As we approach Thanksgiving I am sure that there are families across America who are travelling to get to one another’s homes and who are thinking the same thing-“How am I going to deal with that family member whose politics clash with mine?!”. Unless you happen to be Liz, Mary, Dick or Lynne Cheney that is.
You see last week the Cheney sisters, Liz and Mary were embroiled in an all too public feud on Facebook (of all places) regarding Liz’s views on gay marriage. Why does this matter you ask? Well, dear reader, it matters since Liz is a Republican candiate for the Senate in Wyoming and her sister, Mary, is married to her longtime partner Heather Poe and living in Washington D.C. where gay marriage is legal.
For the past few years, as many of you know, the GOP at the local level in many states has been fighting a fight that many argue may determine the future viability of the party. This particular issue splits the party down lines of age and religious affiliation. The College Republicans National Committee surveyed its members in March of this year and found that 26% of those polled would not support a GOP candidate who did not support marriage equality. A poll by Freedom to Marry, national PAC in support of marriage equality, found that 51% of the Republicans under age 30 that responded to their poll supported marriage equality. Although I have looked tirelessly, I was unable to find any reliable polling data that shows the split down religious lines. For that I will have to rely on personal conversations with multiple delegates to my state’s Platform Convention in 2010 and in 2013 to substantiate my theory that religion is another deciding factor in the support of marriage equality among GOP members. In multiple conversations at both conventions I was sought out by members of Evangelical churches who informed me that because of my personal position (I support marriage equality) I was going to burn in hell and that I should not be a Republican. On the flip side, at this year’s Platform Convention I was sought out by many Catholic and Episcapalian members who support marriage equality. So not all Christians are against gay marriage, and I found it interesting that there were some Evanglicals who expressed a more Libertarian “live and let live” approach to the issue this year than in 2010.
The fact remains that the Cheney sisters are going to have to find a way to make their Thanksgiving a positive experience, just like the rest of the GOP are going to need to find their way to a-GASP-comprimise on this issue if we want the party to continue to live on and THRIVE in the future. This is an essential part of moving forward into a successfull midterm election season. Without some kind of agreement among party members to “live and let live” on the issue of marriage equality our internal “dirty laundry” will cost us-and our nation-many happy Thanksgivings for the forseeable future.
So Liz and Mary-have a drink, some pumpkin pie and hash out your differences on the issue in a trytophan induced haze in the privacy of Liz and Dick’s domicile next week. The rest of us will have to fight it out and come up with a plan BEFORE 2014.