Joe Kernen, CNBC host, threw a few shots toward Republicans (via Eric Cantor, the quintessential modern-day Republican) with respect to the issue of gay marriage.
“Do the Republicans, will they forever be behind the curve, will history judge that they waited way too long to move with what looks like the general population on this?” asked Kernen.
Talk about a sidestep! Cantor’s non-response to the actual question, first, was complete revisionist history in terms of what the Republican Party stands for, and second, completely misled the viewing public about what HE actually stands for: “I think that we are all a very diverse, part of a very diverse country, and appreciate the freedoms that we are given here as Americans. But part of the deal here is we’ve got to be tolerant of other people . . . . ”
“If we really are free, then everybody should be free,” responded Kernen. ”No one’s asking you to marry another man . . . That one Republican who said, I’m not gonna marry another guy so I’m against gay marriage. It’s like, he needs to go get a remedial course in something . . . . ”
Yes, and that something would be compassion and, yes, tolerance of people who enjoy romance and love and sexual relations with people of the same sex. Don’t believe in same sex marriage? Easy solution: Don’t marry someone of the same sex.
But as for Cantor’s lecture on “tolerance” and “diversity,” Cantor supports DOMA and, as he says, “just believe in traditional marriage between a man and a woman” – oh, but he says we also should “allow equal opportunity” to go after the “success that we’re after” . . . unless it includes equality in rights, benefits and opportunity for same sex couples, that is.
And to Charlie Rose in July 2012: ” . . . . What I can tell you is I feel very strongly. I have my views, again, on traditional marriage, which I support. But I respect people who don’t agree with me just as I would expect them to respect my opinion.”
And at the Value Voters Summit in September 2012, where Cantor claimed only “traditional marriage” allows individuals to reach the pinnacle of happiness: ”Now, pursuit of happiness . . . that is why we believe in traditional marriage, because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty, even those who felt there was no hope. Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness . . . .”
All of these personal viewpoints would be fine if Cantor were content to leave people alone to pursue whatever forms of happiness and relationships they choose – but he doesn’t, not by a long shot. According to The New Civil Rights Movement, Cantor is consistent in ”voting in favor of amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and also to define marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. The Human Rights Council gives him a 0 percent rating on support for gay rights.”
And as for marriage being the path out of poverty, think again. As the Economic Policy Institute concluded, “The problem is a jobs and employment problem, not a marriage problem,” and that particularly holds true among Latinos and African American families.
Cantor can continue to talk out of both sides of his mouth in an effort to re-brand Republican “messaging,” but the proof is in the pudding: Anyone who votes consistently against rights for same sex couples is a bigot, small-minded, and destined to stay that way.