Maine leaped to the right side of history today with the passage of a gay-marriage bill through legislative channels. I'm impressed with the momentum of the LGBT movement post-Iowa, and it looks likely that advocates will reach their goal of marriage equality throughout New England by 2012.

What's overblown is all this talk, from Meghan McCain to Jon Huntsman, of the Republican Party "embracing" gay marriage. Not taken into account is what is sure to be a brutal 2012 primary decided largely by Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. In a recent poll, only 3 percent of Iowa Republicans found candidates who favored gay marriage appealing. And does anyone seriously think Huntsman has a shot at the GOP nomination? Republican primary voters in early 2012 states are too conservative for him, and he's the governor of Utah!

More likely than the GOP endorsing gay marriage is that 2012 candidates will be racing to support "traditional families" the most. (Huckabee may get super-duper-married, instead of just super-married.) It's gonna get really ugly, further regionalizing the party and peeling away young voters.

Lead by the Huckabees, Palins and Gingriches of the party, opposing gay marriage will be a cornerstone of the 2012 Republican candidates. We haven't heard the worst yet.

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