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Republican Party Stubbornly Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

by Ned Flaherty on April 13, 2013

in DOMA,Immigration,Marriage,Ned Flaherty,News,Politics

Post image for Republican Party Stubbornly Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

Republicans unanimously reaffirmed their total opposition to marriage equality for LGBT couples and children this week after religious extremists threatened to launch a third political party.

The Republican National Committee has again aggressively affirmed its party’s permanent opposition to marriage equality. On Friday the RNC unanimously adopted a resolution declaring that mixed-gender marriage is holy, but same-gender marriage is un-holy. 100 percent of the Republican Congressional leadership – Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-California), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) – and 98 percent of all other Republicans in Congress – oppose marriage equality.


“The Republican National Committee affirms its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America.”


 

During a three-day business meeting in Los Angeles that began on Thursday, RNC officials, in a nod to Christian-like religions, unanimously adopted a resolution stating, “The Republican National Committee affirms its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America; and be it further resolved, the Republican National Committee implores the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.”

Republican party leaders have never made any progress on marriage equality. In early 2012, the defining of their values and the setting of their goals was turned over to the religious and social conservatives who control the party’s official platform. That 62-page Platform includes a vow (drafted for the RNC by the Family Research Council) to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution. If passed, all existing same-gender marriages would be revoked, future same-gender couples could never marry, and same-gender couples and their children would always be denied the 1,138 federal marriage-related benefits that other Americans take for granted.

The increased opposition to marriage equality ensures that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will continue spending millions of taxpayer dollars trying to protect the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, also drafted by the Family Research Council. The U.S. Department of Justice found DOMA to be impossible to defend — because it is unconstitutional — but the Republican party’s outside lawyer has butted into 14 DOMA cases nationwide anyway. Not surprisingly, the party is losing nearly all of its motions, trials, and appeals — and at taxpayers’ expense.

Even after nearly four decades of trying, the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay community’s only long-standing Republican political membership organization, remains unable to help the party free itself from the grip of evangelical Dominionists, whose avowed goal is to replace democracy with theocracy.

On April 8, leaders of 13 anti-LGBT groups, including four certified hate groups — American Family Association, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family (CitizenLink), and Traditional Values Coalition — demanded that the anti-marriage-equality positions in the 2012 Republican party platform be reaffirmed by party officials for 2013. The anti-LGBT leaders threatened to halt their members’ funding and voting for Republican candidates if the party doesn’t harden its anti-LGBT position.

On March 20, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) predicted that if the GOP wavers in its opposition to same-gender marriage, then evangelicals who used to vote Republican will simply walk away. On April 5, the Republican party’s very existence was threatened by Family Research Council Vice President Tom McClusky, who said that if the Republican party does not strengthen its existing opposition, then a new political party will be created mainly to oppose same-gender marriage.

On April 10, U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) told Family Research Council President and former Louisiana state lawmaker Tony Perkins (R) that there is no such thing as same-gender marriage, and that it is not a civil liberty. The next day, Perkins wrote to millions of his members and told them to halt donations to the Republican party until its leaders more aggressively oppose same-gender marriage. As a former U.S. senator, former Republican presidential candidate, and likely future Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum (R) confirmed the same day that his party won’t allow same-gender marriage, saying, “The Republican party’s not going to change on this issue. In my opinion, it would be suicide if it did.”

Anti-LGBT forces, from outside and inside the party, have again taken it over, just as they did in 2009 and 2011.

Republican officials called the business meeting to establish budgets, rules, internal coordination, voter outreach, and a political strategy for enlarging Republican voter rolls with more ethnic minorities. But the party still shows zero desire to attract LGBT people, couples, families, and their allies, despite the fact that together they represent more voters than Asians or African-Americans or Latinos do, now that 63% of Americans want the federal government to recognize same-gender marriage in every state where it becomes legal.


“Couples do not jump into higher economic brackets merely by throwing weddings for themselves.”


