The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Cast of Characters

Senior GOP Consultant Backs Gay Marriage

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Steve Schmidt, a top adviser to Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, today laid out the case for gay marriage, warning that the GOP will continue to lose young voters and the Northeast as long the party opposes it.

At a meeting in Washington of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights GOP group, Schmidt dismissed conservative arguments that allowing gay marriage would weaken the institution, as well as objections from religious conservatives, warning that they could turn the Republican Party into a "sectarian" party.

"For the party to be seen as an antigay, that is injurious to its candidates in places like California and Washington and New York," Schmidt said.

He called heterosexual marriage "a tradition,"not a "creed."

"It is not how we define ourselves as Americans," Schmidt, who first declared his support for gay marriage in March, said.

His support of gay marriage not only puts Schmidt to the left of the McCain, who has said he believes that marriage should be between a man and woman, but President Obama, who took the same stance during his presidential campaign.

Despite a flurry of states looking to legalize gay marriage, particularly in the Northeast, Schmidt's view remains in the distinct minority within his party, although McCain's daughter 24-year-old Meghan McCain also recently declared her support for gay marriage. A spokeswoman for Sen. McCain declined to comment on Schmidt's remarks.

Many major GOP party figures do not even favor civil unions, which Obama and most Democrats support.

Schmidt said his sister, who is a lesbian, motivated him to take his stance on gay marriage, which Schmidt said McCain was aware of during the presidential race.

Taking a new position on gay marriage could be critical to Republicans expanding their reach, Schmidt said, though he acknowledged he was unlikely to find many from his party rallying behind the cause.

"Social attitudes are changing very quickly on this issue, and I think there is a momentum behind the idea that same-sex couples ought to be respected," he said. But, he added, "I don't believe that any short amount of time the majority of Republicans are going to support same sex marriage."

Posted at 3:54 PM ET on Apr 17, 2009  | Category:  Cast of Characters
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OK, so the "Traditional" Appeal did not fly...

I now join in with the "Where does the foolishness End?" Crowd!

Once we adulterate "Marriage" as being something OTHER than between a Man and a Woman;

Do I now have to get an Actual License because I am "Married" to my Job?

Beastiallity! Necrophobia! Mysocomy! Let's ROCK!

No, mo bettah we just leave it ALONE!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 20, 2009 4:14 PM

It has always been fascinating how the holier-than-thou folks advocate how gay marriage will be the downfall of modern-day society. Last time I checked there were plenty of straight people out there willing to go through the bonds of matrimony! To me, the biggest threat to traditional marriage is NOT gay's D-I-V-O-R-C-E. As for the procreation crap...there are a lot of straight couple that chose NOT to have children. My mother married for the 2nd time a few years back when she was 66. I honestly don't expect she & her husband to start presenting new siblings to me in the near future!

Posted by: cowboyjohn57 | April 19, 2009 10:30 PM

Looks like Christian Conservatives have worn out their welcome (usefulness?)in the party.

Welcome to the beta version of GOP 2.0, powered by Ron Paul Libertarians.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | April 19, 2009 11:53 AM

Do dis meen I can't be hetro & a republic can now, & do I have to find my own tea bagger??

Posted by: theemailman | April 18, 2009 9:18 PM

The GOP needs to send Steve Schmidt packing. Remember the phrase - exit, stage left? That seems to be the direction he is going anyway. He is sleeper agnet within the party?

I can't believe he would denegrate the sanctity of marriage between one man and a women to merely a tradition. It is the bedrock of our society and our only hope for the future.

While we should be compassionate to homosexuals, it is up to business and government to devise ways to ensure that they access to basic health care and benefits. Call it what ever you want, but the institution of marriage is not the vehicle to accomplish their means. Marriage is not a benefit. It is not a right. It is a God-given grace that allows a man and woman to become one.

Posted by: justtoomuch | April 18, 2009 11:35 AM

Repulicans want an amendment allowing them to marry money. The peerless love republicans have for money should be an inspiration to us all. They sacrifice everything for the hope of having more, they even sacrifice on our children so corporations won't lose money on cleaning up after themselves.

"The love of money is the root of all evil."

Republicans love money more than anything.

