Legally, the gay marriage movement is only about thirty percent over; politically, though, it’s half over. The Democratic Party is fully on board. There will surely never again be a Democratic presidential nominee who opposes gay marriage, and all the potential candidates are rushing to brandish their gay marriage bona fides. Almost every single Democratic U.S. senator supports gay marriage, and in the House the National Organization for Marriage was thrilled – thrilled! – to get just a single Democrat (from West Virginia) to cosponsor an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment. (Good luck with that!) In state houses across the country, the vast majority of Democratic state senators, representatives, delegates, and assemblymen are voting for marriage equality.
Things couldn’t be more different in the Republican Party. No genuine presidential contender has backed marriage equality; neither has any sitting Republican governor; just three U.S. senators and two members of the House have endorsed same-sex marriage. In states that have passed marriage equality, a few brave Republicans have joined, but they are make up a small minority, and some are then quickly drummed out of the party. Many Republicans still grovel before virulently anti-gay organizations, and some still make virulently anti-gay statements. Most fundamentally, a strong majority of Republican voters oppose the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians. Yes, there are some good things to report on this front, but let’s not sugarcoat it: right now, the Republican Party is far from embracing the equal rights that gays deserve.
As committed Republicans, we think this is awful. It must change. Politically, even culturally, the next front in the fight for marriage equality lies in the hearts of Republicans voters.
That’s why we’re writing this blog covering gay rights, the Republican Party, and right-of-center thinking. We plan to do so in an unfair and imbalanced way. But at the same time we want to be intellectually honest. We’re not going to pull punches – we’ll call out our own, be they Republicans or gay-marriage advocates. We want to take the arguments against gay marriage seriously, even though we reserve the right to mock and ridicule them.
Ultimately, we’re confident that the ultimate question here is not if, but when – when will conservatives and Republicans embrace equal rights for gay. Though we think it’s the inevitable, the ‘when’ here makes a big difference: to the people needlessly denied equal rights and to the party heedlessly risking the loss of a generation.
July 30, 2013