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GOP Urged by Strategists to Drop Opposition to Gay Marriage

As the 2014 mid-term elections approach (ahead of the almighty 2016 presidential elections), more and more stories have emerged about Republican attempts to change their party’s stance against gay marriage.

The most recent one from The Hill notes that despite the national platform’s support of “‘traditional marriage’ between a man and a woman” and the “majority of Republicans in Congress [who] remain opposed to same-sex marriage,” there are “now eight Republicans in Congress who support same-sex marriage, split evenly between the House and Senate.”

LehmanThe article also mentions Kathryn Lehman (pictured), “a top GOP lobbyist and partner at Holland & Knight” who helped draft the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” that once served as a major impediment to nationwide marriage equality. Now working with the group Freedom to Marry, she regularly visits the offices of 40 to 50 congressional Republicans in an attempt to change their views on marriage equality.

Carl Thorsen — another GOP strategist working the Human Rights Campaign (pictured below) — encourages Republicans who might want to publicly announce their support for marriage equality by offering advice on how others have done it.

“These are human beings who view these issues on a deeply personal level,” Thorsen told The Hill, “but at the same time, they’re elected officials, and articulating those views may be — understandably — complicated by their political situation.”

CarlthorsenThe political situation includes the fact that most of  Republican party state platforms still oppose same-sex marriage and only 30 percent of Republican voters support same-sex marriage.

The article continues:

Organizations like Log Cabin Republicans and Project Right Side are also pushing Republicans by providing data about changes in public opinion and, like lobbyists, offering lawmakers and their offices a “safe space” to talk about the challenges facing LGBT individuals.

With an increasing number of national polls and court victories in favor of marriage equality, even Gregory Angelo — the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans — has said that many of “the most rock-ribbed social conservatives in Washington… see the writing on the wall, they see the direction the country is headed,” and the political peril that will accompany an entrenched opposition to marriage rights.

Ken Mehlman — the infamous Republican National Committee chairperson turned pro-marriage supporter who orchestrated George W. Bush’s intensely homophobic 2004 re-election campaign — said, “As conservatives, we don’t have to ignore… a strong conservative argument for safe schools, for civil marriage, merit-based decisions at work.”

Nevertheless, a majority of Republicans continue to oppose employment non-discrimination legislations unless they allow religious exemptions allowing Christianist companies to continue firing LGBT people.


National Groups Push Republicans To Drop Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage

The National Journal looked at several groups pushing the Republican party to drop its opposition to marriage equality by its 2016 national convention.

GopTheir article reads, in part:

“[a] group called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is part of the effort to remove the traditional-marriage plank from the GOP platform at the Cleveland convention. Already, the group has met with state and county party officials in New Hampshire, and they're planning trips to Iowa in August and to South Carolina and Nevada in September.

...

Rather than talking about gay marriage, strategists are guiding Republicans to talk about the freedom to marry, and they cast the question in familiar conservative terms about the government's role in people's private lives.

"Use freedom language, why it's important for families, why it's inappropriate for the government to treat people differently and treating gay people as taxpayers," said one GOP gay-rights lobbyist.

The American Unity PAC, the sister group to the 501(c)(4) American Unity Fund, has spent almost $700,000 this cycle to elect Republicans who back gay rights, compared with the nearly $120,000 traditional-marriage groups like Family Research Council have doled out, and their meetings with members went from three a week last year to five per week this year.”

The article also mentions that far-right conservatives like the SPLC-certified hate group the Family Research Council and their anti-gay senatorial cohorts Ted “states’ rights” Cruz of Texas and Mike ”religious freedom” Lee of Utah all support a law overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling against section three of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act — the very decision being quoted by judges overturning gay marriage bans in several states.


New York Young Republican Club Writer Rants About Gay Flags, Suddenly Resigns

William Palumbo

The New York Young Republican Club has a problem with the gay flag. Specifically, the site's head of "Blog" William Palumbo took severe offense at the "gay/LGBTQ(RSTUVWXYZ)" pride flag being flown at U.S. embassies in London and Tel Aviv, so much so that he wondered if it were an impeachable offense. Yes, really.

Can I pose a serious question?  At what point does replacing the American flag with the rainbow flag, a symbol of gay/LGBTQ(RSTUVWXYZ) pride from embassies abroad become an impeachable offense in itself?

