Ask me a question.
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2012 — While Rick Santorum prods Mitt Romney, the presumed GOP presidential candidate, to go bold and strike out against gay marriage, Romney is tepidly saying such things as marriage should be “between one man and one woman.” Not a ringing indictment of gay marriage but just enough to set the hearts aflutter of social conservatives and evangelicals. For some Republicans, however, it may be too much.
One admittedly gay donor, Bill White, who is the chairman and CEO of the New York consulting firm Constellations Group, had given $2,500 to the Romney campaign and now he wants his money back. White sent a letter to the Romney campaign, saying, “I feel that I no longer wish to support your presidential campaign and ask that you please return the maximum contribution that I gave to you last year. You have chosen to be on the wrong side of history and I do not support your run for president any longer.”
Not only is Romney on the wrong side of history, he is forgetting that gay marriage is actually a very conservative value, one that he and the likes of Rick Santorum should be embracing. (See video below on gay families)
Really, you ask, scratching your head? Yep, and here’s why as best summed up in a memo from Jan R. van Lohuizen (President George W. Bush’s pollster) to Republican leaders and candidates:
“As people [Republicans] who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone. This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government.”
Bravo, Mr. van Lohuizen, for spelling it out so perfectly:
1. Gay marriage promotes personal responsibility.
Isn’t that what we expect from marriage, gay or straight? Getting married is what grown ups do to pledge personal responsibility to one another. Remember those quaint wedding vows: “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish”? Legally married, a gay partner could make medical decisions for his spouse. A lesbian could inherit her partner’s assets at her death, even without a will. And gays would be entitled to all the financial benefits that straight couples receive, even being able to file joint federal returns and getting Social Security spousal or survivor benefits.
2. Gay marriage promotes family values.
Marriage makes a family official. It encourages the raising of children within that family. Two parents. Isn’t that what conservatives claim to support? Marriage makes for a more stable relationship and encourages adoption of children. Heck, even Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are going to give marriage a whirl.
3. Gay marriage promotes commitment and stability.
Till death do us part is usually part of the marriage vows, so just how committed have gay marriages been? Since the legalization of gay marriage is comparatively recent, it’s hard to say, though some demographic data does show a lower than average divorce rate among gay couples. And it is known that where states have already allowed gays to marry, there has been a rush to the altar to make their unions legal.
4. Gay marriage promotes freedom.
In other words, “Free to be you and me.” Gay marriage would take the stigma out of being a gay couple. It recognizes the oneness of us all, our common humanity. It is truly about equality, which is why it’s a civil rights issue. Andrew Sullivan, a gay columnist, who wrote the recent cover article for Newsweek, summed it up perfectly: “The point of the gay-rights movement, after all, is not about helping people be gay. It is about creating the space for people to be themselves.”
5. Gay marriage is an example of limited governmental powers.
And that is at the heart of the conservative movement: limited government. This is why it has been amazing that so-called Libertarians like Congressman Ron Paul and his son Senator Rand Paul haven’t been big champions of gay marriage. Instead we see Rand Paul making snide comments about President Obama support for gay marriage: “Call me cynical but I wasn’t sure that his views on marriage could get any gayer.”
Call me cynical, but I don’t think Senator Paul’s remarks couldn’t be more snarky if he tried. And this from a man who rants about getting government out of our lives. What can be more intrusive than denying citizens who proclaim their love for one another the rites of marriage and all the legal rights it bestows?
A generation ago, it was taboo for an African American and a white to marry. And 70% of Americans supported that prohibition. Then the Supreme Court in 1967 toppled such bigoted thinking with its ruling, and we see the richness interracial marriages and their children have brought to America’s mosaic.
Now President Obama has taken the first step in making equality a reality for gays with his support for gay marriage. However, with 30 states instituting laws to deny its citizens equal protection under the law, it looks like it will fall to the Supreme Court to step in and establishes that gay marriage is not only a right, but one upholds conservative core values.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online medi
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