Oregon GOP Throws Cold Water on Republican Endorsement of Marriage Equality

Oregon

On Sunday Towleroad reported on a landmark endorsement of marriage equality by Republican activists at the 50th Annual Dorchester Conference in Seaside, Oregon. Participants at the annual conference voted 233-162 in favor of supporting marriage equality.

The move was applauded by Freedom Oregon, a coalition of Republican leaders, and the Log Cabin Republicans.

OregonrepublicanpartyThe Oregon Republican Party was none too pleased, however, and issued this statement, signed by Oregon Republican Party State Chairman Art Robinson and Republican Party Congressional District 5 Chair Tyler Smith:

In response to questions from Republicans around the state of Oregon, the Oregon Republican Party would like to remind everyone that the Dorchester conference is not an official Republican party event. It is an event founded and run by former Senator Bob Packwood. Senator Packwood explained that he designed the conference to try to pull the Republican party to the left on policy issues and that he originally set it up as a protest to exclude the official Republican party. The Oregon Republican Party welcomes everyone into our party to debate the issues, but we desire to make it clear that we have an official party platform stating our positions on relevant issues. The platform of the Oregon Republican Party is debated and modified at our Convention and is always available to view on our website.

The Republican Party is proud to be known as the party of liberty. As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so. The state leadership of the Republican Party in Oregon continues to stand for freedom and religious liberty.

The Republican Party has been the champion of civil rights for 160 years including leading the great movements abolishing slavery and enacting civil rights legislation in the 1960’s. However, freedom also includes being free from having the institutions of government used to interfere in your life and redefine social institutions such as marriage, which people have built their societies around for thousands of years.

The institution of marriage being between men and women pre-dates government, and has continuously served as the foundation for family structure in ordered societies for thousands of years. We oppose the use of government to suppress and control your rights by interfering in bedrock social institutions.

We continue to ask everyone of every background to join the Republican Party to help us protect and preserve freedom, protect your religious liberty, and to prevent government overreach from destroying the institution of marriage and further taking away your rights through social engineering.

Oregon's marriage equality battle is headed to a climax in 2014. Not only are there efforts toward a ballot measure underway which must qualify by July 3, two couples filed suit against the state's gay marriage ban in October.

Oregon's attorney general Ellen Rosenblum said last month that she would not defend the state's gay marriage ban in court, joining several attorneys general around the country in viewing such laws as unconstitutional following the SCOTUS ruling in the Windsor DOMA case.

Comments

  1. Chadd says

    What a ridiculous argument! Gay marriage has zero impact on straight marriages, but somehow making straight people acknowledge the very existence of gay marriage is somehow an infringement on their rights. Not being allowed to prevent total strangers from doing something that has no impact on their life equals loss of freedom. Words fail me.

  2. Mike8787 says

    The doublespeak in that statement is mind-boggling. “We’re the party of liberty, and civil rights, but we also favor squashing civil rights for this group, which I somehow reconcile in my head.”

  3. Mark says

    “As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so.”

    They need to work on their self-assessment skills, but we knew this.

  4. Joe in Ct says

    Their official statement is so blatantly contradictory it is laughable and pathetic. I would have more respect for them if they just said, “We oppose gay marriage because of our religious beliefs.” Trying to cloak their opposition in the mantle of civil rights is ridiculous and fraudulent.

  5. says

    Once again, the Log Cabin Republicans demonstrate the *remarkable* clout they’ve built up within their party after decades of work.

    And the punch line is “party of liberty!”

  6. Jim Stone says

    The party is imploding. I was actually laughing at the double talk from this statement.. “As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so.”
    HUH???????? So denying marriage equality to citizens is WHAT???

  7. RWG says

    Freedom, blah, blah, liberty, blah, blah, civil rights, blah, blah…dirty queers are no good. That’s about all I got from their idiotic “statement”.

  8. Joe says

    Quote possibly the most disingenuous, duplicitous, corkscrew statement I’ve ever read regarding opposing marriage equality, and this is the Republican Party we are talking about. Is their new talking point honestly “We are actually defending equal rights by being anti-gay marriage”? Because that’s insulting, to say the least.

  9. Hey Darlin' says

    “The Republican Party is proud to be known as the party of liberty.”

    Um, No. The Republican Party won’t be known to history as the party of LIBERTY.

    “As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so.”

    HAHAHAHAHA – Nope!

  10. HadenoughBS says

    The Republican Party is the party of BS. Their claim to “protect and preserve freedom, protect your religious liberty, and to prevent government overreach from destroying the institution of marriage and further taking away your rights through social engineering” is so….so….so 1950s that it evokes memories of a quaint WASPish by-gone era – in black-and-white, of course.

  11. GregV says

    Other commenters have already stated what I felt about the laughable doublespeak about “freedom” (freedom to oppress?) in the statement.
    Political parties have been in constant flux since their inception and are far more like each other at any point in time than they are like themselves at long-ago points in history.
    The only times the Republican Party has ever supported freedom more than the Democratic Party is when their base was their base was the liberals of places like San Francisco and Vermont, agnostics and people who attended the same liberal churches (Unitarians, Quakers, etc.) that now support same-sex marriage.
    The people who fought FOR slavery and segregation and against women’s suffrage were the the church denominations (Southern Baptists, Evangelicals) and hick locales in poory-educated white small-towns of places like Mississippi and Alabama, and that have continued to vote “conservative.”. Those voters’ party is always slightly in flux even from one town to another and one race to another and CERTAINLY from one century to another, but in this century almost always is the Republican candidate.

