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Nancy Smith

COUNTERPOINT: Conservatives Should Embrace Same-Sex Marriage Decision

June 26, 2015 - 11:30pm

As a conservative who has always supported gay marriage, it's difficult for me to understand why so many people of my generation -- the ones who grew up witnessing some of the worst discrimation of the 20th century -- could consistently rage against it.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has declared that marriage is a basic civil right, older than the Constitution itself. No more bans. What could be a more conservative opinion than that?

When I heard the justices' decision, were I not gymnastically challenged, I would have cartwheeled up Adams Street from College Avenue to the Florida Capitol.

My brother was gay. He loved children, loved at least one man in his life I was aware of. Yet, he was denied both because, well, "that's the way things are." I knew how he suffered 50 years ago, and frankly for most of his life -- in ways gay men and women today, thank heaven, will never have to know. Why would I or any true conservative -- who surely believes in more individual freedom and less government -- ever want that state of affairs to continue?

And I think, what possible harm can it do to me and my husband, a pair of heterosexuals, if gay couples want the commitment and legal protections of marriage, same as the law allows us?

If a gay couple adopts children and the children have two mommies or two daddies instead of one of each -- and, by the way, I support gay adoption, too -- is that really going to harm them if they're loved by both parents? Are they in any more danger than the children of heterosexual couples or single parents who are alcoholics, drug users, physically abusive or neglectful? I never believed having a mommy and a daddy -- traditional parents -- is the key to happiness. I believe the key is being loved and cared for.  

 All across the country polls have shown Americans are shifting their opinions of same-sex marriage, becoming more tolerant. Just a few weeks ago, a poll in Tennessee, a Bible Belt state, showed opposition has softened. In 2014, 64 percent of those surveyed opposed gay marriage; in 2015, the rate dropped to 55 percent -- a 9 percent difference in one year.

While I deeply respect religious viewpoints on the issue, I don't believe they belong in a civil question over who can marry whom, nor do I think the United States Constitution ever intended to promote marriage discrimination. I think this is the kind of thing we Republicans need to think about as we try to win back the White House in 2016.

Certainly the party can still support traditional views on marriage, but adopt a live-and-let-live attitude toward people whose marriage choices aren't the same as theirs  -- some of whom are members of the GOP.

The numbers are fairly compelling. The millennial generation is 80 million, largest in history. And for millennials who lean right, gay marriage is an area in which they disagree with their party.

Perhaps you saw the most recent survey of incoming freshmen at UCLA: some 44 percent of students who considered themselves "far right" believed same-sex couples should have the right to legally marry. And so did 56 percent of students who label themselves "conservative."

Or the 2014 Pew poll. It found 61 percent of Republicans younger than 30 support gay marriage.

Or the Data Science poll, showing 64 percent of self-identifying evangelical millennials support same-sex marriage.

My point is, supporters of gay marriage are part of the red team, like it or not. Look at the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay conservative group. And the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. Do we really want to excommunicate them from the party because of their advocacy?

These are our people. Why would we chase them out from under the Big Red Tent? If we are truly a big tent, it seems to me we should celebrate our diversity instead of trying to purify it.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

If more Republicans were as informed and intelligent as Nancy Smith the party would be growing instead of shrinking. Put bigots in their place and you might stand a chance.

I almost always comment on Nancy's column to "beg to differ" but today I thank you most profoundly for your point of view and eloquence on the matter. I was raised by a single parent due to my father's death when I was 7. Kids need structure , love, a home, and an education more than anything else. Any parent who can provide that, gay, straight or somewhere in-between is a good parent of a lucky child.

This is a travesty of Justice. Homosexuals demand tolerance but has nothing but contempt for anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle. A good case in point is how they have sued the baker, florist and others who refused to make their products for their wedding causing them to lose their life savings and their business. Imagine if we had done that to them? People have forgotten how many young boys were killed and raped when these stories were reported in the paper. I still have those clippings. Today Hollywood, TV sit coms, media and even the schools are indoctrinating children into acceptance of same/sex marriage despite the fact that Florida voted over 62% to keep marriage between a man & woman. Make no mistake that we will see the repercussions of how this will affect our lives & the church later.

You're actually claiming that gays bringing about a lawsuit directly resulted in "many young boys were killed and raped" . . . . . that's just crazy! . . . . . . . . . once upon a time, most Floridians supported slavery - did they have it "right" or even "Christian" . . . . . . blatant discrimination . . . . . . . . . . always . . . . . PATHETIC

You can be whatever you want Nancy, and marry whomever you please... But my commiseration stops short when the government tells me to "bake a cake" for you and your love interest; furthermore my private property will host and cater to ONLY who I invite to enjoy and appreciate my catering skills, hence the sign that you and everyone else has seen in establishments throughout this country "We reserve the right to not serve anyone we choose"...it's kinda like "No Trespassing, Private Property" where you must seek permission to enter and enjoy my culinary talents and offerings. Now maybe you can explain to your readers the "nonsensical attack" on the Confederate Flag, a proud symbol of Southern Pride that has become a victim of the revisionist history fraudulently taught to 'milleniums' who populate even the groups you mention in this article. Why would gay marriage trump the Southern history component of American history? The culture that has defined America throughout its existence is being suppressed in front of your eyes and all you can do is tell us how you love your brother....We get that ! But what defense can you posit for the endless attacks upon American culture and history that are occurring at the hands of current government administrations at every level?

