Gov. Ricketts in Chicago for a special event

Timothy Kincaid

June 6th, 2015

One of the odder early moments in the 2016 primary season was a week or two in which the presumed GOP candidates were asked whether they would go to the same-sex marriage of a close friend or family member. And in what seemed to be a weird effort to play both sides, several responded that while they oppose the legal recognition of same-sex marriages, they’d happily attend the wedding of someone they love.

But, as it turned out, they weren’t necessarily being cynical. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had already attended a gay wedding reception and Ohio Gov. John Kasich had RSVP’d and had plans to attend.

So maybe it’s a thing.

It does seem a bit hypocritical, but I suppose one can simultaneously hold the position that society is better off restricting marriage to traditional couples while also celebrating your friend’s happiness. Politicians have certainly held stranger positions.

In any case, Walker and Kasich are not alone. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is staunchly defending the state’s ban on marriage equality, insisting that the only a vote of the constituents should bring about equal protection under the law. But while he’s holding firm against gay marriage in Nebraska, he’s attending one in Illinois. (

Ricketts will attend the wedding of his sister, Laura Ricketts. She is marrying Brooke Skinner, a brand strategist for Twitter.
Laura Ricketts was one of the leaders in the gay-rights movement in Chicago and was active in pushing for the legalization of gay marriage in Illinois, which took effect last year.

It would be reasonable to object to the idea of a politician opposing equality and then showing up for the ceremony. But I can’t help but think that this is positive. It’s hard to hold a continued objection once you’ve been a part of a lovely and touching and beautiful ceremony.

And who knows, maybe this is the tool that is needed not only for them to confront this issue on a personal level, but also to explain an eventual change of heart.


June 7th, 2015

Timothy, I would not hold my breath. We are talking about Nebraska and we are talking about a governor who has pledged to execute the 10 people on Death Row despite the Death Penalty being outlawed by the Legislature and the drugs needed only being available by a drug mule from India.


June 7th, 2015

Meanwhile Scott Walker just backed a federal constitutional ban on SSM. Way to go Log Cabin et al.


June 7th, 2015

Walker also says that he attended a same-sex wedding. This BS is nothing but a lame excuse to cover their bigotry and/or pandering. Like saying “I’m not a homophobe, but…”


June 8th, 2015

Jack: that doesn’t sound correct. I believe it’s just to give states the option of denying marriages. Bad enough, but that that’s as far as they’re even comfortable proposing these days is still a lot better than ten years ago.


June 8th, 2015

I object more to the idea of the Uncle Tom family enablers who give wedding invitations to these people.

It boggles the mind how you’d rationalize inviting someone who works so hard at preventing others from having what you are having to your wedding, which he considers inferior and a threat to the social fabric.

Have some goddamn dignity and stop trying so hard at getting people to like you.


June 8th, 2015

Lucrece – our 25th silver wedding anniversary is coming up and i have not invited – nor will – my homophobic mother. that’s what i don’t get; inviting someone against you to your wedding.

Priya Lynn

June 8th, 2015

Lucrece and Eddie, maybe the idea is to see if you can soften these people up by having them come to your wedding and see that it is a positive thing.


June 8th, 2015

I second that, Priya! I would add that family is family. I invited my Baptist minister father and his faithful wife, my mother, to my wedding. I was hesitant, and ultimately, after a few discussions with them about what I wanted from them v. what they were willing to give, we decided that it was best if they not come. But, I don’t regret inviting them. It gave them an opportunity to consider what they loved more.

If, as Timothy suggested, Ricketts is sticking to the “let the people vote” argument in defending his state’s marriage ban, we would have a hard time crying hypocrisy, since Illinois, where his sister is getting married, passed equality by a proxy vote of the people rather than through court action. Of course, “let the people vote” is the new favorite high ground of the anti-gay elite, and will be the safe haven of politicians who want to keep pushing opposition to our marriages as a platform point, but it is also easy to understand how someone can sincerely believe that voting on “controversial issues” is better than having courts “force it on” the public. That doesn’t make them right, but that does mean anybody who sincerely believes it is not hypocritical to then attend a wedding in a state that enacted equality through legislative action or popular vote.


June 8th, 2015

It’s up to the family member whether to invite their anti-gay politician relative to the wedding.

Mark F.

June 9th, 2015

You people seem to forget that until quite recently, many liberals and Democrats were against same sex marriage. But people do change their minds. Better they come than not come, I should think.

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