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Michael Steele: Gay Not a Choice, Abortion an 'Individual Choice'

RNC Chair Michael Steele tells GQ he believes that being gay isn't a choice:

Michaelsteele "Oh, no. I don’t think I’ve ever really subscribed to that view, that you can turn it on and off like a water tap. Um, you know, 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.' It’s like saying, 'Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being black.'”

He also talks about same-sex marriage:

"Well, my position is, hey, look, I have been, um, supportive of a lot of my friends who are gay in some of the core things that they believe are important to them. You know, the ability to be able to share in the information of your partner, to have the ability to—particularly in times of crisis—to manage their affairs and to help them through that as others—you know, as family members or others—would be able to do. I just draw the line at the gay marriage. And that’s not antigay, no. Heck no! It’s just that, you know, from my faith tradition and upbringing, I believe that marriage—that institution, the sanctity of it—is reserved for a man and a woman. That’s just my view. And I’m not gonna jump up and down and beat people upside the head about it, and tell gays that they’re wrong for wanting to aspire to that, and all of that craziness. That’s why I believe that the states should have an opportunity to address that issue..."

He says it's a state issue:

"Absolutely. Just as a general principle, I don’t like mucking around with the Constitution. I’m sorry, I just don’t. I think, you know, in a pluralistic, dynamic society as the one that we have, every five years you can have a constitutional convention about something, you know? I don’t think we should be, you know, dancing around and trying to amend it every time I’ve got a social issue or a political issue or a business issue that I want to get addressed. Having said that, I think that the states are the best laboratory, the best place for those decisions to be made, because they will then reflect the majority of the community in which the issue is raised. And that’s exactly what a republic is all about."

The RNC head also shifts his views on abortion, saying it's a woman's right to choose:

"Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice. […] I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter. The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide."

Think Progress notes the statement's shift from the past: "As recently as November 2008, he supported the GOP platform on a constitutional ban on abortion, although he was “skeptical” of tinkering with the Constitution."

All I can think is that somehow this is all gonna really piss off the leader of the Republican party Rush Limbaugh.

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Comments

  1. Karma, Karma, Karma Chameleon...

    This guy is a snake oil salesman, if I ever saw one--he preaches to whatever choir he is in front of. The whole "I've been supportive of my friends who are gay" thing is SO tired. Didn't Donny "Closet Case" Osmond use that, not too long ago?

    He'll be on Fox Sunday morning, backpeddling. This guy is a Charlatan.

    Posted by: troschne | Mar 12, 2009 7:56:00 AM


  2. and slavery was left up to individual states to decide too

    Posted by: qjersey | Mar 12, 2009 8:09:30 AM


  3. For a Black man to argue for States Rights just proves how ignorant and poorly educated this buffoon is. That was the excuse for slavery, you'll remember (if you were awake in high school).

    Much as I enjoy him daily making an idiot of himself, it's probably time for this Uncle Tom to go back to his cabin.

    Posted by: chasmader | Mar 12, 2009 8:20:32 AM


  4. When I was young, they told me that gay people were not normal because they could not get married and were too promiscuous. Now that gay people want marriage they tell them they can't have it because of a definition problem. The bible also states in the gospel according to Matthew:"Whoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committted adultery with her already in his heart. And if they right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of they members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off". Now how many people are going to follow that scripture?

    Posted by: Monty | Mar 12, 2009 8:29:05 AM


  5. Not very articulate is he? He says 'you know' more times than Caroline Kennedy.

    Posted by: MT | Mar 12, 2009 8:30:28 AM


  6. if all of the people who SAY they have gay friends but don't subscribe to gay rights really HAD gay friends, we would not be having these discussions.

    Posted by: Bob | Mar 12, 2009 8:50:14 AM


  7. State Issue? Let's for now ignore the fact that African Americans only have equality today because the Federal gvoernment overrode State decisions. LEaving that aside, how then can married gay people -- yes, gay people in 2 States CAN get married! -- fulfill their Federal responsibilities and not LIE ON U.S. TAX FORMS? The only logical consistency in this is that Federal Government MUST recognize same-sex marriage where it exists. For surely, inarguably, it exists.

    This man is an Uncle Tom.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 12, 2009 8:55:24 AM


  8. The trouble (well, not the only trouble) with the modern Right Wing is that they only supports state's rights went it suits their agenda. Terri Schiavo anyone? The Constitution is fairly explicit re: the power of the states, and were this better understood and respected things like gay marriage, legal marijuana, etc would exist, while not everywhere, in more regions of the country.

    I get the sense of Steele that he's genuinely a moderate, but that he's too weak and too dumb to do anything with that moderation. Incidentally, while the guy is a gutless idiot, could we possibly have a moratorium on the phrase "Uncle Tom?" It's unnecessarily racial. Call him what you'd call him were he a white, black or brown idiot.

    Posted by: Clay | Mar 12, 2009 9:08:44 AM


  9. See what happens when you squeeze a lemon.

    Some juice and then the pits!

    SCREW U man!

    What are you other traditions? I really don’t care actually. Every family has traditions, and at one time you were to be at the back of the bus. You are truly blinded by religion! PERIOD! You old fashion Afro-American - you too need to be educated. No one deserves to be deprived of basic human and constitutional rights. Regardless of what your beliefs or traditions are.

    Bye-bye. U are old and tired!

    Posted by: GR | Mar 12, 2009 9:14:21 AM


  10. See what happens when you squeeze a lemon.

    Some juice and then the pits!

    SCREW U man!

