Fellow Republicans, you are sadly mistaken if you believe that the results of the November 2014 elections are a sign from the American people that the coast is clear to continue operating as you have in the past. You should not read into the results as predictive of the 2016 presidential elections. If you want to avoid a very short-lived honeymoon at the top you will have to govern in accordance with the realities that exist in America today. One of those realities is that the prohibition of gay marriage is a form of discrimination that our court system is finally getting around to correcting. The unquestioned fact is that the government provides benefits to married couples, and because gays cannot marry they cannot avail themselves of those benefits - that is discrimination on its face. This message is not about insisting that you accept homosexuality in your personal life; that would be un-American. My case is that we welcome gays into the legal institution of marriage because to continue to fight against it is contrary to spirit of our Constitution.
I, for one, have always voted for Republican candidates at all levels of government, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to do so. I have always dismissed Democrats that have attacked the GOP as the party of exclusion. However, it is becoming more evident that those of us who disagree with traditional conservative orthodoxy are vilified as illegitimate Republicans, whatever that means. I am a big believer in a smaller, less obtrusive government, something Republicans have always espoused a belief in. Sadly, the party of smaller government applies that standard only when it is convenient. You are certainly ok with an obtrusive government that regulates marriage in a discriminatory manner. For years Republicans and conservative Democrats have tried to ensure that government-sanctioned marriage remains an institution reserved for heterosexual couples. The truth is that restricting government-sanctioned marriage to heterosexual couples is a form of discrimination that has no place in our country. People that oppose such relationships for religious or moral grounds certainly have a right to do so, and I vigorously defend their right to think differently. But to use the government's power to block the rights of people to marry is inconsistent with a policy platform that promotes equality for all.
For those that justify this discriminatory position by pointing to the wishes of the majority, which is shifting quickly, that argument fails to acknowledge our history and form of government. Majorities elect officials in this country, but policies are made with an eye towards protecting the rights of minorities. At one point in our history the majority of Americans believed in slavery, opposed women's suffrage and vehemently defended segregation. Thankfully courageous politicians and jurists did the right thing and ended those despicable practices.
Americans have always been nostalgic, but like most things in life, time has a way of altering the realities of the past. No matter what anyone may tell you, America has never had a hey-day that applied to the entire population at once. Many seniors yearn for the Eisenhower 50's. But that time was great mainly for white, Protestant men. Baby Boomers glamorize the 60's and 70's, but that period was tarnished with Vietnam, racial tensions and drug abuse. Conservatives rave about the imperfect Reagan 80's (admittedly I am a fan of some of his policies, but mostly, I loved his optimism and his unapologetic pride and love for America). Essentially, with every passing generation there have been, and will always be, older segments that fondly reminisce about the inherent happiness of yesteryears, while predicting the imminent demise of the country. Sadly, someday one of the generations will be correct, but that will not happen until we approach our most perfect form. The reality is that no civilization in history has maintained its prominence in perpetuity, and we will not be the exception. But for now I am still a believer in US - Americans. I say let us drop the fight against gay marriage and turn our focus to ensuring that the American dream is available to as many people as possible. And if one of those dreams includes the marital union of two loving adults then let us all celebrate, or at the very least, let us not use the power of government to treat them as second-class citizens. Because after all, one of the beauties of America is that we have no second-class. We are all Americans, and the next time you find yourself in need of a fellow citizen to come to your rescue you will surely not be asking: are you a married homosexual?