Despite the media’s tendency to lump sweeping social views with our nation’s political parties, the policies of Democrat- or Republican-identified public figures aren’t as clear-cut as we might be led to believe. While the two parties are often associated with unanimously supporting or opposing various controversial social issues like immigration and abortion laws, one pressing issue that has stirred reactions on both sides is that of marriage equality.
Marriage equality is something that just about everyone has an opinion about, and one’s political affiliation might be an irrelevant factor in influencing those views. The typical political lines become blurred when marriage equality is the topic at hand, with members from both Democratic and Republican parties working towards attaining rights for same-sex partners who want to marry. Despite a propensity towards more conservative views, many Republicans have come forward in support of marriage equality, insisting that current laws against same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, “As support for gay marriage continues to increase, nearly three-quarters of Americans – 72% – say that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is “inevitable.” This includes 85% of gay marriage supporters, as well as 59% of its opponents,” meaning that Democrats and Republicans alike have recognized that the ongoing fight for marriage equality will yield results favorable to same-sex partners and allies.
Not all members of the Republican Party oppose same-sex marriage, and many are even fighting to help achieve it. Recently, over 130 Republicans signed a legal brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8. Among them were former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, FBI director nominee James Comey, and former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman, the latter of which is an openly gay man who has publicly made the case for same-sex marriage despite his affiliation with the Republican Party.
In the wake of the United States Supreme Court striking down DOMA and California’s Proposition 8, it is important to recognize that while the fight for marriage equality is gaining momentum, it isn’t over. As more influential political figures from both sides work towards marriage equality, same-sex marriage will hopefully be universally legalized soon.