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 tony@mediatony.com and can read his Blog at http://www.mediatraining.me


7 Responses to “Will Supporting Gay Marriage Be A Republican Priority?”

  1. FlexSF on December 11th, 2010 12:33 pm

    Republicans are in bed with professional, anti-gay religious corporations. They will never support the legal equality of gays. The republicans have won major elections as a result of their flamboyant hatred of the gays, and the country has become what it is as a result of these elections.

    The people who have benefited from the anti-gay agenda, including Ken Melhman, deserve to be arrested for crimes against humanity. They’ve failed to address the harms that have been created as a result of their not too distant past, and political gains.

    Republicans are disgusting!

  2. gerry on December 11th, 2010 4:01 pm

    The State has no interest in why people get married, whether they are in love or not, what their sexual practices are, or even if they want children or not. None of these questions appear on the application for a marriage license. What the State requires is the two gender forms (male/female) be present. This is true across time & culture.

    This requirement creates socially approved gender integrated homes (male/female) as opposed to gender segregated homes (male/male or female/female)

    Gender integrated homes (male/female) that have a loving mother & father provide the best outcome for kids. Child development 101 affirms the mother/child father/child relationship as vital.

    Gender segregated homes may be wonderful for the adults but are burdensome/harmful to children in that they deprive a child of either a father or a mother.

    Kids are getting hammered by divorce and single parenting, they don’t need another hurdle put in their way simply so the adults can be happy.

  3. gerry on December 11th, 2010 4:55 pm

    The State’s requirement that the two gender forms (male/female) be present for the issuing of a marriage license completely satisfies the 14th Amendment’s demand of equality in that both gender forms have equal access to marriage.

    Furthermore the State isn’t concerned with orientation at all, it is irrelevant to whether a license is issued. Gender is immutable, orientation isn’t. To inject orientation as a determining requirement in marriage is opening a can of worms, given the fluidity of sexual desire and orientation in humans.

    Lastly, SSM advocates aren’t asking for equal rights. Traditional marriage produces gender integrated homes (male/female). SSM advocates are asking for the right to form socially approved gender segregated homes (male/male or female/female). That is a separate right they want treated as equal to the right in traditional marriage. This is the old “separate but equal” mantra society rejected in regards to race and should now reject when it comes to gender.

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  5. Nefreet on December 12th, 2010 8:17 am

    I challenge your notion of “gender forms”. What exactly, in your opinion, constitutes male? Or female?

    Gender is a social construct that has hardly been the same “across time and culture” as you so claim.

    And, sorry, the gender of your parents makes no difference in your upbringing.

  6. gerry on December 13th, 2010 5:46 pm


    In semantics there is a famous saying, “The map is not the territory.” A map is a symbolic representation of the objective territory.

    So you challenge the socially constructed labels that symbolically represent a biological objectivity that has distinctive characteristics. On your “map” you can lower the summit of Everest by 10,000 feet but don’t expect you won’t have to climb those feet because you changed your map!

    Webster defines a male as: an individual that produces small usually motile gametes (as spermatozoa or spermatozoids) which fertilize the eggs of a female

    Webster defines a female as: of, relating to, or being the sex that bears young or produces eggs.

    What do you want to change regarding these objective descriptions?

    As to gender according to Freud, Erikson, and Piaget it makes a big difference.

    Let me ask: Do Men & women have different natures? Do they bring distinct gender specific approaches to parenting. Do boys & girls learn things from their Dad they don’t from their Mom and vice versa?’ Even the gay community recognizes that ‘Mom’ & ‘Dad’ are gender specific not gender neutral terms. Do you know of any same sex couples where one partner is referred to as ‘Mom’ and the other as ‘Dad’? Isn’t it usually ‘Heather has two mommies’ ?

    As you thought about marriage and family what did you wish for your children, that they have a mother & father that loves them? Wasn’t that part of your dream growing up?

    Do you dispute the fact that SSM creates socially approved gender segregated homes (male/male or female/female) as opposed to traditional marriage which creates gender integrated homes (male/female)? Upon what factual basis would you disagree?

  7. Tim on December 15th, 2010 10:22 am

    “Let me ask: Do Men & women have different natures? Do they bring distinct gender specific approaches to parenting. Do boys & girls learn things from their Dad they don’t from their Mom and vice versa?’”

    Let me answer: no. Humans have the same nature overall. One female is not equal to another female and one male is not equal to another male, so, no, there is no rigid rule in what kind of parenting approaches males or females have, or we would be able to replace any father with any other male, and any mother with any other female.

    Your comments are so steeped in stereotypical ideas of what males and females are like that it’s almost embarrassing to read. The main lesson my father has taught me is the importance of following your heart in life and doing the things you like to do rather than what society wants you to do. What my mother has taught me is to aim for excellency in my work and my life, and have high expectations of myself.

    I don’t think it takes specifically a male or a female to teach these lessons.

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