Was Same-Sex Marriage Partly to Blame for Kerry Loss?

"Americans are just figuring out who their gay and lesbian neighbors, and brothers and sisters and cousins, are," she said.

And while the "education" process has worked enough for there to be some progress, she added, much more work remains to be done.

But Daniels sharply disagrees, noting that opposition to gay marriage is not a view held just by conservatives.

"They vote that way across party lines. They vote that way at a very deep level that is about more than parties, about more than campaigns and elections," he said. "It's a very wide and deep consensus that we have in America that kids do best with a mom and a dad and our laws should encourage that."

For his part, Newsom rejects any blame for Kerry's loss.

Maybe it was the presence of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Ohio the Friday before the election, Newsom speculated defensively. "Maybe it was [Osama] bin Laden and the tapes," he said. "Maybe it was the lack of clarity or an alternative positive agenda."

Since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in November 2003 for same-sex marriages, while Newsom's actions weren't until three months later, Newsom even speculated that "maybe it was the Massachusetts Supreme Court."

Democrats have not yet figured out a response on the contentious issue of same-sex marriage.

Some argue it is a fundamental civil rights issue America will ultimately embrace. Others say the party is out of touch with the American people and as long as it stays that way, its members should expect to be in the minority for a long time.

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