Dave Weigel at Slate:
The first wedge issue, getting a little less attention on Tuesday, was gay marriage. Earlier this year, Assemblyman David Weprin voted for the successful bill that legalized same-sex unions in New York. He explained his vote by explaining the tenets of his Orthodox Jewish faith. “I think everyone here would agree that we should not be outlawing marriages between Jews and non-Jews or interracial marriages,” he said.
That was dangerous. At least 40 Orthodox rabbis in the district signed a letter pronouncing it “forbidden according to Torah law” to vote for Weprin; this in a district where perhaps one-third of ballots would be cost by Jews, many of them Orthodox. The National Organization for Marriage, which had failed to stop the gay marriage bill, trained its death ray on Weprin, organizing direct mail and robocalls to spread the rabbis’ message, and targeting the district’s Hispanic voters – about 15 percent of the population – with a robocall from conservative State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr.