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GOP touts opposition to marriage equality at anti-gay summit

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Saturday, September 15, 2012

Republican public officials — including the No. 2 person on the GOP presidential ticket — weaved opposition to same-sex marriage into their speeches during an annual social conservative conference in D.C. as they criticized President Obama’s policies and reaffirmed traditional values.

Speakers at the the 2012 Values Voters Summit, which was hosted at the Omni Shoreham Hotel by the anti-gay Family Research Council, addressed an estimated 2,500 attendees who cheered references to prohibiting marriage rights for gay couples and making abortion illegal.

Paul Ryan. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Perhaps the most high-profile speech at the three-day summit came from GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who made a reference to marriage when touting the values of the candidate at the top of the ticket: Mitt Romney.

“We can be confident in the rightness of our cause, and also in the integrity and readiness of the man who leads it,” Ryan said. “He is a solid and trustworthy, faithful and honorable man. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading our country and ready to lead the great turnaround we have spent four years waiting for.”

Ryan’s description of Romney as a “defender of marriage” directly lifts from the vice presidential candidate’s speech at the Republican National Convention when he gave Romney an identical distinction.

But the reference to marriage didn’t make up a significant portion of Ryan’s remarks. Abortion and the Obama administration’s decision to mandate birth control as part of health insurance policies were more salient.

“In the Clinton years, the stated goal was to make abortion safe, legal and rare,” Ryan said. “But that was a different time and a different president. Now, apparently, the Obama-Biden ticket stands for an absolute, unqualified right to abortion at any time, under any circumstance, and even at taxpayer expense.”

Twice during Ryan’s speech, protestors interrupted and shouted at the vice presidential candidate. The second protestor said something about Romney’s now infamous remarks that “Corporations are people, my friend” before being escorted out of the room. In a YouTube video posted after the speech of one of the protesters being taken away, she was shown decrying the corporate influence over the national political parties.

Michael Key, Washington Blade

Eric Cantor

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was also among the speakers at the summit and touted Republicans support “traditional marriage” because of the institution’s ability to keep people out of poverty.

“That is why we believe in traditional marriage, because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty, even those who felt there was no hope,” Cantor said. “Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness. And that is why we stand tall and stand proud for traditional marriage.”

Cantor is among the members of House Republicans who sits on the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group and voted to take up defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in court after the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the law.

Romney didn’t make a live appearance at the Values Voter Summit, but spoke to attendees via a recorded video. During the video, Romney talked about his commitment to social issues, saying his administration “will defend marriage, not try to redefine it.”

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20 more reader comments:

  1. Are you fucking kidding me? How stupid can these bozos get?

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:38am
  2. Cantor has it backwards when he says “marriage prevents poverty”. Married people find it more difficult to qualify for low-income benefits, because the qualifications are so horribly strict. If people want their kids to EAT, the parents can’t be married.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:40am
  3. the GOP is becoming the AMERICAN TALIBAN….anti women anti gay anti social help anti minorites anti EVERYTHING america stands for

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:42am
  4. He is just one person.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:42am
  5. They are proud of their ignorance and are counting on the American public to be equally ignorant and hateful.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:42am
  6. “Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness” SO people who want a committed relationship with the same gender arnt allowed to be happy?

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:47am
  7. They say all sorts of things but never give any hard proof that what they say is true. Show me the numbers!!

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:50am
  8. They want the people to be ignorant. Theyre business men running for government. All they care about is making money. Not helping people. Rich stay rich, the poor stay poor. Everyone below the rich line has a harder time getting rich. No way to advance in society with “Traditional values” and the rich staying rich.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:50am
  9. You know they use the word traditional values, but its intent is the same as oppression.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:53am
  10. This is truly the most hateful group in modern history. The Prop. 8 trial proved that there is absolutely no impact to “straight married couples” if LGBT persons are allowed marriage equality. And today’s Republicans continue to use this hate filled mantra against equality to rile up the right wing, hateful base. These people are morons and evil, pure and simple. And the party that represents them needs to be utterly defeated.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:53am
  11. Republicans aren’t even real Americans.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 9:57am
  12. Psssst, GOP, you’re on the wrong side of history AND public opinion. Polls show a majority of Americans now support marriage equality, and the margin between support vs. opposition gets bigger with every new poll. Perhaps it’s time to change your strategy.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 10:11am
  13. Cantor and the rest of the Hate Party are way out of touch with the direction the younger generation of this country is headed. Hopefully this election will drive them right off the cliff – which is where they need to go – and a new party can take the wheel. Next, please…

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 10:18am
  14. So is marriage a “government program” or a traditional Christian value??

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 11:37am
  15. They done been lost the gay vote, except for those rare birds, gay Republicans.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 11:44am
  16. Always nice to know they continue to alienate 10% of America plus their families, friends and allies.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 11:45am
  17. But Obama is the one who is “dividing Americans.” Right, sure.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 12:00pm
  18. Reading the list of “activists” at the Values Summit makes me think the gay community needs an agenda.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 12:06pm
  19. Haters love to get together to strategies how to spread more hate.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 6:03pm
  20. What makes these anti gay people think they are so perfect????????

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 6:55pm