Conservatives and gay rights - Macleans.ca
 

Conservatives and gay rights

What advice the Republican party is receiving


 

However much some of the party’s supporters might be uncomfortable with the Harper government’s support for gay rights internationally, it might be worth noting the discussion around the Republican party, arguably a far more conservative party in a far more conservative country.

For instance, there is the advice of political scientist Charles Murray, delivered to a conference last March.

“With gay marriage,” he went on, “I think the train has left the station.”

… But since then, Murray said, “we have acquired a number of gay and lesbian friends,” and to what he jokingly called his “dismay” as a “confident” social scientist, he learned he’d been wrong. He’d been especially influenced by the pro-gay-marriage arguments made by Jonathan Rausch, an openly gay writer for the National Journal and the Atlantic. Further, Murray said, he had discovered that the gay couples he knew with children were not just responsible parents; they were “excruciatingly responsible parents.” … What was striking was how critical he argued it is for the G.O.P. to make a similar shift as a party.

Here is how Jan van Lohuizen, pollster for George W. Bush’s re-election campaign, summarizes opinion polling and how he thinks Republicans should talk about the issue.

“As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone.  This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government.”

Here is Steve Schmidt, a former advisor to Mr. Bush and John McCain, announcing his commitment to an ACLU campaign to legalize same-sex marriage.

“The Republican party stands for freedom, for limited government intrusion in our personal lives and for freedom,” said Schmidt. “The issue of marriage equality is the Republican Party’s best chance to stand on the right side of history, create a meaningful legacy of fairness, and maintain relevance with young voters. I am proud to help the ACLU make all couples equal in the eyes of the law in all 50 states.”

It is not nearly a settled debate—see further discussion from Slate, the New York Times and Buzzfeed—and the discussion in the United States is still specific to same-sex marriage and the Republican party is a uniquely troubled beast, but the arguments are still applicable: to support gay rights is to be on the right side of the politics, philosophy and history of this debate.


 

Conservatives and gay rights

  1. The Repubs have to ditch the religious right and all their ’causes’ ….LGBT, abortion, prayer, being anti-science, being anti-immigrant etc or they can forget about being elected ever again.

    Cons in Canada need to do likewise. It’s why we had PCs in the first place!

    • Wherry led off his post commenting about the Harper governments recent vociferous and strident SUPPORT for gay rights. The Harper government has done absolutely nothing to restrict a woman’s right to abortion in Canada. Jason Kenney et al. have spent years hoovering the immigrant vote and our immigration levels remain every bit as high as they were under the Liberals. So wtf are you talking about?

      • Well it wasn’t ‘vociferous and strident’….wasn’t even ‘support for gay rights’ actually….it was a simple condemnation of Russia’s new law on gays. Standard human rights. Something most countries…civilized ones anyway….are doing.

        Wherry started here…. by saying the base may not like it…but even Repubs are beginning to see the light in the US.

        Everyone is aware SoCons in general can’t get elected…the CHP has never elected anybody. So they clung to the Con coattails in hopes of getting their agenda passed. .

        Canada however is not conservative….the US may have their whacko religious crowd that the Repub establishment caters to, but it won’t fly here. It doesn’t even fly in the US….and Repubs are starting to realize that.

        PCs here were ‘socially progressive and fiscally conservative’….they were not religious nuts.

  2. You have to feel for the frustrated left on this file – what are they going to do find fault with harper and baird on this file – the next sound you hear is = *crickets* – you can tell by the posts that no doubt will come soon insulting us Tories and ranting about this or that with respect to the Yankee Republicans – jeeeshh!!! contrary to popular opinion we Tories are NOT and NOT even close to Republicans in point of fact there are more Liberals and Dippers who want to get rid of the Queen than we Tories as most of us Monarchists are Conservative I haven’t met another who wasn’t and I know quite a few in the league – even were you to compare party philsophies there simply is no parallel – there are wings in each party in the States that can sort of align with our parties BUT there the comparison falls down on it’s own.

    • Cons are the Northern Tea Party.

      US parties have nothing to do with the Queen. Dems in the US aren’t monarchists either.

    • “the next sound you hear is = *crickets* – you can tell by the posts
      that no doubt will come soon insulting us Tories and ranting about this
      or that…”

      Help me out here. If I’m to fulfill your stereotype of “the frustrated left”, which of those responses do you want from me: silence (denoted by crickets) or “[insulting] ranting about this and that”?

      Seems to me your facile prediction contains a conspicuous internal contradiction. You’ll have to try harder if you’re going to presume to anticipate “the left’s” behaviour.

    • I applaud Baird for his stance on this issue. It’s the right thing to do, and it takes some courage, given the attitude of the Conservative base towards gay marriage.

    • Seems to me the story’s about more folks on the right side of the political spectrum squaring their views with with folks on the left side of the political spectrum with respect to gay rights. I’m not sure why that would frustrate the left.

    • “as most of us Monarchists are Conservative I haven’t met another who wasn’t and I know quite a few in the league”

      Then maybe you should get out more …