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The Times They Are A-Changin’

Wow:

The momentum continues to build for same sex marriage in Illinois.

On Wednesday, Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said he was putting his “full support” behind marriage equality legislation pending in Springfield.

“More and more Americans understand that if two people want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, government should not stand in their way,” Brady said. “Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value – that the law should treat all citizens equally.”

“Importantly, the pending legislation would protect the freedom of religion,” Brady added. “No church or religious organization would ever be required to perform a union with which it disagrees.”

I’m actually not surprised. Gay marriage won in four elections this year and the tide has clearly turned, especially with young voters. Moreover, the tide is turning among conservatives, who see this as a way to better integrate gays into the broader society. The GOP is slowly moving toward a much more defensible position: allowing gay marriage while protecting the right of churches to define marriage as they see fit. There is a wedge here: the Obama Administration attacked the ministerial exemption last year and was soundly thrashed by a unanimous Supreme Court. With the ministerial exemption now resting on extremely solid constitutional footing, the GOP can pivot on marriage and allow it for those who want it.

This is yet another hopeful sign that the fever is breaking in the GOP and they are moving not necessarily toward moderation, per se, but toward a more practical and sensible approach to governing. If they can find a straddle that respects both sides of the culture wars — as this one seems to — it will allow them to make inroads in Democratic constituencies and defuse some of more contentious issues in politics.

But more important than that is that it’s a step toward getting government out of our private lives, for good or ill. For that lone, this is a good thing.

7 comments

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  1. grady says:

    Will the religious right ever allow this type of thinking in their party? Where do Christians go if the Republican party accepts gays as real people?

    How else may the Republican party change to get more appeal from moderates?

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  2. Dave D says:

    I am a Christian and I accept gays as “real people” wtf does that even mean? We all fall short of God’s perfection.

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  3. Mississippi Yankee says:

    “Importantly, the pending legislation would protect the freedom of religion,” Brady added. “No church or religious organization would ever be required to perform a union with which it disagrees.”

    Just one flick of the autopen can,and may, change this perceived freedom. Supreme Court be damned, we now have a God King. A ruler much more powerful than any who came before him.

    With the ministerial exemption now resting on extremely solid constitutional footing, the GOP can pivot on marriage and allow it for those who want it.

    Yes, please keep us abreast of “this” issue. Oh and all that “tide turning” too.

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  4. grady says:

    I am a Christian and I accept gays as “real people” wtf does that even mean?

    I wasn’t trying to bash christians in general. The religious right has a perception from some moderates/lefties as hating homosexuality or discriminating against them. Some politicians in state legislatures had introduced bills for civil unions (leaving the term marraige out) but these were opposed by some republicans who wanted no civil unions that could appear to be like marraiges. This gives the impression that the republicans don’t think that homosexuals deserve the same rights to contracts that heterosexuals have (“they can always marry a woman” doesn’t really help out a gay man).

    Laws in states for inheritance, medical decisions, and other things that marraige gives rights to couples for are not extended to homosexuals. That is where the “real people” comment came from.

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  5. grady says:

    How else may the Republican party change to get more appeal from moderates?

    This was more of my question. The religious right is a large portion of republican voters. As many within the party are looking to get a greater share of the populace to get behind the party agenda, I wonder what they are willing to change. I understand that many christians will not accept homosexuality as anything other than a sin. They may drop support of the republicans as a result. Not sure what party they go to, but the loss of voters due to immigration policy changes, tax policy changes, etc will remove some support and add other. I’m not sure the republicans can survive as a party without a conservative social platform that includes many christian principles.

    If the republicans support gay marraige, how much support will they lose? What other policies are they willing to change?

    Dave – would republican support of gay marraige keep you away from the voting booth, or any other members of your church?

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  6. Hal_10000 says:

    It’s not a matter of appealing to moderates, it’s a matter of recognizing that this is a losing fight. Large percentages of conservative and a majority of Catholics now support gay marriage. Majorities of conservatives support civil unions. The opposition to gays is not just clinging to the religious right, it’s clinging to an increasingly narrow segment of American society.

    What I’m talking about is not “an appeal to moderates”. That’s a side effect. What I’m talking about is accepting a societal change in a way that respects and defends the rights of those who have a moral objection to it.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee says:

    Not sure what party they go to, but the loss of voters due to immigration policy changes, tax policy changes, etc will remove some support and add other. I’m not sure the republicans can survive as a party without a conservative social platform that includes many christian principles.

    Grady, if you’re suggesting a “new” party this is precisely the time to gather the like-minded together.
    NOW! Not 3.6 years from now or 5 months before the past election as the johnsons did in the past debacle. (yeah, you know who you are).

    As far as same sex marriage goes it’s my belief that it should be decided by “the people” in each state, a referendum vote not partisan manoeuvrings as we saw in New York state last year when it passed by one vote. Yea I know constitutional republic blah blah blah… but there are things in society that each person should have a direct voice in at the end of the day.

    I take my view on homosexuality from an old circus saying:

    “It’s your mouth, I don’t care if you shovel coal with it.
    Just don’t do it in the street, it scares the horses and confuses the children”

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