An Answer to Same Sex Marriage I Would Like to Hear
Moderator: “Candidate Smith, would you attend the same sex marriage of your own child?”
“This issue raises important questions about our commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country and how it relates to individual civil rights. Let me start by declaring my belief that all Americans have a right to be treated fairly and with respect.
The foundation of this question is not about whether same sex marriage should be allowed in this country. That is a separate debate. The crucial issue is whether American citizens should be free to disapprove of same sex marriage.
America has a long tradition of respect for differing opinions, but that fundamental right seems to be in jeopardy. I think it is very important that Americans elect a President who will respect their freedoms.
Asking candidates specifically whether they would attend a same sex marriage for their OWN child reveals another misconception. It confuses love with approval. Since the beginning of time, parents have struggled with how to respond to their children when they disapprove of their actions. The fact that a parent disapproves of their child’s action, does not prove they don’t love their child. On the contrary, disapproval often stems from a parent’s love and desire for what they believe is best for their child.
My personal conviction as a Christian is that same sex marriage is not proper, and as a result, like many Christians, I would not support my child with attendance at a same sex marriage. That does not mean I would not love my child, and I would continue to express that love in many other ways.
There are some in my own party who will not like this answer. They would prefer that I just give the answer the media wants to hear. But I believe it sets a dangerous precedent to ask our leaders to be dishonest.
I understand that many who support same sex marriage will be uncomfortable with my answer. But to all Americans, I make the following pledge. I will never abuse the power of government and the authority of the Presidency to force my religious beliefs and preferences on US citizens on either side of this issue.
I call on all the candidates to uphold the principles of open debate, free expression, and freedom of belief that have made our country strong and free. Americans are strong enough for both sides to follow their own conscience without intimidation or harm to those of opposing views.
I thank you for the opportunity to address this important matter.”