Towleroad posted this video of newly elected Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus having a nauseating little chat with National Organization for Marriage front woman Maggie Gallagher about the dangers of marriage equality (aka gay marriage).
[Spoiler: He's against it. Shocking!]
He says he stopped it in Wisconsin, and he’ll work to do the same as RNC chair.
Which actually should be a damn easy job or him. On the Federal level, the idea of marriage under attack from Congress is mostly a red herring. Not even the most feverishly optimistic assessment could imagine we’ll see any real heat to legislatively repeal the Defense of Marriage Act under Priebus’ first term as chair.
In the 111th there was a House bill, H.R. 3567 Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Jerry Nadler (D-NY) that had 120 co-sponsors. There has never been a Senate bill.
The Courts will likely beat Congress in delivering Federal marriage equality when it comes. Foes are working hard to undermine any credibility such a decision might have.
And Priebus does them proud. He delivers a talking point soup of all the usual RW concerns: the Full Faith and Credit Clause (likely DOMA’s Achilles Heel) isn’t really part of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers weren’t really serious about that separation of powers and that whole checks and balances stuff either. There are only “activists judges” overriding the will of the people. Mob rule is their only hope of staving off defeat. It will be interesting to see what they tack to when they lose that, as that house of cards is falling fast.
Of course, Priebus can’t cite the part of the Constitution that says “but none of this equality stuff is applicable to gays.” Fortunately, he has his Bible for that. He seems desperate trump to the words of the Founding Fathers with the edicts of his God. He repeatedly tracks back to theological justifications for keeping marriage between one man and one woman. Constitutional reasons? Not so much.
Priebus’ “no marriage for gays” litmus test for potential candidate is really only relevant as it relates to other slightly more possible legislative victories we may be able to shoot for in the 112th or 113th Congress.
We know these people say they only care about marriage. But that’s a damn lie. National Organization for Marriage threw their resources behind defeating Referendum 71 in Washington State, the “Everything but Marriage” civil unions alternative, and did the same in Hawaii.
It’s not really about the word. It’s about keeping gay people down any way they can. So, expect candidates that pass Priebus’ “no gay marriage” litmus test to oppose anything that might offer employment discrimination protection (ENDA), immigration rights (UAFA), tax disequities solutions, inclusion in health care reform, measures to address school-bullying (SNDA & SSIA). Anything nice.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Priebus’ influence on the party will be more Mehlman or more Steele.
I’d hoped we’d see a softening on LGBT issues coming out of the GOP, after the pleasant surprise of 8 GOP Senators voting for DADT repeal. I’d hoped the party had seen the writing on the wall on these issues.
But they never really do, do they? If they couldn’t see reason and save themselves from losing the Latino vote forever, by supporting the Dream Act, I guess there’s no reason for surprise here.
Hate the gays? Love the baby Jesus? Love only carefully selected parts of the Constitution and the Bible? You’re a star in the GOP!
Step to the front of the line, Mr. Priebus.
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