Gay rights is at the forefront of many political discussions today. It is expected to be one of the most considered issues in the upcoming elections. The Republican Party platform has very defined stances on gay rights, but these stances seem to have swayed some in the last few years. The Republican Party historically stands behind the traditional definition of marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. This opposition to the gay right to marriage does not come from a hatred of homosexuals, as many people try to color it, but from a belief that the institution of marriage was set up as such by our founding fathers, and has been defined this way throughout history. Republicans believe that changing the definition of such a union after centuries of following the precedent of our founders compromises the sanctity of the institution. The opposition to gay rights also stems from a belief that, in terms of raising a family, having a male and female authority figure is a healthier and more balanced way for a child to grow up.
However, this is not to say that Republicans oppose gay rights as a whole. The Republican Party believes in the right of individual states to decide for or against the recognition of marriages that do not fit the traditional and previously-recognized definition. The Republican Party believes in a smaller federal government, which places fewer regulations on the people. They also believe in the state’s rights to make their own laws, based on the beliefs of their citizens. In relation to gay marriage, the Republican Party believes that state’s rights should extend not only to the right to legalize or not legalize gay marriages, but to recognize, or not recognize, gay marriages from other jurisdictions, and to decide on tax and adoption rights for gay couples.
Republicans May Begin to Embrace Gay Rights
As Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out, gay marriage and gay rights are platforms that a higher and higher percentage of Americans support. Priebus warns Republicans to be more open to other views on the issue, and less set in their ways. However, Republican strategist Ed Rogers points out the catch-22 in this situation. Most current Republicans still oppose gay marriage. Where 58 percent of Americans now support gay marriage, only 39 percent of Republicans support it, with 59 percent of Republicans opposing it. This leaves the Republican Party in a tough spot. They must either reform their views to bring in new members and gain support in coming elections, which would risk pushing away those that have stuck with the Party through the years, or stand by their age-old platform, and risk continuing to lose support throughout the nation.
However, the tides are shifting, and many foresee a Republican platform that, if not supports gay marriage, at least does not oppose it. While 59 percent of republicans oppose gay marriage, this is drastically down from the 72 percent that opposed it in 2004, and many Republicans that do support gay marriage are up and coming young voters. Rogers suggests the party appear to be “tolerant yet opposed” on the issue. While this stance is rather unflattering, it is also a middle ground that is less likely to push away either current Republicans or young voters. Rogers predicts that the tides will continue to turn towards gay marriage support within the Republican Party, and even goes as far as to say that it is inevitable for the GOP to one day have a candidate that supports gay marriage.
Financial Rights for Gay Couples
One of the larger oppositions that the Republican Party has had to accepting gay marriage is the other rights that come along with marriage. Homosexual couples, under law, will receive the same financial benefits that heterosexual couples face. This includes joint tax filing, the ability to be covered by their spouses health insurance and social security, and the ability to make many other financial claims that they were not previously able to make. The concern with this is that it can significantly harm our already-suffering economy. The tax breaks and additional insurance and social security claims will only worsen the debt of these systems and the country as a whole.
Donald Trump on Gay Marriage
As is the case with many of today’s most controversial issues, Donald Trump has gained a great deal of attention regarding his stance on gay marriage. The views of Donald Trump on gay marriage more or less mimic those of the party as whole. He supports marriage as it has traditionally been defined in the United States since its founding, but has also seen the need to become slightly more flexible on this issue. Unlike many Republicans, Trump does see the law of the land as above a personal belief in traditional marriage, and agrees to follow the recent rulings in favor of gay marriate. Supreme court rulings should be upheld despite beliefs to the contrary. As Trump began his campaigning, many were unsure of where he stood on gay marriage.
When asked, he stated, “It’s never been an argument that’s been discussed with me very much. People know that it’s not my thing one way or the other.” This opinion isn’t new, either. In March 2011, he told Bill O’Reilly, “I just don’t feel good about it. I don’t feel right about it. And I take a lot of heat because I come from New York.” Despite these types of statements, some have speculated that Trump may secretly support gay marriage, but does not want to announce it due to his party’s views. In December of 2014 George Takei and Trump had lunch together. Takei revealed that the had “a lively and engaging hour-long conversation that touched upon his personal position on marriage equality. He confided that he recently attended a same-sex wedding and that he’d found it ‘beautiful.’” These mixed messages do make Trump, surprisingly, one of the more LGBTQ-friendly Republican candidates out there.
- GOP chairman urges tolerance for views on gay marriage – USA Today
- Is Donald Trump 2016’s most LGBT-friendly Republican? – MSNBC
- Donald Trump On Gay Marriage: ‘It’s Not My Thing’ – The Huffington Post
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