RNC chair Steele on civil unions: ‘Are you crazy?’

Gratuitously nasty response from the new head of the Republican party:

GALLAGHER: Do you favor civil unions?

STEELE: No, no no. What would we do that for? What are you crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country. I mean this isn’t something that you just kind of like, “Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage.” I mean, this is a foundational principle of this country. It is a foundational principle of organized society. It isn’t something that, you know, in America we decided, “Let’s make it between a man and a woman; oh well now, let’s change our mind and make it between anyone and anyone.” No.

GALLAGHER: So no room even for a conversation about civil unions, in your mind?

STEELE: What’s the difference?

GALLAGHER: Well, you’re not calling it marriage.

STEELE: Is it?

GALLAGHER: I don’t know. I mean, I… I…

STEELE: I mean, like Sarah Palin said, you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.

Lest we forget, George W. Bush himself said he had no problem with recognizing civil unions for gay couples.

Gibson: They could be born that way. If that’s the case, just for sake of argument, that’s an unalterable characteristic for them. That’s like being black or being a woman. So, how can we deny them rights in any way to a civil union that would allow, give them the same economic rights or health rights or other things?

Mr. Bush: I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s when a state chooses to do so.

Gibson: But the platform opposes it.

Mr. Bush: Well, I don’t.

For the life of me, I will never understand why gay rights advocates didn’t jump on Bush’s comments and re-run them continuously in ads, on the Web, quoting them on TV until they were ingrained in the mind of every American. Even George Bush supports civil unions. But our advocates ignored Bush’s comments. Possibly because of the messenger (again, idiotic reasoning – you want a far-right conservative advocating your position, he’s far more helpful to persuade people (a la Nixon goes to China) than someone on the far-left). Or possibly because some people find civil unions to be a slap in the face because they’re not really marriage. Well, I disagree. Half a loaf is far better than no loaf at all. And once we get civil unions, people will see how innocuous the recognition of gay relationships really is. Not to mention, lots of couples will benefit. Generally, you win rights gradually, not in one fell swoop. In any case, here’s the chimp.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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