GOP Chair Steele Support Rights of States to Define Marriage

Timothy Kincaid

June 4th, 2009

On CNN’s American Morning on Tuesday, anchor Kiran Chetry asked Michael Steele, chair of the Republican National Committee, about comments made by former Vice-President Dick Cheney in support of same-sex marriages.

CHETRY: He went on to say, you know, gay marriage is OK, as long as it’s up to the states — individual states to decide, not the federal government. It seems to go further than even President Obama who said he supports civil unions, not gay marriage.

What do you think of Cheney’s comments?

STEELE: Well, I think the vice president brings a very personal perspective to this issue and to the question of gay marriage and gay unions. And I think his comments are appropriate reflection of his family and a situation with his daughter.

You know? My view, personal view is, you know, marriage is between a man and a woman, very much in line with what the president has said. And I think that this battle should be appropriately worked out at the state level.

The states are the ones that are defining the question of marriage, and so they will be the ultimate arbiters, I think, of what constitutes marriage in a given state. So it is the appropriate reflection of the attitude and the culture of a particular community for that debate to take place. And I think the vice president has a legitimate point there.

While at first glance this may appear to a reiteration of the GOP position that “marriage is between a man and a woman”, a closer look show this to be a strong departure from previous Republican rhetoric.

1. Steele found the vice president’s comments “appropriate.”

2. Steele qualified his own opposition to marriage as being his “personal view” and claims it is the same as President Obama’s. This seems to hint at a reluctance to be perceived as anti-gay.

3. Steele thought it appropriate that “states are the ones that are defining the question of marriage.” He even seems to be suggesting that marriage equality in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire are a “reflection of the attitude and the culture of [their] particular community.”

4. Not only has Steele chosen not to comment on the decision by New Hampshire, neither has any prominent Senator or presumptive Presidential candidate.

It seems to me that if any prominant GOP leadership still believes that same-sex marriage will unquestionably lead to the downfall of society, they certainly are keeping it to themselves.

Ron's Log

June 4th, 2009

Is this the first time a Republican has actually acknowledged that Cheney has a gay daughter rather than blowing it off by saying his private family life is private?


June 4th, 2009

Why doesn’t the question of DOMA ever come up in these interviews??

It’s DOMA that is restricting GLBT’s rights via states!!!!!!

Dammit–ask the question!


June 4th, 2009

And Mr. Steele has what authority in the Republican Party??? Every time he opens his mouth, someone yells at him and he has to retract it a few hours later. Stay tuned…for the clarification of his remarks tomorrow when Rush and Newt throw a fit about it.


June 4th, 2009

What authority does he have? He’s just the chair of the Republican National Committee.

And he flip-flops worse than John Kerry did in 2004.


June 4th, 2009

Well, of course he thinks it should be up to the states! Most states ban it!


June 5th, 2009

Sheesh! I, at least, am impressed. Baby steps.

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