The GOP's Move Toward Gay Marriage

Last week was quite a week, teabags and all. We could chew over Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) urging ATM withdrawals as a response to the economic crisis, impeached former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) being offered $80,000 per week to do a reality television show, Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) raising less than $1,000 since taking office, French President Nicolas Sarkozy seeing fit to bash the president of the United States, or Gov. Rick Perry (R) musing on whether Texas may soon need to secede from the union.

But that is depressing stuff. The eye-popper came from a strange place this week — the final manager of Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain's (likely) final presidential campaign has chosen to call upon conservatives to back gay marriage. This is huge news and will be perceived by thousands, if not millions, of conservatives as radical and wrong.

Steve Schmidt used the occasion of the Log Cabin Republicans' annual conference to urge conservatives to reconsider this hot-button social issue, which has helped elect Republicans each time anything related to it appears on a ballot.

“There is a sound conservative argument to be made for same-sex marriage. I believe conservatives, more than liberals, insist that rights come with responsibilities. No other exercise of one's liberty comes with greater responsibilities than marriage,” read the Schmidt statement.

“It cannot be argued that marriage between two people of the same sex is un-American or threatens the rights of others. On the contrary, it seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic natural rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence — liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

But the other telling detail is that Friday night, Cindy and Meghan McCain were attending a reception for the Log Cabin Republicans at the home of former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), who happens to be openly gay. Sorry to read anything into it, but just what does this say about where McCain himself truly stands on this issue? And if bold and gutsy Republicans like Schmidt gain in numbers or get any traction on trying to move the party on this issue, will McCain ever speak out in favor?

Just asking.




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