McCain campaign manager says GOP should back gay marriage
A key architect of Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign has urged conservatives to drop their opposition to same-sex marriage.
In a speech Friday to Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative gay rights group, Steve Schmidt said allowing same-sex marriage is in line with the conservative credo of keeping government out of people’s private lives.
“There is a sound conservative argument to be made for same-sex marriage,” Schmidt, who was McCain’s campaign manager, told the group. “I believe conservatives, more than liberals, insist that rights come with responsibilities. No other exercise of one’s liberty comes with greater responsibilities than marriage. In a marriage, two people are completely responsible to and for each other.”
He added: “If you are not willing to accept and faithfully discharge those responsibilities, you shouldn’t enter the state of matrimony, and it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if you’re straight or gay. It is a responsibility like no other, which can and should make marriage an association between two human beings more fulfilling than any other…”
“One of the things that has definitely impacted my views on these issues and an evolution of thought over time is having a gay sibling,” Schmidt told CNN. “As Americans get to know gay couples and or have gay family members, or work associates … they come to understand that these relationships are deep and worth being respect and being protected.”
I know it can work this way. I grew up in a conservative family. Cripes – we had founding members of the John Birch Society.
My radical viewpoint – including accepting everyone as having an equal chance regardless of color, gender, nationality – was anathema to most. I was allowed at family gatherings because I was family.
Then, one of my cousins came out of the closet. To my family’s credit, rational understanding made a pretty quick decision over a topic a heck of a lot scarier than politics for most and he – and his boyfriend – both walked into the family’s mid-winter gathering without a peep, boycott or harsh word. We all got along fine. It became no big deal.