C Breeze .... having married my partner of 9 years in 2013, I actually don't know why anyone would choose to seek the services of a provider who has such disdain for them. All couples (gay or straight) deserve vendors who add joy and good energy to their big day. Post your sign, let the gays know you aren't supportive, you are doing them and yourself a HUGE favor.

Of course, you must be right . . . . .you don't need a government "business" license to sell that cake to the public, and you can unilaterally discriminate (and not sell that cake) to anyone you dislike, simply because you don't like them because they're black, a Jew, a Catholic, a woman, a Hispanic, a non-southerner, an Italian, a Democrat or your neighbor, right . . . . . . . . . . . face it, you and your Confederate flag nonsense just further prove the racism, the bigotry involved with your ignorant commentary . . . . . . you seem to have no real understanding of the American Constitutional system of government and its rule of law . . . . . . . . . sad and clearly . . . . PATHETIC

No Frank,...I choose NOT to deal with stupid, arrogant, pathetic people exactly like you.

Gee. . . . . there you go again . . . . didn't your mommy ever teach you better . . . . . . but then, we can all easily understand your caustic viewpoint, can't we . . . . . all one has to do is look back at some of your extensive past ugly name-calling --> Jug-eared moron; morons; Medusa; monsters; sharks; "kool-Ade" drinkers; “kool-Ade" drinking moron; Obama lapdog; anti-American poseur; narcissistic poseur president; de Sade; sadistic; cruel; Women assuming a position of power wield it like no others, with pettiness, animosity and vindictiveness; relocated and/or retired "carpetbaggers"; You know what you can do with that "Florida grown banana" that you refer to; hundreds of thousands of "Illegal Invaders"; lackey minions . . . . . yes, we can all truly appreciate exactly who is "stupid, arrogant" . . . . . and. . . . . of course . . . . . . . PATHETIC

Spot on Frank

Good for you, Nancy! . . . . . . . . now focus your efforts on ACTUALLY convincing those GOP types who declare the fight's not over . . . . . or who, like strident Allen West, write that this could lead to a new civil war in America . . . . . . . . . . . GOP denial . . . . whether on climate change, women's rights, minority voter suppression or gay rights, as always . . . . . PATHETIC

Yes. There were concubines and more than one wife as recorded in the Old Testament. That was "man's" will, not God's Will. He made a wife (woman) for Adam and God's Word has never changed. Even then when men decided for other reasons, including political, God honored the first wife. The lineage of Jesus comes through the first wife of Jacob even though Jacob was deceived into that marriage and took the woman he loved as his second wife. Not God's Will--it was done by men but still does not make it right in the sight of God.

The Bible says God made a help-mate for Adam, not a wife. And if we take things literally Eve needed to have sex with her sons to keep things going - or the boys knocked up their sisters who may not have been mentioned because you know: Patriarchy. ICK God sure does not think things through so well it seems.

The historical definition of marriage actually includes pologamy, arranged and forced marriage. Bibically, Pologomy was normal as well as the keeping of concubines. I guess most important... that personal liberty and rights have to be for everybody, whether we like it or not. Failure to protect everybodys rights puts our own at risk.

Your point about marriage being older than the constitution is exactly right. Marriage has had a definition for more than a 1,000-years. Please stop stealing words and redefining them. When I was young, gay meant happy. Now it means homosexual. The homosexuals found that they couldn't sell their argument using the homosexual -word. Now I can't use the "g"-word to describe my state of mind without raising eye brows. Is the next step, and you know there is a next step coming, to force pastors, preachers and priest to perform homosexual "marriages"? This decision allows the use of coercion (force) to insure compliance. Religious freedom must be maintained in that churches must be free to make their own decision about whether or not to perform such ceremonies. With this decision state and local decision-making freedom has been destroyed.

This post has me laughing out loud. NOTHING about this coerces anyone to do anything. It expands entering into a civil marriage contract to all citizens equally between two consenting adults. The idea of a baker being coerced to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding is a different matter all together. Why that matters to a baker makes no sense to me. Bake the cake, collect the fee and donate it to your church for good works if you think it is somehow "icky". Relax people. FYI - the Episcopal Church voted to perform same--sex marriages in their churches, the Catholic church will likely NEVER do that. So that wonderful constitutional separate of church and state enshrined by the founding fathers will ensure you and your congregations have a say in your particular policies. FEAR NOT!

