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Political victory over principle. This seems to be the position taken by the Republican State Platform Committee leading into this weekend’s Republican State Convention. An email from a member of the platform committee that has been circulating is calling for delegates to abandon the stance of the Republican Party on traditional marriage in favor of being more appealing to potential voters. The writer of the email states that approval of homosexual marriage is at an all-time high at 71% and that the only openly homosexual representative in the state legislature is a Republican, and, because of these things, we need to abandon our stance on traditional marriage in order to secure future political victories. However, this issue is not as cut and dry as he would seem to portray it.

Firstly, this is a slippery slope if there ever was one. If we are willing to abandon our stance on this principle, where would it end? Will we wait until there is a higher public opinion of gun confiscation before we abandon Second Amendment rights? Or will we abandon our stance on illegal immigration if an undocumented alien is elected as a Republican legislator? If we truly hold these positions on principle and view them as a moral and ethical good, we cannot abandon them every time it would give us the edge in an election. How long would it be before we give up on everything the Republican party stands for? And just in case we forgot, when the State Supreme Court made a ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2009, it was followed by voters removing all three justices up for retention.

Secondly, the fact that “the Bible says so” is not “unintelligent” as the writer insinuates. In a nation founded by Christians, on ethics and principles that are Christian, with documents that attribute their actions to the Christian God, saying that we ought to do something because the Lord has said so is not unintelligent but authoritative. It is God who instituted marriage and it is God who defines marriage. The state has no part to play but in recognizing this reality or rebelling against it. The only unintelligent thing to do is make straw-man arguments comparing marriage, the foundation of society, with every defunct, Old Testament, civil or ceremonial law.

Lastly, unlike what the writer of the email states, the platform is not merely to serve as a voter and candidate recruitment tool. It is precisely to dictate what our duly elected officials should do. These are the issues that we as a party have come together to rally around and to advance. If an elected Republican does not have to abide by any of it, then what makes them a Republican? The party has clearly understood this to be the function of the platform when a number of county central committees voted to censure Joni Ernst for voting against this very point of the platform two years ago. And if that was not clear enough perhaps we should read the proposed platform itself, which says in Platform Principles III: “Elected officials and candidates for public office are expected to act, vote, and campaign in substantial alignment with the Platform.”

Delegates, when the issue arises on Saturday, remember marriage is a hill worth dying on.


T. J. Webb –
Delegate from Franklin County


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