Because of their stance on gay marriage, Republicans are branded as being homophobic and against all rights for homosexuals. Republicans rarely if ever respond to this perception of Republican beliefs and, consequently, the perception remains. On February 13, this pattern changed when Mitt Romney appeared on FoxNews’ “The Kelly File” with Megyn Kelly. Megyn Kelly asked Governor Romney about Russia’s stance on gays and gays in the Olympics, and Governor Romney called the Russian position “reprehensible” and “wrong minded.” This stance was not only a positive one for homosexual rights, but it was also beneficial for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. It was refreshing to hear a Republican defend the rights of homosexuals rather than call for a prohibition on their right to wed. Governor Romney’s statement was a first step in helping Republicans rid themselves of their homophobic stigma, but the Republican Party must go further. For Republicans to remove of the perception of the Party being homophobic, they must do one of three things: (1) explain how the Republican Party can support the rights of homosexuals while, at the same time, favor a prohibition against gay marriage, (2) provide a “non-marriage” alternative for homosexuals couples to live together with the rights of married individuals, or (3) support gay marriage. Without taking one of these three avenues, it will be difficult if not impossible for Republicans to shed their homophobic image.
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