USA: The GOP and Marriage Equality

Written by scott on March 22nd, 2013

GOPThere’s lots being written out there today about and by the GOP on marriage equality. Let’s start with this charming quote from Rush Limbaugh, as reported in Gay Star News:

Limbaugh asked his caller, ‘What do you say to people who say – “you know what … you’re old fashioned, you’re stuck in the past. We can never go back to it, it wasn’t what it was. It’s all fuddy-duddy, and you’re going to have to modernize or society is going to leave you behind”?’ Limbaugh them summed up the progressives’ view of marriage as ‘Its all based in love – everybody loves each other and so what ever happens is fine. I love my sofa and I sit on it every night. And it loves me back … If I could marry my sofa I might think about it. I would. And maybe in a few years it could be possible? You never know.’

You gotta feel for that sofa.

Over at MSNBC, Emma Margolin thinks the GOP is afraid of “going wobbly” on gay marriage:

Here’s another example. On Monday morning, at a press conference to review the RNC’s 2012 “autopsy,” chairman Reince Priebus had some kind words for Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who recently came out in favor of same-sex marriage…
But later that same day, in a National Review article headlined, “Social Conservatives to RNC: Don’t be ‘Pandering Idiots,'” Ralph Reed cautioned against any softening on gay rights, saying, “If the Republican party tries to retreat from being a pro-marriage, pro-family party, the big tent is going to become a pup tent very fast… I am concerned that some in the party are going wobbly on this issue.”

At, David Weigel wonders if gay marriage will end up splitting the party:

“Committed Christians make up a huge voting bloc within the GOP,” said A.J. Spiker, the 32-year-old chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. The “Ken Mehlman sliver of the party,” he said, didn’t play in Iowa. “We can’t win elections without committed Christians staying engaged. I suppose the argument is that young people won’t vote Republican unless the party changes on marriage, but I don’t hear young people advocating for gay marriage. I was the co-chair of Ron Paul’s Iowa campaign, a liberty-minded group, and I don’t hear it.”

Over at The Washington Post, Jena McGregor takes the longer view:

As a result, the recent bluster against same-sex marriage carries big risks for GOP leadership. The quick increase in support for gay marriage among voters has already made them look somewhat out of touch with the views of a majority of Americans. If the Supreme Court, in one swift blow, makes it legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry, they will look even more so, at least to the growing number of Americans who support that right.

Over at Think Progress, they’re reporting that RNC Chair Reince Priebus is suggesting Mike Huckaby for outreach to the LGBT community. Yes, that Mike Huckaby. Some of his views:

Being gay is a public health risk. “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk”

Being gay is a sin. “Well I believe it would be — just like lying is sinful and stealing is sinful. There are a lot of things that are sinful. It doesn’t mean that a person is a horrible person. It means that they engage in behavior that is outside the norms of those boundaries of our traditional view of what’s right and what’s wrong. So, I think that anybody who has, maybe a traditional worldview of sexuality would classify that as an unusual behavior that is not traditional and that would be outside those bounds.”

Marriage equality will lead to polygamy. “If we change the definition to a man or a man and a woman and a woman, why can’t we accommodate a man and two women or a woman and three men.”

And Adam C. Smith at the Tampa Bay Times says history has already passed the GOP by on this issue:

Even if traditional marriage activists win the court battles, though, it looks more and more as if they have already lost the war. Public opinion in America has undergone such a rapid sea change that opponents of same-sex marriage increasingly look as if they soon will hold the fringe position. A growing chorus of conservatives argue that what only a few years ago was a fundamental plank of the GOP platform — opposing gay marriage — has now became a major liability.

When will the GOP come around?


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