— By Lori Sanders
Lots of hand-wringing has gone on in the last 24 hours since A&E made the decision to suspend Phil Robertson, the patriarch in the hit show “Duck Dynasty,” for controversial remarks he made regarding homosexuality. Robertson expressed the belief that homosexuality is a sin akin to promiscuity and bestiality, and based his ideas in Scripture. After his suspension, the backlash began immediately, with countless fans taking to Facebook to decry A&E for persecuting him for his Christian beliefs.
Welcome back to the ugly and tribal culture wars, where one group expresses an in-group opinion or belief, and a different group, which disagrees, becomes offended and demands action. In this case, the Christian community and other fans of the show by and large want Robertson reinstated, calling this a violation of his first amendment rights and lamenting the pernicious effects of too much political correctness. Culture wars are certainly nothing new in America, but in a request for civility, and in an attempt to inject some thoughtfulness into the situation, I’d like us to consider the alternative to this being hashed out in the media through intense, heated cultural back and forth.
The truth is that society is always changing, and it can change in one of two ways. Continue reading
– By Lori Jenkins
DC is famous for its fancy dinner culture. It seems every night of the week an organization hosts a dinner to support its cause. And for those of us who consider ourselves both Republicans and supporters of gay marriage, our night is coming up.
The Log Cabin Republicans 2013 Spirit of Lincoln dinner, featuring former Governor Tom Ridge, will take place Oct. 23 at the Capital Hilton. Tickets are on sale now, and if you’re in the area, I urge you to support the cause and attend.
But beyond the shameless shill for the event (disclosure – my organization, the R Street Institute, is supporting the dinner, but beyond this, I’m in no way affiliated with LCR or the event), the details of the dinner and its supporters are illuminating.
Sponsorship opportunities just opened up, but the host committee is very well-formed, and comprised of numerous big names in conservatism. There are current and former congressmen and women, state-level representatives, former governors, Republican White House insiders, and even a revered free market economist. It will be encouraging to watch sponsors pile on over the next few weeks.
— By Lori Sanders
Two recent Huffington Post pieces on gay marriage at the state level highlight an interesting contrast for Republican supporters of the cause. On Monday, the outlet reported that, though Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker may personally favor gay marriage, nothing will be done in the near term to roll back the state’s constitutional ban.
The reasoning is simple: overturning a constitutional amendment is a difficult process. Currently, 24 state constitutions ban same-sex marriage, and 19 ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Though the process differs by state, no simple routes to marriage equality exist, and of the 24 states with bans, Republicans hold 21 governorships.
For those of us who strongly support gay rights, this news is disheartening. If you believe the party needs to be more in front in of the issue, the very fact that so many states face incredibly high barriers to progress brings up numerous worries. Taking on state constitutional amendments is an overwhelming ordeal, and would produce nasty battles.