Ron Paul has found himself under attack for refusing to sign a hate group’s bigoted pledge.
Republican lawmakers typically bend over backward to court anti-gay activists, particularly the National Organization for Marriage, which for the last four years has led the right-wing’s assault on nuptial equality.
To that end, most of the top tier GOP presidential candidates — Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — have signed a NOM pledge vowing opposition to same-sex marriage and support for the Defense of Marriage Act.
Ron Paul, however, has not, and RawStory reports NOM is now targeting the libertarian Congressman.
“Many of Ron Paul’s supporters in Iowa believe that he is on their side when it comes to preserving traditional marriage, but he isn’t,” NOM president Brian Brown said this weekend. “While Paul says he personally believes in traditional marriage, he has refused to sign our pledge and, worse, has said that marriage is strictly a private affair and that government has no role in regulating marriage. This is a dangerous position with profound consequences for society.”
The truth of the matter, though, is that Ron Paul does mostly stand with Brown and company: he has said repeatedly he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, and also supports DOMA.
“The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted in 1996 to stop Big Government in Washington from re-defining marriage and forcing its definition on the States,” Paul said last March. “Like the majority of Iowans, I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and must be protected.” The only area where Paul and NOM diverge is the superfluous Federal Marriage Amendment.
That proposed legislation, championed by the nation’s most extreme conservatives, would amend the constitution to officially prohibit gay marriage from coast to coast, a long, arduous process that would encode discrimination into our nation’s founding document. But Paul doesn’t oppose the amendment for its hideous bigotry, rather for the fact that it impedes state rights, the cornerstone of his — and the Tea Party’s — political philosophy.
What we have in this feud is a fine example of how the GOP’s currently being torn between social conservatives who prefer archaic, divisive politics, and the more Libertarian who think the government has no place in the bedroom. In the end, though, they’re not truly that different, because neither side appears interested in fulfilling the American dream: ensuring every man and woman are treated equal. Basically it comes down to this: Paul’s simply not a big enough bigot to get on NOM’s good side. But what would you expect from a group whose co-founder once claimed, “[Gay people] want to rip Genesis out of our Bibles?”*
[*Note: An earlier version of this piece said the Southern Poverty Law Center had officially deemed NOM a hate group. That's incorrect. NOM is simply, by the SPLC's standards, just an anti-gay group, but if you ask me, there's a thin line between NOM's rhetoric and what we hear from another anti-gay, and officially "hate," group, Terry Jones' Dove World Outreach Center.]