in Iraq?

Knotts: Moral values always play some role in elections but clearly this election appears to be about the War on Terrorism and the War in Iraq. It is also serving as a referendum on the Bush administration and the Republican leadership in the House and Senate.

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceClaire Lynch likes to blur lines.

    Born and raised in Upstate New York, she eventually moved away, crossing the Mason-Dixon Line for Alabama at age 12. She carried in her mind the sounds of the 1960s folk scene of Greenwich Village in Manhattan and show tunes echoing from the record player in her childhood home. Soon, she’d cross paths down South with country and bluegrass melodies radiating from Nashville and beyond. 

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