Gay marriage is not a right because marriage is, always was, and always will be a union between a man and women for the purpose of continuing a family line and producing a new generation of children. Everything in our culture is geared toward this; we can even see it in the tax code. Society has a vested interest and duty to protect and provide for the continuation and propagation of itself; marriage is the vehicle for this. To change the definition of marriage is like saying the blue sky is black, but much worse because of what educational institution will do in programming children to try perverse life styles – already started in some schools. Now we have the bizarre concept of gender neutral when we know that there is a fundamental difference between boys and girls. Next will be rulings on transgender and sodomy and boy man relationship, and other endless march into depravity. We are stepping on the boundary of Natural Law, the law of nature as seen in all things and known to be true. Homosexuality has existed for a very long time and certainly the one in a hundred, and anyone else should have a legal right to enter a bond to live together but this should be a civil bond for legal protections and not be confused with marriage. The 'Supreme Court' is not supreme and had no authority or right to make law. They are unfortunately reflecting the perversion of our society and culture, particularly in the court system and themselves.

It is a right, the SCOTUS has so ordered. And to the "Everything in our culture is not geared to this" line. Not true. But even if we argue that it is... gays can also have children (either by hooking up for the night, artificial insemination or surrogate), or adopt or remain child free. Hmmm same as any other married pair. The sky is back, only our atmosphere makes it look blue by day. But red by dawn, pink at sunset. Green if we wear certain yellow sunglasses. My point is ... why are you arguing this? Your right to marry the love of your life has not been abridged or changed. The opportunity to marry has been expanded to include all citizens. For pete's sake... I grew up in a world that did 24/7 heterosexual programming... you can't change a person's core sexual orientation. Unless you personally fear that there are BUNCH of bisexual people just waiting in the wings to switch teams, I don't even understand that line of argument. Your slippery slopes are gruesome to consider. This ruling was for two adults equally consenting to enter into a marriage contract. Man/boy, woman/goat or whatever remains unlawful as a contract between unequal partners.

Dude. Seriously. Sex is for biological procreation. Marriage is a social construct that has 1100+ rights and obligations conferred by the US Government. Religious marriage is a tradition with it many expressions, from one-time, no divorce Catholicism, to OK to divorce Anglicanism (think Henry and his many beheaded wives). FYI - the SCOTUS did not "make up a law" it merely ruled that a law that was passed curtailed the access to basic rights to gay people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I married my husband in CA and it makes no sense that I was married in one state but not my own homestate until January 6 of this year. And now these United States. God Bless America!

Dave, I fully agree with you. I wonder why people who support gay marriage don't realize that there will be a trend toward depravity. Or maybe they haven't researched institutions for those they support, such as the men boys association which supports homosexual relationships between underage teens and older men. Certainly, other groups who want to be represented can say 'if it's only about what makes us feel good, why can't we be married too?'

Perfect...thank you

It's not the same thing as marriage, so why call it marriage? Call it a union or something else but don't call it marriage. Marriage has always been between a man and a women, since this lgbt bs came up they want to use the term marriage to define themselves as a normal marriage. "Sorry Charlie, that dog don't hunt!"

I heard on NPR the other morning an interview with the author of a book called Marriage: A History. When you believe "marriage has always been between a man and a woman" you oversimplify even what that means. It was not even about 'love" until the late 18th century, for millennia it was about resolving disputes (elites often married families for power consolidation) or practicality (working class often married to survive in their vocation i.e., bakers married bakers). Lower classes often sold their daughters for their dowry - husbands purchased their wives as a poor man's version of the two above scenarios). And her best line... Gays have not redefined marriage, heterosexuals have been redefining marriage for a very long time. In closing - bravo for you, a bastion of tradition. In a free society, no one is going to force you to marry anyone, much less a person of the same sex. But in that same free society, no one should force me to marry someone of the opposite sex either.

Spot on Nancy. If the Republican Party actually listened to moderates like you and modified their stupid....They would be a growing party with a bright future. Instead, they will continue to be hypocrites, to demand their rights while they continue to deny others theirs. Well said. God Bless Ya.

God Bless? Yet God said man shall not lay with another man and that's okay? Gay sex was legalized by the Supreme Court Justices!

Funny you should think the SCOTUS legalized gay sex. Actually sodomy was decriminalized years ago. By the way, good news for heterosexuals who like oral and other sexual delights, the police aren't busting down the door arresting people in their most intimate moments. And just like most straight couples, now that I am married I seldom have sex at all. They've actually enabled a wedding "cold" shower for all the gays and lesbians I know. HAHAHAHAHAH. Touché.

What is a man? Is it someone who looks male? What if the have no or both sex organs? Is ones sex in their brain or penis? What if the persons brain sex doesn't match their body sex? Why did God make people like these? If you force what you call a gay man to go with a female then you are forcing them into gay relations brain wise. Fact is everyone is part male and female with all the variations inbewteen. So just because you believe in magical beings and people tell you ignorant things gives you no right to deny people the right to marry the sex they need. Nancy what do you expect from those you support? Maybe you need to support a higher quality, more advanced people who actually think instead of the regressives you support. As Hilary said, repubs are the party of the past.

My belief is that goverment is not supposed to intrude into citizens personal lives. My belief is that when our Founders made the decision to seperate Church and State they did so so that no person in goverment has right to force their religious beliefs on others. My belief is that we are all EQUAL and that in order to protect my rights, I have to protect everybody elses, whether I agree with them or not. My belief is that what other people do is none of my business....

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nancy smith
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