Same-sex marriage and Michael Steele

Will the 2012 Republican Party Platform reject discrimination against same-sex couples?
March 12, 2009

To see the recently-appointed chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, fumble his way through recent interviews is to see a breathing, corporeal manifestation of the GOP’s platform, scrutinized by curious media heads. If he appears confused, erratic and illogical after one of those media heads asks him a question, that’s because he's trying to sell a platform American voters handily rejected in the 2008 elections as one that's politically viable. The party's stance on same sex marriage is illustrative of this false advertising.

During a recent interview, GQ asked Steele whether he thought homosexuality is a choice, and Steele said no. “I think that there’s a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can’t simply say, oh, like, ‘Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being gay,’” Steele said. “It’s like saying, ‘Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being black.’”
With that recognition, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that the Republican Party might be more sympathetic to the prejudice same-sex couples face in the country. Indeed, Republicans might even make a viable effort to eliminate legally-mandated discrimination against those couples.

What’s more, the 2008 Republican Platform’s stance on “Ensuring Equal Treatment for All” appears to take a very progressive position toward equality. “We consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be immoral, and we will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes.”

Nevertheless, the battered party holds onto its anachronistic beliefs that granting same sex couples legal rights will lead to the ruination of society:

“Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems,” the platform states under “Preserving Traditional Marriage,” putting it in direct collision with the Party’s stance on “Equal Treatment for All.”

Michael Gallagher, in a February radio interview, asked whether Steele’s party should favor civil unions, and Steele literally asked if the interviewer was crazy. “No, no, no. What would we do that for?” Steele asked incredulously. “Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country? I mean this isn’t something that you just kind of like, ‘Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage.’”

So Steele accepts that homosexuality is not a choice, but continues to discriminate against homosexuals? When it comes to same-sex marriage, the Republican Party is putting on a masquerade of grand scale, and Michael Steele its maladroit puppet. The question remains whether self-described party of equality will continue this farce in its 2012 platform.

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