A prime example recently is a poll done in Indiana about that state's residents feelings on the issue. The headline in the Indianapolis Star said, "Poll: Few Hoosiers Back Gay Marriage." The subhead: "31% approve civil unions; 46% oppose gay marriage." In fact, what the poll found was that 31 percent approve civil unions and another 19 percent approve gay marriage--meaning 50 percent of the state's population approves of some form of recognition for gay couples. For people under 35, two-thirds approve of some kind of recognition.
We had our own follies here in North Carolina when the state Republican Party refused to allow the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay political group, to have a table at the state's convention. "[Y]our principles are divergent from those plainly stated in our platform," wrote state GOP chairman Ferrell Blount.
He sent the group an excerpt from the platform. It's worth reading:
Republicans believe that a two-parent family, where a husband and wife live in harmony in one home, provides the ideal environment for raising children and is the best model for family life. We praise the courageous efforts of single parents who work hard to provide stable homes, and we recognize that single parents often succeed and two-parent families sometimes fail. We, therefore, oppose efforts to redefine the traditional family structure and offer the Republican Party as a refuge for everyone concerned about the breakdown of family life in America.
We believe that homosexuality is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle either in public education or in public policy. We do not believe public schools should be used to teach children that homosexuality is normal, and we do not believe that taxpayers should fund benefit plans for unmarried partners. We oppose special treatment by law based on nothing other than homosexual behavior or identity. We therefore oppose actions, such as "marriage" or the adoption of children by same-sex couples, which attempt to legitimize and normalize homosexual relationships. We support the Defense of Marriage Act. We also stand united with private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, who defend moral decency and freedom according to their own long-held and well-established traditions and beliefs.
Actually, those are sections two and three of the North Carolina Republican Party Platform.
Here's section one, which wasn't included in the letter:
We believe that our nation's strength lies with the family. The family is where each new generation gains its moral anchor. It is the first school of good citizenship, the engine of economic progress, and a haven of security and understanding in an ever-changing world.
So, someone tell me again how coming out against people making lifetime commitments of love and support is a threat to family values?
And, finally, the letter didn't include this from the preamble of the party's platform:
The North Carolina Republican Party believes in the power and freedom of individuals, and we oppose all efforts to replace that power with undue governmental control.
They forgot to add: Unless it supports our prejudices.
(UPDATE: The N.C. House is considering a constitutional amendment to radically expand the homophobic Defense of Marriage law already on the books. Some fear HB 1606 could mean the loss of domestic partner benefits for those who already have them. For more information about the bill and how to speak out against it, go to www.equalitync.org )