 

Republicans who fight for social conservatism invariably try to tie their policies to imaginary economic benefits. For example, in their latest resolution, party leaders claimed that the best way to end poverty is via mixed-gender marriage, on the assumption that early marriage among mixed-gender couples is what prevents fathers from abandoning their families later on. But there is no data proving that it is a couple’s marriage that creates any wealth. Also, because most wealthy couples stay wealthy and most poor couples stay poor, there is no data proving that couples who are poor before marriage become wealthy after marriage. Couples do not jump into higher economic brackets merely by throwing weddings for themselves. Finally, there is no data showing that banning same-gender marriages increases mixed-gender marriages, or increases birth rates, or reduces divorce.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus has decreed that his party must become competitive in all 50 states, but the party can’t enlist any new voters unless and until it makes three overdue changes.

1. The Republican party needs to abandon its permanent, official discrimination against LGBT individuals, couples, and their children.

2. The Republican party needs to stop using false economic theories (“marriage makes money”) just to excuse unconstitutional discrimination (“mixed-gender couples are holy; same-gender couples are profane”).

3. The Republican party needs to stop wasting taxpayer dollars trying to save the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.

Without these three changes, Republican officials will unhappily discover — during their next post-election autopsy — that not only are no new voters joining up, but former Republicans are increasingly jumping ship.

 

Image: RNC Chair Reince Priebus speaking at this week’s spring meeting in California by WV GOP, via Twitter

skitched-20130320-084004Ned Flaherty is an LGBT activist currently focused on civil marriage equality, and previously on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal. He writes from Boston, Massachusetts, where America’s first same-gender civil marriages began in 2004. He suffered a childhood exposure to Roman Catholic pomp and circumstance, but the spell never took, and he recovered.

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{ 6 comments }

Coxhere April 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Perhaps moderate Republicans need to tell the RNC that they will leave the GOP unless it frees itself from the religious right homophobes' control of the party. It doesn't matter what actually happens within the GOP. As a national party, it's already doomed. And the way it's going now, it could become an artifact and historical oddity in American politics.

stevecheneysindieopinions4u September 15, 2013 at 7:19 am

It's a shame that there are not more moderating voices, but honestly, I don't think that's the problem. It seems that the GOP needs the money from its evangelical donors too badly to worry about alienating the people who'll actually vote for them. Conservatives generally oppose change until it's happened and then pretty quickly get over it, so opposing gay marriage after it's become legal is going to reap severely diminishing returns.

My guess is that the party doesn't NOT know that people will leave them over this. My guess is that they need the surefire investment from evangelical groups badly enough that they'll lose elections to get it. Once they start losing corporate sponsors – and I think they will, once same-sex marriage is seen to be harmless and anyone still continuing to oppose it starts to look pretty damn crazy – they might change their minds.

But maybe not. The thing about the evangelicals is that their money is easy to get: there are conditions, you follow them, and they pay up. Evangelicals don't care about backing winners, they just want to see their words coming out of secular mouths. Compare that to corporate sponsorship, where the money will depend on whether you look like a serious contender and the message you're required to promote will change according to public opinion, I can see why economic conservatives would prefer the simple transaction.

BJLincoln April 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The GOP can not afford to let the religious right leave. The right is being supported by sheeple and a few mystery doners. They in turn support the GOP who can not raise enough funds on their own because their platform runs against the majority on too many issues. They have to keep them and let them run the party because it's their money.
The GOP is full of crackpots being run by religious zelots who all hide mental illness behind the Bible which they claim to obey but only use it as a weapon against others. Christ would be pissed.

JeanBurlamaqui April 14, 2013 at 10:36 am

Same-sex marriage is an injustice, an insult to the noble faculty of reason, and an absolute mockery of: the Laws of Nature, civil society, and the preservation and perfection of mankind.

The broken families which same-sex marriages purposely create are necessarily vicious toward those naturally occurring consanguineous obligations between family members from which nations,sociability, and benevolence naturally emanate.

