Okay, this is just a work in progress. I'm not sure exactly what my reasoning is going to be--that's the great thing about a blog--you can put half-baked ideas out for public consumption. But here it is. The democrats should not abandon the gay community, as so many, including former President Bill Clinton (long may he live), have suggested. The biggest reason is that the gay community is an extremely good lightning rod--attracting all kinds of vitrioloc hatred from the ultra right wing.
We are a country which has shifted past conservative and liberal (which might have been true at one point in the 1970's) to progressive conservative, and ultra-reactionary neo-conservative. True liberal voices are marginalized to such a degree that they sound as nutty as Al Sharpton. The right wing likes to play at being a "big tent" and "compassionate" but these words are meaningless and hypocritical. The culture warriors of the 90's, Bat Puchanan and Jessie Helms proved that the direct, self-righteous approach doesn't energize the base like softer, gentler diatribes "protecting marriage." When you're "protecting marriage" you're for something, not against something. This kind of Orwellian logic has permiated right wing talking points on Capital Hill. Everyone from the President to Rick Santorum to Ralph Reed and Rush Limbaugh are all on the same page. Obvious hatred and racism doesn't work: so they've disguised it as being something else.
However, they can't control all their people all the time. Thus, at the local level, the two-barrelled approach to gay hate is alive and well. That's what makes gays such valuable allies to the democrats. The ultra-right wing John Birch pounding nut balls can't help themselves. They go right for the jugular spouting about a "gay agenda to indoctrinate children." These are talking points that are 10 years old and out of sync with the party at the national level. Thus they are exposed for the rampant pathologically phobic hatemongers they truly are.