Please let them marry their money so they can take it to the next step and have sex with it. I can just see Rush, Beck, Rick Perry, O'Reily, lovingly rubbing money's genitals against their faces.

Those Godless perverts.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 18, 2009 10:57 AM

After the disaster of the republican "do as I say, not as I do" model of governance, to watch Barrack Obama use intelligence and humility to achieve the very things war and vitriol failed to accomplish gives me hope that America may yet reach that Camelot we strived for in my youth. Lets hope the Secret Service can prevent a repeat performance of their failures of the sixties. Frankly, I don't think todays real American will lay down for another power grab without full scale retaliation and patsy's like Earl Warren are long since dead and gone. Even Limbaugh and Hannity or Arlen Spector's magic bullets couldn't prevent the implosion that would result if something untoward were to occur. America's very survival depends on rising above the crimminal culture fostered by the actions of the republican past and present "leaders". We will suffer decades of higher taxes as the "left" "liberal" "socialist" democrats attempt to pay off the stupidity of the post WWII voters. Maybe Limbaugh will donate his salery for a year to show he really is an American and not just another pretender with an anal fixation on himself.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | April 18, 2009 9:50 AM

we can also include polygamy, marriage to my loving daughter, marriage to my loving son, marriage to my loving and faithful dog (he is stronger than any man and will protect my children very well), marriage to my TV,nice flower, etc. what kind of society do we want for ourselves? there are some human choices that are not human otherwise why do we complain about rapist,pedophiles,serial killers, murderers,robbers,etc they all made choices and we should also respect their choices. it all depends on the kind of society we want. freedom goes with consequences and responsibility. if we want a society that is truely human, we should encourage truely human choices, otherwise we can also prefer a society that encourages any choice and respects it. we have a lady in california now being convicted for her daughter's friend rape and murder, she made a choice and we should respect it or should we not? think about these things and lets go beyond superficial and parochial arguments. lets look into the future. this issues are not about religion or faith but about the kind of society we want for ourselves

Posted by: chuksemenalo | April 18, 2009 5:19 AM

First, we now know why McCain lost. This is the guy that probably told McCain to pick Palin. No offense to her just wasn't ready for National Pols. Second, the majority of Cal's voted for prop 8 not against it. In fact, it is judges and politicians that have been pushing this agenda not the voters. So if the GOP's goal is to be more judge friendly then maybe this guy has a point. Finally, just because someone does not support gay marriage does not remotely suggest that they are hate mongers. We are going to be finding out the implications of gay marriage within the next decade or less. Once it is sanctioned by the govt marriages performed by churches (or any other activity) will be forced to marry gays even if it is not consistent with their religious views. Just one example here. The issue is a lot more complicated than the people waving signs and calling Christains names portray.

Posted by: konadog | April 17, 2009 11:45 PM

so what will happen in a few years when the perversion du jour has gotten too tame, and the lawyers and phony rights activitsts who really just want to promote perversion start promoting something the next step out, like a person marrying an animal - how about that

should society be allowed to prevent a person from marrying a goat, cow, sheep, or a horse ?

if they (the person and say the cow really love each other, isn't that enough ?) should they not be deemed man and wife ?

would that satisfy the perverted lawyer activists ? would that be good enough ?

then the next step will be same-sex human/animal marriages

"oh it was destiny, they love each other"

"they should be married"

hey, why not

right ?

Posted by: snorfy | April 17, 2009 11:22 PM

The Republican party is the party of "HATE" With Limbaugh, Gingrich & Palin spewing hate filled opinions like Hitler did in the 1930s, The Republican party is an endangered species. Last November should have been a wake up call for them, but it wasn't. With their political future in doubt they continue to self destruct. It seems they need something to hate, isn't there any intelligent people left in the Republican party ?

Posted by: gatorsn09 | April 17, 2009 10:17 PM

I notice in other articles quoting Schmidt here that he refers to marriage, gay or straight, as being between 2 consenting adults. My thought is, if US society is in the business today of abandoning all traditional understandings of marriage in society (based in the Western legacy heavily influenced by Christian morality), then why not also allow marriage between any number or combination of consenting adults, including more than 2 people? In other words, why should polygamy or polyandry be excluded if it's entered into by so-called "consenting adults?" Once traditional moral anchors are discarded, the mind reels at the possible combinations that could one day be considered "marriage," even if beyond the pale by current societal standards. It would seem that in the name of enlightened, libertarian concerns, the motto "Anything Goes" is the wave of the moral future for the USA. We apparently should not be shocked at any future proposals for "marriage" that may continue to emerge in the future.

