Monday, April 27, 2015

In Iowa, GOP Candidates Stress Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

If one wants proof of just how shamelessly Republicans prostitute themselves to the Christofascists, look no farther than Iowa where every would be GOP presidential candidate is stressing his opposition to marriage equality.  Never mind the poll after poll is showing majority support among Americans for same sex marriage rights.  In today's GOP, it is all about whoring oneself to the Christofascists, spittle flecked homophobes, and thinly veiled (sometimes not even veiled) white supremacists.  It's ugly, but that is what has become of the Republican Party.  A piece in Politico looks at the GOP self-prostitution.  Here are highlights:

Leading Republican presidential candidates came to Iowa Saturday to assure social conservatives that they still oppose gay marriage, despite shifting public attitudes and the recent backlash against religious liberty laws.

Speaking to some 1,000 evangelicals at the Point of Grace Church in this suburb of Des Moines, a procession of presidential candidates expressed support for a constitutional amendment that would allow states to re-ban gay marriage if the Supreme Court recognizes a right to such unions.

Many GOP elites, in the donor and operative class, want to move beyond gay marriage. They think it’s a losing issue for the party in the long-term and makes outreach to younger voters more difficult. But social conservatives are the most influential constituency in the caucuses, which kick off the nominating process.

[T]he candidates tried to outdo one another on who could speak out most strongly against a right to gay marriage.

“Marriage as an institution existed before even government itself,” declared Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, kicking off the five-hour Faith & Freedom Summit, at which nine likely presidential candidates spoke. “The institution of marriage as between one man and one woman existed even before our laws existed.”

Scott Walker noted that he voted for Wisconsin’s constitutional ban and defended it through the judicial process, until the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling that his state issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Bobby Jindal got out front on the topic by writing an op-ed this week that was headlined, “I’m holding firm against gay marriage.” There were hundreds of printouts of the piece, which ran in the New York Times, scattered throughout the mega-church.  The Louisiana governor’s speech was interrupted twice by standing ovations as he pledged his support for a religious freedom law in his home state that’s as strong as the one enacted in Indiana. 

Steve King, the Republican congressman from northwest Iowa, devoted his entire speech at the event to arguing that a Supreme Court decision recognizing a right to gay marriage would be illegitimate.

Ted Cruz is seen by many Iowa GOP insiders as having the upper hand right now with social conservatives. But the Texas senator has taken heat in the state this week for appearing at a fundraiser at the home of two openly gay men.  . . . Cruz vigorously defended his appearance at the fundraiser, which he said does not reflect his steadfast opposition to gay marriage. Asked twice if he was aware that a 23-year-old had apparently overdosed on drugs at the same apartment where he went for the fundraiser just six months ago, Cruz declined to answer. . . . . He declined to say whether he regretted the venue choice but attacked the media for covering the appearance.
Jeb Bush skipped the cattle call – this crowd is unlikely to go for him in the caucuses – but sent a surrogate to speak for him. Jordan Sekulow told the room that “Gov. Bush supports traditional marriage.”

One of the only potential candidates who did not mention gay marriage in his speech was Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator who is trying to appeal to libertarians and social conservatives. He’s taken a nuanced position, in which he says he believes in traditional marriage but that the law should be neutral on the matter and that it should ultimately be up to the states.

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