Thursday, February 27, 2014

Should Have Listened to the RINO

They are falling down like dominoes. The latest domino to fall is the state of Texas. Yesterday, federal judge Orlando Garcia ruled the Texas same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.  Not only are the dominoes falling; but, there are doing so at warp speed.

Since June 2013 - when the United States v. Windsor decision declaring sections of DOMA unconstitutional was announced - there have been several rulings striking down state same-sex marriage bans including in the deep red states like Utah and Oklahoma; and the dominoes will continue to fall until same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states.


Predictably, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott - who is currently running to replace Governor Rick Perry - has vowed to appeal the decision. What else could he do? The Texas GOP has long stopped being a Republican Party and  has become a weird hybrid of old Dixiecrats and new theocrats. I just wish they would stop using the Republican label so that  Abraham Lincoln can stop spinning in his grave.

As the outrage over Garcia's decision grows among the ranks of the Texas Theocratic Party (I mean... the TX GOP), old arguments that have been used to oppress groups throughout our history are recycled. There is railing against judicial activism (Sorry folks, but protecting individual rights is not judicial activism). There is ranting about states rights (Hate to break it to ya'; but there is no such thing as states rights. Read the 10th Amendment; it talks about powers, not rights).  There is weeping over the destruction of traditional, Biblical marriage (Enough already! Our monogamous marriage tradition comes from pagan Rome; not the Old Testament).

But the railing, ranting and weeping will amount to nothing in the end. Same-sex marriage is here to stay; and the sooner the GOP gets the message, the better.

As I have written in an earlier piece, I became more active in GOP grassroots after the 2008 electoral debacle. I wanted to see what I could do to help the party grow again. There were a few issues that I was rather outspoken (imagine that!) about the need for the party to change. One such issue was opposition to same-sex marriage. Nothing brilliant on my part, I just looked at social attitudes - especially among younger people - towards homosexuality and realized that it was not a politically sustainable position.

Just imagine if the Democrats had decided to stick with their support for segregation. Even George Wallace who famously (or infamously) declared, "...I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" eventually renounced his support for discrimination against blacks. A political party cannot stake its future on social norms because they are always changing. This is a lesson that the Republican Party, apparently, has yet to learn.

Whenever I suggested that the time had come for the GOP to move away from its opposition to same-sex marriage, I was quickly reminded that gay marriage bans had won everywhere they were put on the ballot. True enough. But - I would point out - the long term trends were going against said bans. Best for the party to move away from this issue and not make it a central plank of its platform. I wasn't advocating forcing religious people to accept gay marriage. I was simply suggesting that the GOP quietly drop this issue and focus on other issues that were sure to win at the ballot box.

RINO! That's what I was called ad nauseum. My Republican bonafides were questioned. Suspicions that I was a closet liberal spread. It was even suggested I was a Democrat plant. I finally got so fed up I left the party.

My mother taught me not to gloat; but, after all the verbal abuse I endured... sorry mom... Who is laughing now?!