Will Supporting Gay Marriage Be A Republican Priority?
December 11, 2010
(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – Ken Mehlman, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee announced last summer that he was gay. Being gay and being a Republican is not really that odd a match as Log Cabin Republicans, as gay Republicans have called themselves for 30 years now, derived their name as a reference to President Abraham Lincoln who was born in a Log Cabin and stood for liberty and equality, as most know. Their Mission Statement is worthy of a read if you feel so inclined as it sets forth a true if not very lengthy understanding of how they coexist within a political Party that is homophobic, to put it lightly.
I write about this today because the one time Chair of the Republican Party endorsed Gay Marriage this week as something Republicans must start coming to terms with, and even advocates for the Republican Party to openly support Gay Marriage. Pretty ambitious of Mr. Mehlman don’t you think?
His argument is simple and straightforward. In an interview on the website Think Big Mehlman throws out the only argument that I have ever needed to be convinced that Gay Marriage is the only humane thing to do. If two people love each other then they should be allowed to get married.
Mehlman does have a bit of a credibly problem though. For many years he was a Republican political operative and as he worked his way up the political ladder, he routinely had to support and advance anti-gay legislation and policies publically while privately hiding a lifestyle that would have never allowed him to reach the success he did if it had been known he was gay. Let’s put this another way: Mehlman kept his personal lifestyle mostly secret and worked diligently for policies and practices that were unconstitutional and in my opinion illegal, all the while amassing a personal fortune and personal success and then when he was comfortably wealthy, safe and secure he came out. Not really a risky gamble there.
I remember reading after Mehlman’s announcement that he was gay that the GLBT community was both supportive and critical, understandibly. What choice did they really have after all? If Mehlman were willing to carry some of the water on the issue of Gay Marriage, as it seems he is, this certainly would be helpful to the cause. And hey, sometimes it’s not about how the gift is wrapped but what’s in the box. The GLBT community, no dummies I assure you, took the high road and smartly so.
We are inching ever closer to what ultimately will be a legalization of Gay Marriage everywhere. The California Supreme Court is about ready to hand down their decision to strike down Proposition 8 that made Gay Marriage illegal in California and that the lower courts found unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court should uphold that lower court ruling. The state of Illinois passed a law this week allowing for Civil Unions and the Governor has stated publically he will sign the legislation. Although not Gay Marriage, Civil Unions are still a major step forward for ALL people that love each other.
The trend is moving in the right direction. More and more states are at very least having the discussion in a proactive way and some states are beginning to understand the reality of life and surrendering to the reality that when people love each other and they want to get married they will do what it takes to make that happen. I say bravo to the activists on this issue for never giving up, because it is a testimonial to what committing to what you believe in and not quitting no matter how many times you are turned away.
My Mother, who was a born again Christian in the fire and brimstone fashion, was faced with the question about her opinion of gays shortly before her untimely death in the mid 1990’s and her response was shocking to me. She said it better than anyone I have ever heard on this topic put it: if God can love all people so can I. I rest my case.
I understand that people struggle with the idea of Gay Marriage and I don’t really get why. Clearly the issue has been public long enough to see and experience that two loving people who live with each other and share the common bond of love and respect; two people who are raising families and experiencing the same trials and tribulations any couple deals with should be able to now accept that regardless of the sex of the couple.
There is no difference between same sex couples and opposite sex couples, save one. Heterosexual couples don’t have the burden of discrimination to deal with, for the most part. Take away that point and there is no difference at all, is there?
Just as I could care less what happens in anyone’s bedroom, neither should you.
I believe destiny is beginning to open up a path to greater acceptance on the issue of Gay Marriage and progress is being made and because as I wrote last week that gay rights are human rights, and if a Republican is willing to carry that torch for awhile, let him. I’m not complaining at all.
Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can read his Blog at http://www.mediatraining.me