*** We’ll send this letter soon. Add your name in the comments section below, or LIKE this post on Facebook, to sign the letter and show your support for the pro-equality Republican movement! ***
Chairman Reince Priebus
Republican National Committee
310 First Street,
SE Washington, DC 20003
February 8, 2014
Dear Chairman Priebus:
We, the undersigned, write to thank you for your recent censure of Michigan committeeman Dave Agema. Agema remarked that gays live a “filthy lifestyle,” that gays try to turn people away from Christianity, and that gays “want free medical [care] because they are dying.” These comments are hurtful, and they add no value to the public policy debate. Instead, Agema’s comments only serve to detract from the Republican Party’s high-quality ideas, characterizing us, instead, as hateful, ill-informed bigots.
Republicans should not scorn gay equality under the law. We should celebrate it. Philosophically, morally, and politically, gay equality is consistent with the aims of the Republican Party. Philosophically, we Republicans believe in equality under the law. We’re the Party that formed to oppose the evil spread of slavery, and today, at least in theory, we still give great deference to the idea that all Americans should be equal under the law. The government should not pick winners and losers. Picking winners and losers is for the Democrats. They use the government to punish the economically successful; they use the government to favor pet projects like Solyndra.
Gay equality makes sense morally because it strengthens households bound by marriage; it increases the adoption of children without homes; and it recognizes that all Americans possess the same fundamental human dignity that commands respect.
Politically, the writing is on the wall. Led by the millennial generation, more and more Americans think gay equality under the law is the right thing to do. Gallup found in July that 69% of those 18 to 34 years old think marriage should be legalized in every state. Immediately. Statistics wizard Nate Silver writes that by 2020, a majority of voters in 44 states will support gay marriage. In short, the Republican Party can either ride the impending gay marriage wave, or it can get swept away by it.
We realize that not all Republicans think gays should be equal under the law. In fact, most don’t. We understand this position, and we appreciate their hesitancy to change any social structure that has functioned well for many years. However, we ask that these Republicans, and especially Republican leaders, do not descend to demeaning gay Americans and the equality movement through unsubstantiated vitriol. This will only shrink the Party.
We salute you for asking committeeman Agema to step back within the bounds of what is appropriate. Gay Americans and supporters of the pro-equality movement are not intrinsically hostile to Republican ideas (see, e.g., how well David Cameron recently did with gay voters). However, only once we treat these Americans with respect, and show them that they are welcome in the Party, will they join us in larger numbers. Your recent comments took a major stride in this direction, and we hope that you will continue to speak out against comment like Agema’s, and we hope that you will encourage fellow leading Republicans to do the same.
You have our appreciation,