Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge: GOP Needs to Stop Discriminating Against Gay People

Now a businessman, consultant and philanthropist, former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge tells the WSJ that the Republican party needs to stop discriminating against gays:

Ridge“I think, as a party, we sometimes come across as very judgmental and very self-righteous, and that doesn’t play well to a lot of people,” he said. “Not just on political grounds, but in terms of the culture. We accept diversity in many different ways, and we need to be more clear about that and careful to express that.”

In particular, Ridge urged a more expansive approach to what he termed “the gay community,” noting that increased familiarity with gay people tends to lead to less judgmental politics. “I think that’s the right way to be,” he said. “Younger Americans on both sides of the aisle are saying, ‘Live and let live.’ ”

Asked about same-sex marriage, Ridge said he had no particular point of view. “It’s one of those situations where I’d leave it up to the state.”