Republicans, gay and straight, are united in the belief that strong families are critical to a free society. We recognize that governments respect marriage because of its vital role in fostering greater liberty and independence, thereby lessoning dependency on the state. Unfortunately, this principle is undermined by the exclusion of same-sex couples from legal recognition as devoted parents and committed, loving partners.
Log Cabin Republicans are committed to advocating for legislation to strengthen American families. I personally strive to secure the freedom to marry because I am a Christian and a family values conservative, not in spite of being one. Yes, Log Cabin’s work is about equality, but it’s also about commitment. In an ironic twist, gay and lesbian Americans are among the strongest promoters of conservative family values today.
Fellow marriage equality advocates boldly speak for the importance of commitment and taking responsibility for each other in an era when cohabitation and divorce are commonplace. While too often, fatherhood amounts to paying child support, gay couples are fighting hard for the ability to adopt children in need of homes. Where groups like the National Organization for Marriage contend marriage is about (exclusively procreative) sex, gay couples are reminding America that family means much more than that.
The legislative reforms sought by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are not intended to secure special rights or tear down social institutions. We seek only the ability to build lives together for richer or poorer (without unjust taxation tilting the scale toward poverty), to care for our loved ones in sickness and in health (through equal access to health care and without suffering from a “domestic partner penalty”), and to be by our partner’s side until death (without the fear that the absence of a marriage license would add complications and heartache).
The importance of marriage and family in American law derives not from mere tradition or the honor rightly given to these institutions by various religions. As conservatives, we believe in the ties that bind us, that society is stronger when we make vows to each other. My ability to be a responsible, contributing member of society and committing to raise a family with a spouse is not defined by my sexual orientation. The prayer I make in my local Episcopal parish and the pledge I recite in my Masonic lodge are not predicated by my sexual orientation. There is nothing about being gay that makes my prayer, pledge or even a marriage vow mean any less.