Concerned that the U.S. is becoming "the United States of Gaymerica", Palumbo went on to condemn gay ambassadors that have been sent abroad in the past.

This administration has a record of placing gay ambassadors in countries where they are not welcome. The Dominican Republic last November, for example, was pretty well outraged.

Naturally, none of this was accompanied by plans of action, proposals for solutions to the "problem" (such as it were), or anything else potentially productive. Just ranting and implications that Obama himself is having a queer relationship with the Emir of Qatar. The President of NYYRC Brian Morgenstern did take productive actions, however, and Palumbo has now resigned and Morgenstern issued an apology stating that Palumbo's views do not reflect the views of the club.


Chris Christie: It's Not Time For Republicans To Drop Opposition to Gay Marriage

C_christie

Gay marriage is legal in New Jersey, and Governor Chris Christie believes that the matter is for now "settled" in his home state. But Governor Christie does not think it's time for the Republican party to drop gay marriage as an issue.

TIME reports that Christie, speaking to reporters over the weekend at the National Governors Association, believes that the U.S. "will resolve this [issue] over a period of time,” and that legal resolutions "should be done state by state."

While the Republican party could feesibly pick up many young voters if it decreased its focus on social issues, including gay marriage, Christie says:

I don’t think that there’s going to be some major referee who’s going to say now it’s time to stop [with the gay marriage debate]...Certainly I’m not going to, because these are opinions that I feel strongly about.

When he was asked whether the U.S. might end up gravitating back toward "traditional" marriage despite the current trend in legal proceedings, Christie said: “I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball.”


Minnesota Republican Runs On Anti-Sodomy Platform

Bob FreyDespite all of the legal wins being made in terms of LGBT advancement and equality, some politicians still feel that running on an anti-gay, anti-sodomy platform is a winning issue. Bob Frey of Minnesota is one of those politicians. Frey is coming at the issue from a health-based perspective which, if nothing else, is a refreshing change from the usual song and dance about how much God hates the gays. Said Frey in an interview with Minnpost's Cyndy Brucato:

It’s about sodomy. It’s huge amounts of money. AIDS is a long term illness, causing pain, suffering, death, a long-term illness that’s very expensive to treat.

Unfortunately, Frey doesn't understand how HIV works:

When you have egg and sperm that meet in conception, there’s an enzyme in the front that burns through the egg. The enzyme burns through so the DNA can enter the egg. If the sperm is deposited anally, it’s the enzyme that causes the immune system to fail. That’s why the term is AIDS – autoimmune deficiency system.

With as much information as there is available on HIV there is no excuse for this level of ignorance, much less for his insistence on spreading his misinformation to his constituents. Unfortunately, his backwards views are precisely the thing that has earned endorsements from other Republican candidates in Minnesota.


North Carolina Republican Paul Stam Compares Pedophilia, Masochism With Homosexuality - VIDEO

 

Paul stam rep north carolina

In a debate Tuesday, North Carolina Republican Representative Paul Stam compared pedophilia, incest, masochism and other illegal sexual practices with homosexuality.

In 2011, Stam compared homosexuality with polygamy and incest while calling for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

During a debate Tuesday on a proposal to prevent charter schools from discrimination based on sexual orientation, Stam suggested that, like homosexuality, adult sexual attraction to children is a sexual orientation.

Paul stamStam passed out a two-page paper at the debate titled “What is Sexual Orientation?” which listed what he said were 30 different sexual orientations.  He argued that the definition of sexual orientation should be narrowed, otherwise it would include pedophilia, incest, sadism and masochism along with homosexuality and heterosexuality.

The list was taken from the American Psychological Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” which actually classified many of the definitions as disorders at one time and in 2013 said “pedophilia is a mental disorder; that sex between adults and children is always wrong; and that acting on pedophilic impulses is and should be a criminal act.”

Of Stam’s list, Democratic Representative Tricia Cotham stated:

“This is shameful. He needs to understand that his words and his actions are offensive and cannot be tolerated.”

The House approved the changes to the charter school law, removing a provision prohibiting charter schools from discriminating against applications on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender or disability.

Stam said later he was only trying to get the author of the amendment to define sexual orientation.

Watch Stam's 2011 remarks on North Carolina Marriage Amendment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "North Carolina Republican Paul Stam Compares Pedophilia, Masochism With Homosexuality - VIDEO" »


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