USNews & World Report: "Gay Marriage Could be a Difference Maker Issue in 2012"


Mallie Kim reports:

The economy is king in 2012 politics, but in a close election, the issue of same-sex marriage could make a difference.

With New York recently legalizing gay marriage, the Pentagon processing the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," and Congress battling over the Defense of Marriage Act, gay rights have gotten a lot of media attention, and activists on both sides of the argument believe they have a politically potent issue.

"Clearly the overriding issue in the next election is going to be the economy and jobs," says Brian Darling, a senior fellow for government studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation. But when votes get close, he says, "issues like traditional marriage can make a critical difference in an election and may be a deciding factor."