Posted by: jamesz87 | April 17, 2009 9:24 PM

I've heard of people selling their soul for lots of money, but, this guy sold his soul for GOP votes from the PC brainwashed youth & 'Escape from NY' & 'Escape from LA' Jesus-hating people of the North East and CA. The entire concept of marriage is Spiritual & Bible-based, meant for a man & a woman for life. It is symbolic of Jesus' spiritual marriage to his believers, his bride. The prophesied rapture is symbolic of the joy experienced on a honeymoon between 2 newly married celibate people since infinite joy will be experienced when all true believers are suddenly with Jesus in heaven. All this gay marriage garbage is more proof the rapture is close. Sadly most pro-gay people will have to experience the horrors of Revelation due to their hatred for the Bible & what it says.

Posted by: techsavvy777 | April 17, 2009 7:29 PM

"Marriage is a Sacrament meant for Couples who are Joined to Procreate!"

Are you suggesting that heterosexual couples that are unwilling or unable to procreate also be denied the right to marry?

I've been to more than a few weddings, and I've never heard anything mentioned about procreation being a requirement.

Posted by: madcow21 | April 17, 2009 5:45 PM

We all know that, while not promoted publicly, homosexual acts are very popular between consenting republicans. However, if money were to grow a penis they'd all be flamin'.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 17, 2009 5:18 PM


How about taking government out of marriage entirely?

Apply the term "civil union" to all.

Reserve the word "marriage" for creeds and religions -- and let each denomination make their own rules, unfettered by any government influence.

Those religions that bar homosexuals will be declaring their institutions exclusionary, and will pay a price among enlightened congregants who may choose to affiliate elsewhere.

This is an elegantly simple solution to a thorny, emotionally charged issue. Let the hate mongers show themselves for what they are -- but leave government out of it.



It's time to take down the torturers -- ALL OF THEM.

Here's why:

OR (if link is corrupted):

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 17, 2009 5:06 PM

"There is absolutely no reason Gays need anything other than "Partnerships"

I love comments like this, it truely amazes me that someone would actually put into writing their prejudice. I'm very sure he/she does not know how ondescending they are coming off.

I wonder if this person has decided how much I should eat today, or how much I should earn as well, seems they passing judgement on me as a lesser being and deciding what I need and don't need.

Well I put up with that for a lot of years, and to your statement I can tell you many of us will pool our money and all our efforts to fight; both in courts and the state legislative branches. I will achieve what is rightfully mine, Equal Rights.

The simple Supremacy Attitude in that statement has me floored, wonder if we could vote on what he/she needs and explain to her that she/he doesn't need anything more, wonder how that would go over.

Posted by: MBER | April 17, 2009 4:49 PM

The GOP should not back gay marriage because they don't want to lose any votes. They should back it because it's the right position to take; there's no reason to prevent a gay couple from being married. Whose apple cart is going to be so upset by letting gay people marry? Certainly not mine. And I'm pretty damn conservative.

Posted by: KellerRacing | April 17, 2009 4:33 PM

This is one of the Great things about America!

It is also reflective about the GOP's desire to be inclusive!

However, even though everyone is entitled to their opinion;

Majority rules!

By catering to Groups, the GOP plays a losing game.

The Dimocrat Socialist Party, is and always will be;

The "Groups" Party!-Whether they are actually "Inclusive" of the Groups, or not!

There is absolutely no reason Gays need anything other than "Partnerships".

Marriage is a Sacrament meant for Couples who are Joined to Procreate!

What is so hard to understand about that?!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 17, 2009 4:18 PM

He'll get burned at the stake for such blasphemy. The Republican Party must fully die to be resurrected. That won't happen until after the next election at the earliest. The choice is functional, competent government that focuses on what all Americans want and need or religious-based values politics which focuses on fear, hatred and division. We've spent 35 years in a culture war that shows that the later doesn't work.

Posted by: thebobbob | April 17, 2009 4:14 PM

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