See this guy?
That’s Jon Huntsman. He’s a former Governor of Utah, former Ambassador to Singapore and China, and a former GOP Presidential candidate.
He is also a badass. And my pretend husband of the day.
“But, Stacey,” you may ask. “He’s a scrawny white Mormon Republican from Utah. I think you and I have very different versions of what the definition of a ‘badass’ is.”
I would normally agree with you. The other white Mormon Republican who ran for President is pretty boring. Good man. Not very exciting. Very status quo.
But after after Huntsman penned this opinion piece in the American Conservative last week, I changed my mind. Jon Huntsman IS a badass. The subject of his essay? Marriage Equality. As in, EVERYONE should have the right to marry the person they love (with obvious exceptions: you can’t marry your brother, your cat, or a Kardashian).
Marriage equality has been a huge area of consternation for the Grand Old Party. Since the party has been taken over by psychos on the religious right (Hi, Rick Santorum! I don’t miss you! Even though you DO look like Bob Saget), same-sex marriage has overtaken abortion as the single most divisive issue within the Republican Party. In August at the National Convention, convention go-ers adopted a strongly worded platform banning gay marriage, angering more middle-of-the-road Republicans. Opponents of same-sex marriage like Santorum, who recently said gay marriage isn’t in the best interest for the country, and Maggie Gallagher, who started the National Association for Marriage, have been very vocal and have been let to speak for the right as a whole, letting the party of Lincoln and Roosevelt be known as anti-gay, therefore, anti-civil rights.
And that’s not right.
I don’t know where this hatred (and, yes, I’m using the word hatred. It’s not minor disgust or disapproval. This is hatred) of the gay community comes from. Some point to the Bible, screeching “It’s in here! God said it’s a sin.” Not to split hairs or anything, but the Bible also forbids a lot of things that many of us are guilty of doing daily. A sampling? getting a tattoo, working on the Sabbath, women speaking in Houses of God, eating a ham sandwich (this also include bacon. yikes), children disobeying their parents, and (I’ve saved the best for last)–GOSSIP.
Yup, The Bible also forbids gossip. If you’re basing your entire hatred for gays because the Bible says so, you should also probably look at the other areas of your life. Chances are, you’ve probably eaten ham or bacon and I’d be willing to stake a paycheck that you’ve engaged in a little gossip (or at very least, visited Perez Hilton). Should we be banning bacon and ham and forcing Perez, Entertainment Tonight and US Weekly to shut down because “It’s against the moral fabric of society”?
I don’t think so.
So, unless the National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family, and the dozens of other Anti-Same-Sex Marriage groups trolling around also want to pick up the “Anti-Bacon” mantle, I don’t put much stock into their opinion. And all that business about how two dudes wanting to get marriage and raise a family is going to be destructive to the country, I say really? I can think of lots of things that are WAY more destructive to society than two people deciding to commit to eachother. Namely, the Jersey Shore, the Kardashians, and every single one of these people.
The point is, somewhere along the way, the GOP became synonymous with being hateful. And if you dared speak out against the psychos on the right wing, you got booted out of the party or labeled a RINO. They liked the status quo and didn’t want anyone to make waves. Publicly disagreeing with “those in charge” meant you’d be pushed off the national stage and left for dead. Instead of meaningful discourse, those that had a different view (be it on marriage, abortion, gun laws, etc.), sat silent while the same psychos on the religious right took over. Having a “liberal” view on social policies, especially, meant certain (political) death.
Which is why Huntsman’s essay on embracing and championing gay rights is pretty badass. Risking a political future because he can’t sit and watch crazies on the right dictate BAD POLICY is pretty badass (in my opionion). A key exerpt:
Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. 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.All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall.
That was last week. This week over 100 Republicans signed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to declare gay couples have a constitutional right to wed, including Huntsman, former head of EBay (and CA gubernatorial nominee) Meg Whitman, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Former Governor Christine Todd Whitman, and John McCain’s campaign head Steve Schmidt. The brief was orchestrated by former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman, who came out two years ago and has received some serious media attention.
I say: it’s about time.
Yesterday, Republican speechwriter-turned-author David Frum wrote in the Daily Beast about his decision to add his name to the brief. Frum, who had been a long-time opponent of gay marriage, has had what can be described as a “Come to Jesus Moment”, saying, “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.”
Exactly. It’s heartening to see prominent Republicans like Gov. Huntsman and Frum speaking up and recognizing basic rights. The economy is still in the toilet and thousands of Americans are still out of work. Rather than screech about how Tom and Eddie’s marriage is going to cause the downfall of humanity, we should be focusing on ways to ensure Tom and Eddie have jobs to take care of their children.
And, in case you needed further convincing (which, I don’t know why you would), look at this
*disclosure: I am a Republican. I support the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Coolidge and Reagan. Not the party of Foster Friess, Maggie Gallagher and Rick Santorum.