    What are you other traditions? I really don’t care actually. Every family has traditions, and at one time you were to be at the back of the bus. You are truly blinded by religion! PERIOD! You old fashion Afro-American - you too need to be educated. No one deserves to be deprived of basic human and constitutional rights. Regardless of what your beliefs or traditions are.

    Bye-bye. U are old and tired!

    Posted by: GR | Mar 12, 2009 9:16:56 AM


  11. "Well, my position is, hey, look, I have been, um, supportive of a lot of my friends who are Black (gay)" I just draw the line at the Interracial marriage. And that’s not wrong, no. Heck no! It’s just that, you know, from my faith tradition and upbringing, I believe that marriage—that institution, the sanctity of it—is reserved for people of the same race, the races should not mix.

    I did what so many say to do, substitute one word with another and see how it reads. WELL PUNK, how DOES it read? huh?

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Mar 12, 2009 9:26:09 AM


  12. This man is a clown. First off, states are not individuals, and not any more responsible of making decisions for its people's rights than the federal government. We know that this fight for equality cannot be fought in multiple fronts (states). We must unite in a synchronized movement for equality for all.

    Posted by: Rafael | Mar 12, 2009 9:30:43 AM


  13. On some level I feel sorry for the guy. I suspect that he knows that the only reason he was picked for the job was because he is black. He also knows that, like the SNL skit, he is on a VERY short leash. I also suspect that he is probably more moderate than he lets on. The problem is that the modern GOP has largely purged itself of all of its moderates. Thus in their eyes, moderate = liberal. The man sold his soul for his job and it becomes more apparent everyday.

    I empathise with him on some level. I once considered going to work for the GOP. I knew that as a black man they would absolutely LOVE me to come and serve as the one of the public faces of the NEW Republican Party. I'd probably have a better, more prosperous career if I'd gone and worked for them. The thing is, I just couldn't do it. I don't hate the world/people enough to go and push their hate filled agenda. I knew that no matter how much I sucked it up and played the role, it would kill me a little each day. At some point I would snap and go off on someone really badly. I knen that come what may I would get fired or worse.

    Posted by: Lee Adama | Mar 12, 2009 9:31:06 AM


  14. Good Gawd! Yep, leave it to the states . Can he possibly be this ignorant? Arkansas has successfully banned gay adoption. Kentucky is currently in legislation to not only ban gay adoption but ANY adoption to singles, gays and heterosexual couples that are not married. So who is going to take care of all these unwanted children? And this is just one issue of the multitude floating around. Unbelievable.

    Posted by: Island Girly | Mar 12, 2009 9:38:05 AM


  15. Funny that Steele's comments on GLBT rights are exactly the same as Barack Obama's, yet the GLBT leadership blindly supports and makes apologies for Obama while ripping Steele.

    I think they are both jackasses - both of these homophobes should be viewed as obstacles, not allies, in the struggle for GLBT rights.

    Posted by: dk | Mar 12, 2009 10:31:07 AM


  16. I have a problem with people who say "heck."

    Posted by: Alex | Mar 12, 2009 10:49:21 AM


  17. Does that mean obama is an uncle tom? Which is a racist term. Unless being black or gay you are to stupid to make your conclusions and must listen to your supposed betters.
    Ya'lls hypocrisy unfortunatly not astounding

    Posted by: Ousslander | Mar 12, 2009 11:15:06 AM


  18. I love when white gay people critique a black person's lived experience and not know that they're being completely racist. Must have missed that day in your race theory courses huh?

    Posted by: Alton C | Mar 12, 2009 11:20:47 AM


  19. ALTON C,

    Welcome to Towleroad.

    I'll wait until some other issue comes up when white gay supremacy raises its peroxided head. I'm not about to risk sounding as though I'm defending the Republican Party's head Negro nerd.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 12, 2009 12:01:12 PM


  20. Everyone comparing gay marriage to slavery (at least in terms of "state's rights") has no idea of how the Constitution actually works. You can argue Due Process (perhaps), but just wanting something to happen doesn't make it Constitutional, and it's fairly likely that Federal legislation of gay marriage would be a MASSIVE override of the federalist system.

    Also, a black man who says something that you disagree with is not automatically an "Uncle Tom." Try reading the book sometime.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 12, 2009 12:05:29 PM


  21. The comments here are unbelievable!

    Posted by: HotOnxyEsq | Mar 12, 2009 1:35:40 PM


  22. The Republican chant of 'leave it to the states' is utter nonsense. Marriage is not something that is confined to the state you live in. I am married in California but if I travel to Arizona I'm not married. WTF? And if I was married to an opposite sex partner I would enjoy umpteen thousands of dollars in monetary benefits: Social Security, taxes, inheritance, etc. Would any straight couples be ok with states other than the one where they live not recognizing the validity of their marriage? Of course not. That is why marriages have always been recognized federally even though each state handles its own marriage laws. Same-sex marriages HAVE to be recognized by EVERY state and the federal government.

    Posted by: Jeffrey | Mar 12, 2009 1:47:20 PM


  23. What's the problem, he has the same stance as the Democratic Party when it comes to same-sex marriage.

    Posted by: Mickk | Mar 12, 2009 1:54:07 PM


  24. It's intellectually dishonest to effectively say "I believe God made gay people gay" and then state that his faith dictates that gays be barred from marrying the person they love.

    This guy is an out-of-his-league douche.

    Posted by: Blake | Mar 12, 2009 1:58:42 PM


  25. I think Michael needs to take a deep breath, get over himself, come out of that big Republican closet and declare his true nature--a DEMOCRAT! Otherwise, he's just another in a long line of Republicon @sswipes.

    Posted by: mike | Mar 12, 2009 2:35:46 PM


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