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August 20, 2011
Why the Right is Wrong on Gay Marriage
Listen up, Christine O'Donnell, Mr. and Mrs. Michele Bachmann, and every other like-minded member of the GOP: When it comes to the topic of sex, take a chill pill. Relax. Why do you care what other people do in the privacy of their bedrooms?
If you didn't care so much, you wouldn't have to defend your ideas, try to talk around them, or walk off interview sets like O'Donnell did on Piers Morgan last night. Honestly. Just live and let live.
I'm a Republican. A libertarian-leaning Republican, but a Republican nonetheless. I even worked for two GOP members of the California Senate as well as a sitting Republican U.S. senator, so I have some street-cred when it comes to conservative causes.
Still, I can't get past my own party's stance on same-sex marriage. (No pun intended, Senator Craig.) I get apoplectic when I hear the likes of Michele Bachmann saying she would support a federal amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
As a lawyer, I would hope she would have more reverence for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- which were expressly written to limit the powers of government, not the people. Amending the Constitution to limit the rights of gays to enter into a marriage contract makes a mockery of this country's most sacred document.
Congresswoman Bachmann proclaims herself to be an outsider, a maverick, a huge supporter of the Tea Party, yet her position on the matter seems to go against all the Tea Party stands for: freedom, liberty, limited government, a return this country's constitutional roots.
It saddens me that Republicans think it's okay to trample on civil liberties if it's for the right reasons: gay marriage, FISA, The Patriot Act. But, there should be no room in the party for limiting liberty and freedom.
Part of being an American is being free to believe what you want, acknowledging that right in others, and being treated equally under the law. Opposition to gay marriage flies in the face of that.
Furthermore, the federal government should not be in the business of defining marriage - it's a state issue and if a state wishes to legalize it, so be it. It's hypocritical for Republicans to espouse states' rights while at the same time supporting a federal ban on gay marriage.
Personally, while I find the mainstream Republican views on gay marriage abominable, it's not a make or break issue for me. Regardless of what I hear spewing from the candidates' mouths, the issue will resolve itself before the courts. I believe same-sex couples will one day have the right to marry in every state, and soon.
Support for gay marriage is growing. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found 45 percent of adults favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry -- up from 42 percent last year.
If the GOP wants to cast a wider net and live up to its ideals, it would embrace a more libertarian attitude on the matter.
After all, most Republicans would tell you the man they admire most is Ronald Reagan. But, in a 1975 interview with Reason magazine, Reagan said, "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." He continues, "The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is." He says government exists "for the defense of the rights of the individual."
That means gays, too.
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