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Former Bush Speechwriter David Frum Explains Why He Flipped on Same-Sex Marriage, is Signing SCOTUS Brief

Conservative journalist and former Bush speechwriter David Frum explains why he has signed on to a SCOTUS brief signed by dozens of Republicans opposing Proposition 8.

Writes Frum in the Daily Beast: Frum

I signed it as a long-time opponent of same-sex marriage, worried by exactly the arguments advanced by the Californians who passed Proposition 8 to stop it: that the spread of same-sex marriage would change the way men and women thought about marriage in ways that would discourage them from forming married families.

Since 2009, we have seen a sharp decline in this country in both marriage and childbearing. But that decline obviously has little or nothing to do with same-sex marriage. It has obviously everything to do with the economic crisis—and the long previous years of persistent decline in the wages and opportunities of Americans, especially young Americans.

As a conservative concerned with stabilizing families to rely less on government aid, I have been convinced: I've been worrying about the wrong thing. Stopping same-sex marriages does nothing to support families battered by economic adversity. Instead, it excludes and punishes people who seek only to live as conservatives would urge them to live. Treating same-sex partnerships differently from husband-wife marriages only serves to divide and antagonize those who ought to be working together.

Read his full post here.

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  1. He's also a Canadian so he has had a lot of exposure to gay marriage.

    Posted by: Marc | Feb 27, 2013 2:00:34 PM

  2. 30 years too late Muthafucka.

    Posted by: Mykelb | Feb 27, 2013 2:09:06 PM

  3. The real reason of those changes it's because the wind is changed, with public opinion shifting in favour of gay marriage. On political point of view it's becoming more and more difficult to get elected if openly against gay rights.

    Posted by: Lukebrux | Feb 27, 2013 2:11:33 PM

  4. Reading these people makes me want to oppose marriage equality.

    Posted by: Kevin | Feb 27, 2013 2:13:03 PM

  5. I hate David Frum as much as I hate Meg Whitman.

    Posted by: rustytrawler | Feb 27, 2013 2:14:43 PM

  6. It is hard to believe that he is the son of Barbara Frum - one of the journalists I respected most when I was growing up in Canada.

    In any case, I don't think it serves any purpose to belabor past opinions for these people. If they support our goals (though for very different reasons), yay for us.

    As Dan Savage said, equality is becoming a reality because of the straights. We will never have the voting power ourselves. We need allies - Democrat and Republican both. I don't really care how they rationalize their vote in favour of equality - I will take their vote and move on.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Feb 27, 2013 2:22:38 PM

  7. Well said, MikeBoston - we *want* people to come to our side, so we should make it easy for people to defect (no matter how fickle or craven their reasons).

    Posted by: Colin | Feb 27, 2013 2:29:46 PM

  8. I like David Frum. Any avid reader of Andrew Sullivan's "Daily Dish" knows David to be a good and honorable guy (Joe Scarborough has some of these same qualities).

    A word to the good-for-nothing, easy, snarky commenters here: STOP BITING THE HAND THAT SUPPORTS YOU. Frum evolved on gay marriage honestly, just like most people had to, overcoming a lot of cultural propaganda we receive growing up.

    Many people have done conscientious soul-searching questioning their indoctrinations. I hate when I hear small-minded posters berating honest transformation. Too many Towleroad posters give cheap, bitchy responses to those who are on our side.

    Posted by: will | Feb 27, 2013 2:30:29 PM

  9. Anyone who ever thought crap like that can't be very bright.

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 27, 2013 2:33:41 PM

  10. Frum is being little disingenuous trying to use the economic agreement as his prior reasoning. According to Pew, “40 percent of people overall said they believe marriage is obsolete, including 31 percent of married people.”

    But, it is refreshing that he admitted that the GOP being extreme is no longer a winning strategy Nationally -- he should tell the GOP leadership in the Senate & House.

    Unfortunately with Gerrymandering by State Legislators, it has become much easier for “Tea Party” congressional candidates to continue with their racist, misogynistic, and homophobic views/policies.

    Posted by: Belthazar | Feb 27, 2013 2:37:07 PM

  11. @ WILL :
    You are delusional.Frum is one of the right wing Bush acolytes who relished and paraded their macho credentials to the active belittlement of gay people and their struggle for equality.
    I despise his principle free moral gymnastics.
    He did not have the courage when it was important to have it; he wasn't there when same sex marriage and DADT and DOMA and every bloody thing else was hooted-up by these has-been frat thugs.

    So now it's safe. well, phuck off, Frum.

    Bollox to you Frum; go rot quietly somewhere; I don't want support from you and your ilk....ever.
    I was not for sale back then; I'm not for sale now. With you it's just a question of price. ( pache George Bernard Shaw).

    And WILL, no this is not bitchy; it's rage !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 27, 2013 2:44:27 PM

  12. I despise David Frum! I will never forget his nasty anti-Gay op-eds on NPR back in the '90s. I'm so damn tired of Gay activists acting so damn grateful when some Right Wing neanderthal finally comes to his senses, as if he is doing LGBT folk some f*cking great favor. F*ck that! Allies are not always friends.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Feb 27, 2013 2:51:14 PM

  13. Something had to have happened behind the scenes for all these Republicans to suddenly support marriage equality. The evidence, though circumstantial, is difficult to deny: why speak up now, and not four months ago? Why so many at once? Why these particular arguments and rationales, which are based on the same concern for family unity and the welfare of children, but somehow arrive at the opposite conclusion?

