The GOP and the Gay Agenda
Yesterday, the supreme Court of California upheld Proposition 8, the ban on Same-Sex marriage, and it has many on the right applauding the courts decision. It is also creating a conversation among Independent Conservatives and Christian Conservatives over the role of government in the marriage debate and the role of the GOP and Gay Rights. With the Republican party attempting to become more “big tent” it has many arguing about whether promoting Gay Rights will attract or turn off many traditional Republican voters.
Last week Meghan McCain spoke to New York Republicans about Gay Marriage, not only changing the terminology used by many Conservatives to “Marriage Equality”, but also stating, “Gays and lesbians are a vital part of our communities. They are doctors, teachers, firefighters, emergency personnel and neighbors. In this way, marriage equality is also about supporting good citizens and strengthening our communities.” Meghan has other GOP members on her side that feel the same way, Steve Schmidt, Sen. John McCain’s chief strategist during the presidential campaign has also come out in support of gay marriage, Dick Cheney is another proponent of the issue, as he stated in the 2000 Vice-Presidential Debate,
We live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody. We shouldn’t be able to choose and say you get to live free and you don’t. That means people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It’s no one’s business in terms of regulating behavior in that regard. The next step then, of course, is the question you ask of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction of the relationships or if they should be treated the same as a traditional marriage. . . . I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that’s appropriate. . . . We ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.
That is the view of a big block on the right, including some Christian Conservatives, but many chose not to take up the subject matter publicly out of fear of being ostracized for taking, what some call, a “pro-gay, anti-Christian” stance. And with Social Conservatives continuing to be the base of the the GOP, many politicians aren’t willing to stray too far from the views of their constituents.
The policy of “Don’t ask-Don’t tell” is another controversial subject. In the nearly 15 years since the law has been in place, more than 13,000 service men and women have been discharged from all branches of the military for being gay. The group Log Cabin Republicans have been a driving force in the Republican Party to repeal the “Don’t ask…” policy, citing that, “This blatant discrimination damages our military readiness and weakens national defense.” During the Republican Presidential Debate, not one candidate spoke out on repealing the policy, and only Senator Ron Paul slightly criticized the policy, stating, “We don’t get our rights because we’re gays, women, minorities, we get our rights from our creator as individuals, and every individual should be treated the same way.” Others on the right take a different view on it, stating that discharging openly gay service members is causing more troops to do more tours because of the large numbers being kicked out of the military. Especially linguists, who are in high demand and often have to do longer and multiple tours because there is such a shortage. An ABC news/Washington Post Poll from July 2008, found that 75% of those polled are in favor of service of homosexuals who disclose their orientation, including 64% of Conservatives who say that they would support openly gay troops. That is a huge jump from the 1993 polling data which concluded that only 23% of Conservatives would support gays who’s orientation was made public. The poll also finds that 83% of Catholics would also support openly gay men and women serving in our military.
There are many groups on the right which are fighting to stop the gay agenda from progressing with the help of the GOP. Groups such as Focus on the Family and Family Research Council have been staunch opponents to the promotion of gay rights. “Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.” There are also many other groups who have been publicly labeled as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center . Some have taken very aggressive measures to convince the public accepting homosexuality as a “norm”, will lead the country down a slippery slope of immorality. Evangelical Pat Roberson stated on CBN May 7th, after Maine legalized Same-sex marriage,
[…]We haven’t taken this to its ultimate conclusion. You got polygamy out there. How can we rule that polygamy is illegal when you say that homosexual marriage is legal. What is it about polygamy that’s different? Well, polygamy was outlawed because it was considered immoral according to biblical standards. But if we take biblical standards away in homosexuality, what about the other? And what about bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia? How can we criminalize these things and at the same time have constitutional amendments allowing same-sex marriage among homosexuals. You mark my words, this is just the beginning in a long downward slide in relation to all the things that we consider to be abhorrent.
There are many religious groups who would say that the issue of homosexuality is a serious moral issue that requires the government to get involved in order to stop it. With that taken into consideration, is the Catholic church going to push for a ban on divorce as well? As the statistics state, 50% of first marriages end in divorce. With divorce sometimes comes custody battles, long drawn out legal fights for child support, defamation of the other parents character, and months and even years of rebuilding.
The gay agenda is one the Republican Party shouldn’t be ignoring, many Americans are becoming more accepting and tolerant to the plight and less so of the radical religious views of some Conservatives. Its going to be difficult to find the right balance, if any balance at all but a real effort needs to be made to counter the anti-gay stigma that the left is placing on Conservatives, because according to the data, it just isn’t the case anymore.