American politics have taken a strange turn in recent weeks following several high profile Republicans publicly declaring their support for gay marriage. If you don’t follow American politics let me give you a highly simplistic introduction to the Republican Party. They are a right wing, highly conservative party who make our Tories look like bleeding heart liberals; they fiercely uphold the right to bear arms, are fiscally conservative and support ‘traditional values’. They proposed constitutional amendment in 2004 and 2006 to ban gay marriage with George Bush claiming only a union between a man and a woman could benefit society.
The party’s current most prominent figure is the divisive Sarah Palin, who many believe will run for president in 2012. Palin has in no uncertain terms declared her opposition to gay marriage.
However, could the recent pro-gay marriage declarations by senior Republican personalities lead to a softening of their strict views on homosexuality in the party’s voter-base? Both George Bush’s wife Laura and daughter Barbara have come out to support gay marriage, with the latter doing so via the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality group:
His former vice president Dick Cheney has been a long-time supporter of gay marriage as well as Cindy McCain, wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
These declarations leave me in the moral dilemma of agreeing with Republicans but it remains true that a lot has to be done to achieve equality across the pond, although California overturned Proposition 8 , 28 states still have bans on marriage equality written into their constitutions.