  12. disgusted american says

    The party is imploding. I was actually laughing at the double talk from this statement.. “As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so.”
    HUH???????? So denying marriage equality to citizens is WHAT???

    Posted by: Jim Stone | Mar 12, 2014 1:18:57 PM

    I was thinking the same thing….do they even Hear themselves???????

  13. Michaelandfred says

    What an idiotic statement. Freedom, liberty, civil rights, freedom, liberty, civil rights, live your life without government intervention, freedom, liberty…..

    ….refuse the rights of same sex couples…

  14. says

    Every commenter in this thread was spot on.

    Embarrassingly sad to say that this doublespeak passes for logic amongst the Faux Republican crowd but it shows why so many young conservatives are no longer self identifying as Republican.

    Packwood’s group adopting the measure to support equality should challenge the ‘official’ party group opposing and make the national GOP show their stance. Affect the change.

    Bad enough to be fraudulently claiming to be the party of liberty but also the party of LINCOLN. Poor Abe.

  15. Dback says

    Picture these people as a very power-mad three-year-old, who is busy eating pie: “No one else gets to have pie, just me because I say so.” Another kid goes to the kitchen, makes their own pie, and starts eating it; the first kid throws themself on the floor in a sobbing fit of rage. When it is pointed out that they still have their own pie and this shouldn’t make any difference, the first child screams, “But now I’m not the only special one!” Exactly.

  16. Jim says

    How nice to watch the Tea Bagger Republican Party of Oregon stampede toward the cliff like a herd of lemmings. What better fate for these Republican rodents than to rush over the edge and drown in the sea. The party is beyond redemption. It needs to die–now!

  17. JJ says

    Unfortunately, the earlier story—wherein Towleroad uncritically reported the self-serving press release from Freedom Oregon—probably did it’s share of damage. Stories like that allow people to convince themselves that voting Republican doesn’t harm gay rights. If TR had waited for the official response before reporting that press release, they probably wouldn’t have exaggerated the significance of the Dorchester Conference vote.

  18. ToThePoint says

    Just how the f*ck does our getting married impenge on the righteous right of the painfully religious to keep their straight marriage. It only impenges on their perceptive “right” to force the rest of society to abide by their doctrines.

  19. says

    @Tampazeke
    ‘It’s pretty amazing to hear a person give a statement where the second half completely, totally and utterly negates the first half.’

    The very sad aspect of it is that the person making this obviously contradictory statement is one that is in a prominent position of power. This isn’t just any yokel on the street. As head of the opposition political party for the state of Oregon he has a huge say in choosing the candidate to make legislation that affects the entire state.

    It highlights very succinctly why civil rights are never to be put to a popular vote.

    @JJ
    If this were about electing a legislator I would agree with you about caution but this is about a ballot initiative. Towleroad reporting on the Dorchester vote showing growing Republican support for the initiative helps spread the word that marriage equality is no longer a lock step issue, especially with young voters. The spread of that information is what prompted the release of this official party statement. A stopgap effort to stem the tide and assure the diehards. Growing public support and demographic changes are important information in their own right regardless of official party platform.

    While I’m grateful that Republicans are coming around on marriage equality the GOP as a Party has a long way to go on their treatment of anyone non-white, non-wealthy, non-Christian.

  20. Chadd says

    Marriage used to be between one man and as many women as he could afford (please reference the holy scriptures). Marriage gets redefined all the time, so even if gay marriage is a new definition, so what?

  21. emjayay says

    GregV: And to continue your reference to when Republicans were more pro-freedom and had a more educated base and Democrats often more of a rural/less educated base, just in case two or three readers didn’t know….The Republicans started with guys like Lincoln, and slaveowners and then working people who were also often racists were Democrats. The Southern racist Democrats became known as Dixiecrats when the party as a whole got more pro-equality. Then when the Democrats passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills in the 60’s, the Dixiecrats switched to being Dixiecans, and the pro-equality people including every black person except some Uncle Toms got the hell out and became Democrats. Then the John Birch Society types, which you are too young to know about, got accepted into the Republican party also, Fox News started, and here we are today.

  22. Nelson says

    “The Republican Party has been the champion of civil rights for 160 years including leading the great movements abolishing slavery and enacting civil rights legislation in the 1960’s. However, freedom also includes being free from having the institutions of government used to interfere in your life”

    AAAAANNDDDD…….drumroll for the talent of completely contradicting themselves in one paragraph.

  23. Acronym Jim says

    Art Robinson is spinning so hard in his statement that he should hire himself out to drill for oil. The Dorchester Conference was formed by Bob Packwood in response to the nomination of pro-segregation Barry Goldwater. It wasn’t the official republican party members that were turned away, it was the far-right loonies that opposed civil rights legislation.

    http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/dorchester_conference/

    I’m amazed that the Oregon Republican Party, former home to Bob Packwood, Mark Hatfield and frickin’ Portland Mayor Tom “tore out a freeway and put in a park” McCall, elected nutball Robinson to its leadership post.

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