Susan B Anthony
June 16, 2011 by USA Post
Susan B Anthony, At any time, Republicans in the state Senate will have an historic opportunity to reaffirm the best traditions of the Republican Party in New York. A bill that gives gays and lsbns the right to marry will come to a vote, 31 members of the Senate, which now includes a handful of Republican critics have declared their support.
New York is about to become the largest state in the country to support the freedom to marry.
Instead of making fun of this development, the National Republicans should seize the opportunity to correct a profound contradiction in supporting individual freedom. Republicans are generally considered more socially conservative uniform – and social conservatism advocates generally say that traditional marriage must be defended. In fact, in New Hampshire this week’s debate Republican presidential, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he would support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
But that’s not the best traditions of our party. In the state of New York are more Democrats than Republicans, who have built freedom in our political DNA. William Seward – New York governor, senator and Lincoln’s secretary of state – was an ardent abolitionist and founding leader of the state Republican Party. Frederick Douglass, former slave and founder of the North Star anti-slavery newspaper in Rochester, he proudly called himself a “dyed in the wool Republican,” as it was the “party of freedom and progress.”
New York gave birth to suffrage movement in the United States, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton issued the Declaration of Sentiments of the Seneca Falls Convention. Another prominent New York Republican, Susan B. Anthony led the suffrage movement beyond, and when he was arrested in 1872 for illegally voting, admitted to cast a straight Republican ticket.
Now is the time for our party in this state to lead the march of freedom one step further. Gay marriage is consistent with the legacy of the party of individual liberty and limited government. It is a deeply conservative virtue.
Conservatives are right to value marriage as the most powerful social world. The non-governmental marriage provides a social safety net through which individuals care for one another and civil society on self-anchoring.
But to deny a class of citizens the right to marry based on sexual orientation discrimination – anathema to the great tradition of freedom and equality of opportunity in the founding of the Republican Party. Civil unions are an inadequate substitute. We have seen in the United States that separate is never equal.
Conservatives believe in limited government, maximum individual freedom under the law and order. We do not believe the state should have the power to confer rights on some law-abiding citizens and discriminates against others.
Nor should the government in the business of telling churches, synagogues and mosques that they can and cannot marry. That’s why the bill in New York includes the protections of religious freedoms that ensure that no religious leader or institution will have to solemnize marriages of same-sex couples.
New York Republicans should take this opportunity to convince a new generation of voters across America that the GOP remains the party of individual freedom. These young voters are deeply suspicious of what they perceive as the hypocrisy of a Republican Party that proclaims its support for individual freedom in economic policies, but not in social policy.
It is time for Republicans to reassert the fundamental principle best expressed by Vice President Dick Cheney said: “Freedom means freedom for everyone.”
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