What Do Social Conservatives Want? | Cato @ Liberty

Social conservatives talk about real problems but offer irrelevant solutions. They act like the man who searched for his keys under the streetlight because the light was better there.

Social conservatives tend to talk about issues like abortion and gay rights, stem-cell research and the role of religion “in the public square”: “Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty have forgotten the lessons of history,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) at the Values Voter Summit.

But what is the case for social conservatism that they’ve been making at the summit and in recent interviews?

  • Mike Huckabee: “We need to understand there is a direct correlation between the stability of families and the stability of our economy…. The real reason we have poverty is we have a breakdown of the basic family structure.”
  • Jim DeMint: ”It’s impossible to be a fiscal conservative unless you’re a social conservative because of the high cost of a dysfunctional society.”
  • Rick Santorum: “We can have no economic freedom unless we have good, virtuous moral people inspired by their faith.”

Those are reasonable concerns, but they have little or no relationship to abortion or gay marriage. Abortion may be a moral crime, but it isn’t the cause of high government spending or intergenerational poverty. And gay people making the emotional and financial commitments of marriage is not the cause of family breakdown or welfare spending

via What Do Social Conservatives Want? | Cato @ Liberty.

David Boaz: Republicans, Gay Marriage and the Sound of Social Change

Fortunately, Republicans are mostly ignoring Santorum and his allies these days. They see the long-term damage that the anti-gay crusade is doing them. Back in 2004 they thought that social issues, especially gay marriage bans, would help them win the presidential election. It wasn’t really true even then: it turns out that George W. Bush’s share of the vote rose just slightly less in the marriage-ban states than in the other states: up 2.6 percent in the states with marriage bans on the ballot, up 2.9 percent in the other states.

This year, even though President Obama and the Democratic platform have endorsed marriage equality, Mitt Romney and the Republicans are staying away from the issue. With good reason. The Washington Post reported earlier this month

via David Boaz: Republicans, Gay Marriage and the Sound of Social Change.

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Paul Ryan On DOMA: ‘Mitt And I’ Promise To ‘Protect Traditional Marriage’ In Court | The New Civil Rights Movement

Paul Ryan told Focus on the Family president Jim Daly that he and Mitt Romney will defend DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, in the courts, and attacked President Obama for not. Ryan promised Daly that he and the Romney administration will work hard to oppose any LGBT equality measures.

Just a week ago, while speaking to supporters at a town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, Paul Ryan said that preventing same-sex marriage was part of America’s “universal human values.”

via Paul Ryan On DOMA: ‘Mitt And I’ Promise To ‘Protect Traditional Marriage’ In Court | The New Civil Rights Movement.

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The Influence Industry: While GOP opposes gay marriage, key donors fund the other side – The Washington Post

Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul E. Singer is one of the Republican Party’s most important money men, raising millions for presidential candidate Mitt Romney and giving even more to a super PAC supporting his campaign.

But Singer is also a longtime backer of marriage rights for gay men and lesbians, putting him in stark conflict with Romney and the Republican establishment

The contrast underscores a growing rift between the main Republican Party — which reiterated its support this week for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage — and a small group of conservative donors who view the issue as a matter of individual civil liberties.

Singer has given $1 million this year to Freedom to Marry, a national bipartisan advocacy group focused on winning state ballot measures on gay marriage in Maine, Minnesota and Washington. The group plans to spend at least $3 million on its efforts.

Singer, founder of the $20 billion Elliott Management fund, also gave $1 million in start-up money to American Unity PAC, a new super PAC focused on supporting Republican congressional candidates who favor marriage equality.

The two groups have received major donations from at least three other Republican hedge fund managers: Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management, Seth Klarman of Baupost Group and Dan Loeb of Third Point, according to records and officials. Singer and Asness were among the key backers of a successful push last year for same-sex marriage legislation in New York.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, said the donations from prominent Republicans represent a key development in the marriage debate.

“The strong support that we’re getting from members of both parties indicates that this has become a mainstream American cause,” Solomon said. “This is not the same wedge issue that it was eight years ago.”

via The Influence Industry: While GOP opposes gay marriage, key donors fund the other side – The Washington Post.

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GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia: Gays Need Jobs Before They Can Marry

Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of gay GOP group GOProud, has said his group backs Mitt Romney because gay people need jobs before they can marry.

GOProud was the first gay conservative group to endorse Romney for president. The GOP candidate opposes recognizing gay and lesbian couples with either civil unions or marriage.

The group’s Homocon party at the Republican National Convention took place on the same day Republicans ratified a platform which supports a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.

During a CNN appearance, Piers Morgan asked, “How can you really support a ticket which is so resolutely opposed not just to gay marriage but to most gay rights?”

“Right. I know, but look, here’s the deal,” LaSalvia explained. “The answer is you gotta have a date before you get married. Everyone knows you can’t get a date without a job. … Gay Americans are living in the Obama economy and that’s the reality that all voters are facing when they go into the voting booth.”

via GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia: Gays Need Jobs Before They Can Marry#.

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Billionaire Koch Brother Supports Marriage Equality – Poliglot

Marriage equality supporters found a new ally in an unlikely place earlier this week.

The American billionaire and political activist David Koch, who, with his brother Charles, has funneled millions of dollars into conservative organizations bent on electing Republicans, told Politico that he supports marriage equality.

When asked if he agreed with the Republican Party’s stance on gay rights, Koch responded, “I believe in gay marriage.”

Although Mitt Romney and much of the Republican Party support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriages, Koch thinks otherwise, telling Politico, “Well, I disagree with that.”

via Billionaire Koch Brother Supports Marriage Equality – Poliglot.

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John Carroll Says When Enough Is Enough Then Get Out and Shout | Advocate.com

If elected, Romney-Ryan will maintain DOMA and likely advocate a federal amendment against same-sex marriage. LGBT people could then permanently lose out on the 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status. We are not just talking about the 179 tax provisions that take marital status into account, but limitations affecting Social Security benefits, health benefits, tax credits, estate taxes, residential sale benefits, family medical leave, immigration laws, Cobra benefits, and employee benefits are also at risk.

Romney-Ryan will ensure you are kept a second-class citizen by also denying you protection from discrimination in the workplace, protection from hate crimes, and by keeping you from adopting children. Basically you’ll get screwed, and I very much doubt they’ll call you in the morning.

They will, however, gladly take your tax money, ask you to work as hard as you can — as you always have — and continue to make this amazing country the best that it can be, just as the LGBT community has always done. And in return, they’ll give you a mere fraction of the inalienable rights that you deserve.

Take everything, yet give nothing. That doesn’t sound like the “Christian values” Romney speaks of, but more like a form of bondage — and not the good kind.

via John Carroll Says When Enough Is Enough Then Get Out and Shout | Advocate.com.

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Young Conservatives Urge GOP To Support Marriage Equality as Log Cabin Nears Endorsement – Poliglot

A group of young conservatives urged the platform-drafting committee for the Republican National Committee to endorse marriage equality in a letter sent earlier this week.

Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which is under the umbrella of the national organization Freedom to Marry, wrote that if the Republicans “truly believe in family values, then we must value all families.”

“Giving people more personal freedom is the foundation of the Republican Party, which, as the Party of Lincoln, has a proud tradition of expanding liberties,” the letter continued.

Signed by the leadership committee of the organization, the letter was addressed to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is chairing the committee tasked with drafting the Republican Party’s national platform.

via Young Conservatives Urge GOP To Support Marriage Equality as Log Cabin Nears Endorsement – Poliglot.

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