Thursday U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told the Washington Blade that he does not anticipate that House Republicans will take a position on the marriage cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Boehner said, “I don’t expect that we’re going to weigh in on this. The court will make its decision and that’s why they’re there, to be the highest court in the land.”
President of Freedom to Marry Evan Wolfson said, “The House Republican leadership’s commendable decision not to try to fight against the freedom to marry marks a real step forward from their recent no-holds-barred defense of marriage discrimination the last time we were before the Supreme Court, in 2013. Their evolution reflects the momentum for the freedom to marry nationwide, as well as the quiet hope of most Republican officials and operatives that the Supreme Court will rule in our favor and bring the country to national resolution, thereby rescuing them from their prior stance against the freedom to marry. They know their past pandering to part of their base is way out of step not only with a majority of the American people and independents, but with Republicans under 45 and even with young Evangelicals.”
It’s not news the Republican Party is changing both its tune and position on the freedom to marry. A majority of Republicans under age 45 support gay people marrying. GOP pollsters have declared the debate over. And instead of loudly beating the anti-gay drum, high profile leaders like Mitch McConnell and others are staying silent on the question, even during their tight midterm races last fall. Many prospective GOP candidates who are thinking about running for president are either calling for a big-tent respect for diverse views on marriage (Jeb Bush and Rand Paul) or are acknowledging the issue as “the law of the land” (Scott Walker).
As The Seattle Lesbian reported Wednesday, after speaking on a panel entitled “Marriage Equality and the Republican Party” in Graham Chapel at Washington University, political columnist and television host Meghan McCain, Log Cabin Republican Executive Director, Gregory T. Angelo and the first openly gay candidate to run for President, Fred Karger, all signed the “St. Louis Resolution,” which listed several reasons why candidates should avoid attacking the LGBT community during the upcoming presidential election.
The Resolution ends with, be it “Resolved, that all Republican candidates for President of the United States in 2016 shall refrain from any anti-gay rhetoric.”
The St. Louis Resolution will be sent via email to the following 18 potential Republican candidates for president: Ambassador John Bolton; Governor Jeb Bush; Dr. Ben Carson; Governor Chris Christie; Senator Ted Cruz; Ms. Carly Fiorina; Senator Lindsey Graham; Governor Bobby Jindal; Governor John Kasich; Governor George Pataki; Governor Sarah Palin; Senator Rand Paul; Governor Mike Pence; Governor Rick Perry; Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rick Santorum; Mr. Donald Trump; and Governor Scott Walker. A copy will also be sent to Reince Preibus, Chairman of Republican National Committee.
“It’s time for the party of Lincoln to treat all Americans with respect and dignity,” said McCain. “If the Republican Party is ever going to attract younger voters, our candidates for president need to stop their nasty attacks and move on to issues that will unite us as a party and a country.”