Many of my friends with whom I share beliefs about free markets, fiscal conservatism and small government part ways when it comes to some social issues. Among those are certain aspects of gay rights. Personally, I see no good reasons why gay citizens should be deprived of the right to marry. But, even if, for the sake of argument, you allow that marriage is defined by "one man and one woman" - then why should gay people not have their own "word" and right to partnership as hetereosexuals do?
The other day, Republican Chairman Michael Steele said that considering alternatives to gay marriage would be "crazy" and backsliding on a "core value" of our nation. To me, this was a jarring statement. It seemed rejecting so much of what my gay friends and relatives seek - and one more reason for some to spurn the Republican party.
I inquired of my favorite conservative gay blogger, Dan Blatt, what he thought of the Steele statements. Just now, Dan has offered this.
To those who suggest Steele is determined to make opposing same-sex civil unions some kind of litmus test, I would remind them that he did not volunteer his opposition to state recognition of such relationships. It came up in an interview.
That said, for the sake of the party, he would do well to change his tune the next time he is asked such a question and respond as did Dick Cheney in 2000. This may not be the answer some of us would like to hear, but at least it shows some recognition of the nation’s changing attitudes toward homosexuality and an understanding of the Republicans’ demographic challenge.
I did appreciate Dick Cheney's willingness to be open to the idea of gay partnerships. In my mind, Steele is backsliding from this "small government" approach - and perhaps find his party failing to gain the support of fiscally conservative and moderate gay folks and their families which he otherwise might garner. Seems a little crazy to me.