Friday, December 2, 2011
Gary Johnson Endorses Marriage Equality
Announcing his support for gay marriage, Johnson said, “As a believer in individual freedom and keeping government out of personal lives, I simply cannot find a legitimate justification for federal laws, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which ‘define’ marriage. That definition should be left to religions and individuals – not government. Government’s role when it comes to marriage is one of granting benefits and rights to couples who choose to enter into a marriage ‘contract’. As I have examined this issue, consulted with folks on all sides, and viewed it through the lens of individual freedom and equal rights, it has become clear to me that denying those rights and benefits to gay couples is discrimination, plain and simple.
“Certainly, religions and people of various faiths have the right to view marriage as they wish, and sanction marriage according to those beliefs. Just as government shouldn’t interfere with individual rights, government should not interfere with how marriage is treated as a ceremony, a sacrament or a privilege within a set of religious beliefs. However, when it comes to the rights of individuals and couples under the law, government’s promise should be to insure equal access to those rights to all Americans, gay or straight.
“For a very long time, society has viewed gay marriage as a moral and, yes, religious issue. Today, I believe we have arrived at a point in history where more and more Americans are viewing it as a question of liberty and freedom. That evolution is important, and the time has come for us to align our marriage laws with the notion that every individual should be treated equally.”
Johnson’s announcement came during an on-line Town Hall co-hosted with GOProud, an organization of gay conservatives and their allies.
Johnson is running for the Republican nomination for president but both the media and GOP have frozen him out of the debates. At points they change rules for admittance to debates mid-stream after it was shown Johnson actually qualified. After failing to keep him out of two debates the debate sponsors came up with a rule saying only people who had been in three debates prior could enter the debate. So, they basically made their exclusion of him a reason to exclude him.