    To answer these questions in any logical and objective fashion would require us to conclude that there must have been some kind of concerted effort among influential (but not necessarily those holding public office) GOP members to signal a change in their image regarding gay rights. I speculate that this has to do with their presidential election losses and the fear that their lack of progress on social issues, being held hostage by the evangelical right and the virulently bigoted Tea Party, served as a wake-up call. Some Republican strategist must have decided that they needed a makeover, so they got party members who are prominent yet not under pressure for reelection to sign some declaration, as a way to polish their image and appeal to the moderates they are losing.

    The takeaway is that I think this is a calculated effort, and ultimately not based in sincerity. Yes, we may have wanted them to change their tune all along, and once they did, we might say we don't have cause to continue criticizing them. But the question we have to ask is this: what reason does anyone have to trust them now? If they can be so easily led to a wrong conclusion, one that is bigoted, hateful, discriminatory, and dangerous, then why take them at their word when they say they made a mistake? It is all the more reason to scrutinize their motives.

    Posted by: atomic | Feb 27, 2013 2:59:51 PM

  14. This guy and others who thought same-sex marriage would dissuade straight people from marriage are pathetic liars or self-deluded.

    Marriage between straight people has been on the decline for decades as the rates of divorce went up. What excuse did Frum and his cronies have for those facts?

    Now, when it is politically expedient, he changes his mind. Great. But he's still a scum bag.

    Posted by: Roger | Feb 27, 2013 3:03:15 PM

  15. Ugh, there must be more money on the pro-gay marriage side.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Feb 27, 2013 3:07:28 PM

  16. Atomic,

    What changed is that GOP lost to Obama twice. They see how more people are accepting gays. They want to get gay voters to vote for them like they suddenly want to get Latino voters.

    It's part of the great game.

    The old, bigoted voter base of the GOP is disappearing. With no one to entice into voting based on hate, they have to repackage their evil in prettier wrapping paper.

    Posted by: Roger | Feb 27, 2013 3:08:18 PM

  17. Am I the only one who's always assumed Frum is gay?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 27, 2013 3:13:54 PM

  18. That's nice, but I'll bet he's still a raging homophobe.

    I also find it telling that Frum doesn't cite concern for our equality and respect for us as Americans as his impetus for changing his mind. No, he packages his support as a reaction to the poor economy which he wants us to believe began in 2009 which is when he (falsely) claims marriage rates began to decline. He's a lying bastard and I, for one, don't want his support.

    I also want to comment on the the fact that, according to Frum's article, Meg Whitman has signed onto the amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8. When Whitman was running for Governor of California, she campaigned as an opponent of marriage equality and stated time and again that, if elected, she would instruct her Attorney General to vigorously defend Proposition 8. She sucks just as badly--if not moreso--than Frum.

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 27, 2013 3:42:45 PM

  19. This article is a little misleading and a disservice to Frum. Unlike many of the other signers of this SCOTUS brief, Frum didn't just change his mind this year. He changed is a while back, and he has been public about it (citing not the economic reason but the simple fact that he thought it would undermine man-woman marriage and it clearly didn't, so he recognizes he was wrong). His blog on Daily Beast frequently includes pro-gay-marriage posts.

    And for those who say they hate his past anti-gay positions, I agree. I hate them, too. But you're missing the point: Someone who held those positions has changed their mind, they have done it publicly, they've said they're wrong, and they're joining the campaign to undo their wrong.

    That's a victory. And it also means Mr. Frum is owed at least a modicum or respect.

    Posted by: Bewildered | Feb 27, 2013 5:11:28 PM

  20. Sorry; "modicrum of respect."

    Posted by: Bewildered | Feb 27, 2013 5:12:41 PM

  21. Oh, bloody hell. It is modicum. Now that anyone read to the last sentence anyway ...

    Posted by: Bewildered | Feb 27, 2013 5:23:57 PM

  22. modifrum of respect. ;-)

    how wonderful that this man went from promoting slavery to supporting segregation, instead.

    wait...i mean...

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 27, 2013 5:32:57 PM

  23. A quick note: Many here are concerned with taking the temperature of this man's past motives -- or the motives of the signers of the amicus brief.

    We may as well check our OWN motives and double check that we are not simply letting a vindictive streak take hold of our reasoning, a wanting to "hold accountable" persons who have genuinely evolved, merely because they put us through discomfort in the past. We are at a new starting point.

    Posted by: will | Feb 27, 2013 5:41:06 PM

  24. If you want to stick a thermometer up his useless ass to take his temperature, be my guest.

    He was standing in our way before and nowthat the tide has turned he wants to leap to the head of the line, like Rosie Ruiz.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 27, 2013 5:45:36 PM

  25. @ WILL :

    The point is that everyone can evolve; but a few have been activists against our interests when it was politic to be so. Their evolution is suspect.

    I'm not vindictive; my motives are simply to denounce those whose rank hypocricy blithely allows them to do a volte-face on issues when they feel the wind come about !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 27, 2013 5:52:12 PM

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