Children are not pets one purchases from rescue shelters (adoption clinics) and puppy mills(insemination and surrogacy). Children are human beings endowed with a natural desire to be procreated from an act of love between a husband and a wife. Same-sex marriage is adulterous by nature and thereby destructive to civilization.

In fine, same-sex marriage is an unnatural extravagance which the supporters most ignorantly claim to be a “right”.

“No one has a right to do that which, if everybody did it, would destroy society.” —Immanuel Kant

Ned_Flaherty April 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Jean Burlamaqui assumes — incorrectly — that same-gender marriages produce broken homes. He is wrong. They do not. In fact, it is same-gender marriages that often adopt, nurture, and raise the very children who are usually abandoned by mixed-gender marriages.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declared marriage to be a fundamental human right on at least 14 occasions, and during none of those occasions did it exclude same-gender marriage.

Jean Burlamaqui imagines — incorrectly — that same-gender marriage is unnatural, un-civil, non-preservative, imperfect, adulterous, and destructive to civilization. He is wrong. It is not. There is no scientific evidence for his assumptions. Furthermore, there is scientific evidence to the contrary. Finally, the fears he imagines are nothing more than the erroneous ravings of a mind beset by religious superstition and pre-historic ignorance.

stevecheneysindieopinions4u September 15, 2013 at 7:02 am

What I find interesting here is the pincer attack.

On the one hand, Kant says that homosexuality is wrong because if everybody were exclusively homosexual, society would be destroyed. Ignoring the fact that there is no evidence to suggest everybody will be exclusively homosexual, this creates the problem that gay people actually *want* to have children.

So the user then has to contrive some way for adoption to be a selfish rather than a charitable act. He requires that all children put up for adoption must be with their biological parents, and if that isn't possible (e.g. because they are dead) then… well, nothing. And this is the problem. The attack on same-sex adoption applies equally to mixed-sex adoption, which the user naturally is not going to condemn. He describes being "procreated from an act of love between a husband and a wife" – ignoring that mixed-sex couples can and do have sex and conceive without ever getting married – but it would be a tremendous stretch to describe adoption that way, since the child is not created by it.

The attack on adoption is necessary for the Kantian argument to work – since the only way that same-sex marriage could "destroy society" is if everyone married their own sex and never reproduced. Once it's obvious that many same-sex couples DO wish to raise children, it is impossible to ignore the sheer number of children NOT being raised by mixed-sex couples.

The problem is, of course, that Kant's argument is a nonsense that demonstrates a lack of understanding of human nature. We perhaps can't blame him so much for believing that any human behaviour might be replicated across the entire population – they did not have Facebook back then, so the only way to know that people are all different and likely to remain so would be to ask them… which you'd think that someone making pronouncements about human nature would do, so actually, scratch that, I'm not letting Kant off the hook for that one.

Nevertheless, as a human living in the 21st century, there is no excuse whatsoever for believing that homosexuality has to be opposed and stigmatise to prevent it from becoming so popular that no one has children again. That demonstrably untrue. Firstly, we see no evidence that treating homosexuals better makes more people homosexual e.g. in the UK, more relaxed attitudes to homosexuality show no sign of increasing the percentage of the population who are homosexuals. Secondly, it denies that homosexuality does not make people less willing to have children.

In the end, all homophobia appears to stem from the notion that gay people are different from straight people in ways other than who we find attractive. There is a tendency to attribute motives to our actions that would never be suggested when a straight person takes the same action (e.g. the Republican rhetoric about same-sex couples desperately seeking tax breaks – with no one ever suggesting that mixed-sex couples do this). So when same-sex couples wish to adopt, we are derided as selfishly commodifying children; meanwhile a mixed-sex couple who adopts will be lauded for their charity. At the end of the day all this does is highlight prejudice, and I'd rather that that were out in the open.

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