So in response to the poster who questions whether religious beliefs are harmful and should be discouraged*** edit
It seems you have forgotten where you live. We have freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Who are you to decide what is harmful?
If a conservative group does not support same sex marriage, is that harmful? Not supporting it is not the same as condemning it. They might in their own church decide that they cannot perform a same sex union, and some members may be ignorant in the way they verbalize their stance. But NONE of that is 'harmful' as long as the government supports the rights of homosexuals to marry.
I agree that there are some wild groups out there, and that there are many who feel they escaped when they left home. Those are valid points of view. In some instances they may be correct.
However neither you, nor the government should EVER conceive of limiting another's right to worship or beleive as they do. Christianity was ILLEGAL in rome for 250 years. It survived. Hitler's final solution was to eradicate the Jews, the Jewish state not only survived, but thrived. Any time a society attempted to squash believers, the believers only became stronger.
Most mainstream denominations are not only NOT harmful, they are essential to the lives of their participants. They contribute much to society in the form of social services in the form of supporting the widows and orphans among us. In my community the churches of several denominations pool resources and commonly run a food pantry, a clothing closet and collect and distribute school supplies for registered families. Denominations have differences theologically, but work together to support the community. Those who benefitare not required to be a member of any of the churches involved. I am sure that this is not a unique situation to my corner of the world. When I lived in a small town in another state I was pleased to see at Christmastime, a gift shop run by senior citizens in an interfaith manner. I bought beautiful gifts from there for my family, and I supported the group as a whole...
On the other hand there are orgainizations like the Westborogh Baptists who are SO extreme that I do not even want to count them as Christians, but that is not my place. There are cults who deceive and control their followers, and restrict them in ways that borders on abuse.
There is NO WAY to quash the harmful groups without harming or discrediting the groups that are truly faithful and wanting to be of service to GOD's people.
Now when it comes to the voting issue; we are all responsible to vote our consciounce. If your beliefs cross mine, I am bound to respect them and the other way goes, too. If I feel strongly about, oh, let's say -- late term abortion, then my vote is as valid as the one who sees no problem with it.
SO MUCH RELIGOUS HATRED HERE! FROM HERE ON I WILL JUST SIT BACK AND READ THE HATE FILLED RHETORIC.