During an appearance on Meet The Press with David Gregory on Sunday, Reince Preibus became the latest Republican to criticize President Obama for coming out in support of same-sex marriage. Preibus told Gregory that respecting gay people means not allowing them to get married. He also said that marriage equality isn’t an equal rights or civil rights issue.
REINCE PREIBUS: Mitt Romney is a gracious, caring person who believes that every individual in this country, including people who are gay, deserve the dignity and respect that every American deserves. But that doesn’t change the fact that we believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. So–
DAVID GREGORY: Do you think the fight for gay marriage is a civil rights struggle ?
REINCE PRIEBUS: I don’t think it’s a matter of civil rights. I think it’s just a matter of whether or not we’re going to adhere to something that’s been historical and religious and legal in this country for many, many years. I mean marriage has to have a definition. And we just happen to believe it’s between a man and a woman. So–
DAVID GREGORY: For those people who do think it’s a civil right would say all those things you’ve just said could have been said about Jim Crow laws.
REINCE PRIEBUS: I think there’s a big difference between people that have been murdered and everything else that have come with Jim Crow than marriage between a man and a man and a woman and a woman. Here’s what we agree on. Is that people in this country, no matter straight or gay, deserve dignity and respect. However, that doesn’t mean it carries on to marriage. And I think that most Americans agree that in this country the legal and historical and religious union, marriage has to have the definition of one man and one woman.
DAVID GREGORY: But do you believe that gays and lesbians in America deserve equal rights?
REINCE PRIEBUS: I think they deserve equal rights in regard to, say, discrimination in the workplace, issues such as, as Mitt Romney has pointed out numerous times, hospital visitations. I mean I think that for the sake of dignity and respect, sure. But if you’re defining marriage as a civil right, then no. I don’t believe that people who are same sex should be able to get married under our laws.
Here’s the video:
So Preibus thinks the definition of respect and dignity means not giving all human beings the right to marry the person they love. How Republican of him. Let’s address some of his statements, shall we?
Preibus says Mitt Romney and the RNC agree that LGBT people shouldn’t be discriminated against in the workplace, yet, Mitt Romney allowed anti-gay conservatives to force his gay foreign policy spokesman to resign. It sounds to me like Romney approves of discriminating against gay people.
Preibus also says same-sex marriage isn’t a civil rights issue. At one time in this country, interracial marriage was seen as an abomination in states across the South and was illegal. Many of those same states still feel that way today, but the Supreme Court struck down those laws because they violated civil rights. Laws that ban same-sex marriage should be treated the same way. These laws ban one consenting human being from marrying another consenting human being and therefore, violate civil rights.
Let’s also examine Preibus’ claim that marriage is defined by the Bible. The thing about the Bible is that conservative often ignore the parts that disagree with their agenda. Specifically, they ignore the romantic relationship between Jonathan and David as depicted in the first book of Samuel. The Bible, which conservatives consider the word of God, describes their relationship as a loving and romantic sexual relationship. If Preibus actually ever read the Bible, he would know about this.
Marriage is a right that all adults should be able to enjoy. Preibus is trying to fool the LGBT community into believing that Republicans care about them, but their policies are more than enough to prove that the GOP cares very little about gays and lesbians. Republicans support bullying homosexuals at school, at work, and in daily life. How can any human being feel respect and dignity if they are not even allowed to marry the person they love? Until Republicans officially endorse same-sex marriage and fight for policies that protect the full rights and equality of the LGBT community, the Republican Party will continue to be seen as a threat to equal right, civil rights, and love.