Saturday, January 21, 2006

Not All Conservative Republicans Oppose Gay Rights

I happened upon a commentary on Advocate.Com written by Bob Hall, a former Massachusetts lawmaker, who describes himself as a conservative Republican who wants everyone to know that the only people who threaten traditional marriage are straight couples. Hall, an unlikely supporter of gay rights explains why he does not support a constitutional admendment in Wisconsin banning gay marriage. I have to say that I do not agree with many of Hall's positions, but he has shown me that not every conservative, Republican is against gay marriage. Hall recalls how he became a supporter of gay rights in 1973, when Massachusetts state representative Barney Frank had filed bills prohibiting employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. "The bills received a favorable report—but no one in the committee’s Democratic majority was willing to carry (be floor manager) for them. So I volunteered", according to Hall. "The Republican floor leader had a minor stroke when he learned I was carrying gay rights bills," Hall continued. Today that antidiscrimination act is law in Massachusetts. Hall addresses the argument that legalizing gay marriage will hurt the institution of marriage: "Trust me, no true heterosexual wakes up and thinks, Hey, I’m really angry with my partner. I think I’ll try dating someone from my own gender from now on. So who has destroyed traditional marriage in America?" Hall ends his commentary by stating that "The anti–same-sex-marriage amendment isn’t going to help my marriage by so much as a red whisker. If you think it will protect your marriage or any marriage, that marriage is already shot."

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