“We are at a crossroads,” former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-Utah) said in an article he wrote for “The American Conservative.” In the piece, the former presidential hopeful addressed the elephant in the room — the Republican Party's stance on same-sex marriage.
“Marriage is not an issue that people rationalize through the abstract lens of the law; rather it is something understood emotionally through one’s own experience with family, neighbors and friends,” Huntsman said in the piece. “The party of Lincoln should stand with our best tradition of equality and support full civil marriage for all Americans.”
Huntsman and many other Republican leaders have taken the initiative to re-examine their views on same-sex marriage. For Huntsman, that change is based on the foundation of equality and politics. He argues that same-sex marriage is not only the right thing to do, but its acceptance among the Republican Party would give the party's leaders the chance to regain success on a national level.
“The marketplace of ideas will render us irrelevant, and soon, if we are not honest about our time and place in history," Huntsman said in the piece.
Listen up, GOP. Huntsman is here to save the day and possibly the future of your party.
The Republican trademark is its opposition to big government, conservatism in the economic market and expansion of military prowess and America's footprint in foreign policy. But as of late, the GOP has focused its voice on the polarizing social issues of abortion rights, immigration reform and, of course, same-sex marriage. Now these ideals of late have become the core of their foundation and, as Huntsman pointed out, it’s beginning to cost them on the national stage.
For me, personally, it’s incredibly hard to look past the GOP’s stance on these key issues; I’d even say I’m blinded by them. It’s strange to me that a party so grounded in the rights secured in our Constitution spends such heavy amounts of effort trying to restrict the rights of others. So when it comes time for me to vote, it’s absurd for Republicans to expect me to help give them the right to serve our country as an elected official when they won’t help give me and the rest of the LGBTQ community rights in return.
“I’ve been married for 29 years,” Huntsman said in the piece. “My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.”
What a breath of fresh air that is to hear, especially when other Republican leaders have said quite the contrary. From Rick Perry’s infamous “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can openly serve in the military” advertisement to Rick Santorum’s slippery-slope fallacy comparing gay marriage to polygamy, our most recent GOP presidential hopefuls have not been shy with their distasteful homophobia.
And when Mitt Romney, whose name was on every ballot last November, told a gay veteran to his face that he does not deserve the same marital benefits that Romney himself gets, the choice is evident.
“We are at a crossroads,” Huntsman said in the piece. “The American people will not hear us out if we stand against their friends, family and individual liberty.” It is time the fight for marriage equality becomes bipartisan, and with the leadership from Huntsman and other Republicans like Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, that time is here. Hopefully with their influence, the GOP as a whole will shift its attitude, and Americans can get back to examining the true foundation of the Republican Party.
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