12/08/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Advice to the Republican Party: Embrace Gay Marriage

As a Democrat, I am delighted that Barack Obama is now president-elect. I do not envy the magnitude of the challenges that he has to tackle, but he is a smart guy who taught constitutional law at University of Chicago. If our problems can be solved through the application of brain power, then he is certainly a good man for the job.

As a citizen, however, I rely on the functioning of a strong, loyal opposition to make government better. In the not too distant past, the Republicans showed us what comes of one party rule: the memory makes me shudder. And while I would hope that the Democrats would not muck it up as badly, overly concentrated power never seems to produce particular good outcomes. America, simply cannot handle such a predictably repeat of history right now.

Thus, a reconstituted Republican party built around some fresh thinking is in everyone's best interest. To get the ball rolling, I would like to suggest that you consider rallying behind same-sex marriage. I know that sounds crazy at first, but give me a moment to explain. Gay marriage fits perfectly with your libertarian ideals. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom should be no one's business but their own, so long as they consenting, law-abiding adults. There is no reasons why the private, lawful actions of such people should be used to deny them the civic pleasures and responsibilities of wedlock. Embrace this, and you are will have the love and affection of every true libertarian in America.

No doubt, you are worried that this sort of move will alienate your traditional religious conservative base. To that, I can only say that it is time to move on. The sad reality for you is that the white American evangelical movement has already abandon you in consequential numbers; their strength has peaked and is being replaced by evangelical African American and Latino voters. These are the people who got Proposition 8 passed in California, and yet they voted for Obama. No matter how aligned your values might seem to be, they are not going to be voting for your candidates anytime soon.

Besides, you do not have give up on white evangelicals. By making same-sex marriage the law of the land, you will effectively obliterate most of what actually scares heterosexuals about homosexuality, which the gay subculture. Quite simply, there is nothing more mainstream than marriage; and with nothing to rebel against, gays and lesbians can join will embrace the mini-van. That's not to say the Dr. Dobson's of the world will ever be thrilled, but he and his colleagues still abortion, divorce, profanity, pornography, evolution and a whole host of other issues to keep them occupied.

To make this simple policy step, all you need to do is embrace a few simple facts. One, no one chooses to be homosexual; gays and lesbians are born with their sexual orientation in place. It makes no more sense to punish them for that fact than to deny someone voting rights based on skin color or gender. Two, same-sex marriage does not threaten the overall institution of marriage or the family unit in any way. Children reared by gay parents grow up to be just like those of heterosexual parents. (The AMA actually did a study of adopted children to prove this.) And judging from the experience of The Netherlands, same-sex and heterosexual couples have the same divorce rate. In the US, that's 45%. Third, this is a genuine civil rights issue in the spirit of the XIV Amendment. Truly, nothing could be more in the spirit of the party of Lincoln than righting a meaningful constitutional wrong.

Same-sex marriage is good for everyone. Republicans benefit by proving that they can still be bold. Gays and lesbians achieve the full measure of their civil rights. The country benefits from the presence of a coherent opposition party that keeps the Democrats on their toes. Now that you know what to do, "Just Do It."

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