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Opinion | Why Republicans Should Be Pro LGBTQ+ Rights

by Sarah Daniello

Conservative values clearly emphasize the power of the individual. The right of self-determination and individual responsibility. Freedom of expression and speech. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So, if these are the core beliefs of conservative principles-why are there still so many conservatives who are anti-same-sex marriage?

For some conservatives, their reaction to same-sex marriage stems from faith. One of the core foundations of the constitution is the separation of Church and State. Congress and policymakers need to separate their religious views from the fundamental right given to all Americans in the constitution to pursue happiness. This goes for congressmen and women on both sides of the aisle.

According to a Gallup Poll from May 2019, the majority of Americans approve of the right to same-sex marriage. The poll reports that of those who were surveyed, 83% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, and 44% of Republicans who responded to the poll support same-sex marriage. I can’t understand why Republicans are withholding support; it is an infringement on the rights of other Americans to let lawmakers dictate who they can or cannot marry.

Republicans need to stand on the right side of history on this issue and recognize that their arguments against gay marriage hold no water in the eyes of the Supreme Court and in the eyes of the majority of America. Thankfully, there are organizations working to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights within the Republican Party, including Log Cabin Republicans.

As a 21-year-old conservative woman, opposition to gay marriage is something that has distanced me from the Republican party. I can’t wrap my head around how certain conservatives reconcile their beliefs in freedom of expression with banning transgender men and women from the military, refusing to bake wedding cakes for gay couples, and refusing to accept the supreme court ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.

The way I see it is simple. If someone wants to do something you don’t agree with but causes you no harm, you have no right to legally prevent them from doing it. Legalizing same-sex marriage causes no infringement on the right for straight men and women to marry one another; it is a long overdue, clear, and fair supreme court decision that allows Americans to express their right to marry the person they love.

I am a conservative because I believe in the right to freedom from persecution, fiscal responsibility, limited government, free enterprise, protecting American interests overseas, respecting our military, and the right of self-determination. I do not believe in preventing members of the LGBTQ+ community from their right to freedom. There is absolutely no place in the Republican Party for withholding the right of freedom to marry whom you choose; whether you’re gay, straight, transgender, or gender non-conforming.

You don’t have to openly endorse same-sex marriage; you don’t have to attend gay pride parades, or even agree with it. But as American citizens, and as human beings, it is imperative that we respect one another enough to allow everyone in this country the equal opportunity to get married without fear of discrimination or persecution. Withholding the right to lawful marriage for same-sex couples does not align with my conservative values.

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