Homophobia ruled at the spring gathering of the Republican National Committee this week in Los Angeles as the group approved — with no debate — yet another resolution affirming the party’s steadfast opposition to gay marriage.
A simple resolution approved in a voice vote by the 157 members of the RNC said:
“The Republican National Committee affirms its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America.”
The resolution flies in the face of a trend of an increasing number of Republicans who are changing their positions on gay marriage but showcases that the party is still controled by a rabid right-wing element.
Conservatives worked up the resolution to try and quiet conservatives who say the party is becoming too mainstream and too in step with a majority of Americans. They want the GOP to keep the party in a bygone era of intolerance that includes homophobia, racism and bigotry.
Two GOP Senators — Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois — have gone public with their support of gay marriage — a concept that virtually all Democrats in the Senate support but the RNC move shows the party of the elephants is still mired in the past.
How strong was the conservative backlash? The RNC also approved a resolution that supports “core values” of virtually unlimited gun ownership and use, marriage only between a man and woman, draconian border security and the standard hardcore opposition to abortion.
“The more things change, the more the Republican party stays the same,” longtime GOP activist Josh Samuelson told Capitol Hill Blue. Samuelson said he will be working for Democrats in upcoming elections.
The RNC also passed a resolution honoring former GOP Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the maverick right-winger who ran for President three times (once as a Libertarian, twice as a Republican) and lost overwhelmingly each time. Paul retired from Congress this year after a muddled career that included publication of a strongly racist newsletter, oddball stands on financial matters and many failed attempts to eliminate the Federal Reserve.
“It’s interesting,” says Joanna Kingston, another longtime but now disaffected Republican. “Nowadays, the only thing the Republicans can honor are failed ideas and failed elected officials.”