An Unstable Republican Platform: [No] Gay Rights

Many Republicans base their political beliefs on their faith, and that’s perfectly fine. You have a constitutional right to vote for laws or politicians who agree with your religion or morality; however, you do not have a constitutional right to infringe upon constitutional rights of others, and that’s unfortunately exactly what the Republican Party advocates today. There are many examples of their constitutional overreach, but let’s take a look at the constitutional rights of gay people in America according to the GOP Platform:

“Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law…. In Obergefell, five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” (Republican Platform pg. 11)

Oh, how I love logical fallacies. The GOP is basically establishing a pillar of their party’s existence is the prohibition of gay marriage because (a) it’s tradition for a man and a woman to raise children, (b) homosexuals obviously can’t raise them well, and (c) gay people wouldn’t instill cultural values in their children as straight people would.

What?

Well in that case, let’s bring back slavery because it worked in the past, let’s throw out all the studies that say children of gay parents face no developmental disadvantages compared to those raised by straight parents, and let’s convert everyone to Christianity because Christian values are objectively better than all others. The above passage was taken directly out of the GOP Party Platform, but it appears as though it was written in plain ignorance.

Now although I would clearly disagree with their view, I would at least somewhat respect the concept that Obergefell violated states’ rights by giving the federal government power it wasn’t given in the constitution, which is a violation of the 10th Amendment. Like I said, this isn’t true, but I could see where Republicans might come from if they said that; however, that isn’t what they’re saying in their platform. They’re saying they want to ban gay marriage because marriage is defined as the union between one man and one woman according to them. They give no reason other than tradition for why they define marriage this way; they just say this is how it should be. I can assume that this originates in the Christian tradition—from various bible passages that say homosexuality is terrible and that a man who sleeps with another man should be stoned to death. But again, you can’t infringe upon a gay or lesbian person’s right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or their right to the benefits of marriage) based on your personal religious beliefs. There can be no state-sponsored religion. According to the Establishment Clause of our Constitution, the government can’t sponsor any particular religion, so even if there are a lot of Christians in the U.S., we can’t create laws purely based on Christian tradition. According to the Free Exercise clause, Christians do have a right to practice their religion without government interference, but here’s the important part: two people of the same sex getting married in no way infringes upon the right of a Christian to practice his or her own faith. You can disagree with gay marriage all you want, but since it doesn’t directly interfere with your right to practice your faith, you cannot do anything about it!

Lately, Republicans have personified the nasty habit of infringing upon the rights of others in their standard-bearer, Donald Trump. In Mr. Trump’s eyes, the only people deserving of every right outlined in the Constitution and all of its amendments are wealthy, white, Christian, straight men, but this is not how America works. It’s not what we stand for, and it cannot be allowed. America is the land of diversity. We are a nation built by immigrants, and thus, our culture is a unique combination of countless backgrounds, a culture that cannot be found anywhere else. This diversity brings many different opinions, philosophies, and worldviews to the table, each of these valid in one way or another. I embrace diversity, and I embrace different perspectives. Where I start to have a problem is when one person’s opinion is used to violate the Constitutional rights of another, and that is something I see becoming more and more common in the Republican Party. If they do not address this issue soon, I’m not certain the Republican Party has a viable future.

Jack Ryan