As we’ve recently discussed, the Democrats are trying to make hay over a leaked Supreme Court opinion from Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. Suggesting that nefarious Republicans were about to roll back all manner of current laws involving divisive social issues, Democrats have begun crafting and submitting bills that would federalize a number of potentially state-level issues (if more rulings are overturned) including one that would legalize same-sex marriage across the country. That bill hasn’t come up for a vote in the Senate yet, but it already passed the House by a comfortable margin. Still, a significant number of GOP congressmen voted against it. One of those was Pennsylvania Congressman Glenn Thompson. He’s been running hard to the right on a number of social issues, so perhaps that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. What was startling, however, was the news that only three days after voting against the bill that would legalize gay marriage at the federal level, he attended the wedding of his son (who is openly gay) to another man. This has been making him the focus of all the wrong sorts of attention. (NBC News)
A Republican lawmaker attended his gay son’s wedding just three days after joining the majority of his GOP colleagues in voting against a House bill that would codify federal protections for same-sex marriage.
The gay son of Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., confirmed to NBC News on Monday that he “married the love of [his] life” on Friday and that his “father was there.” NBC News is not publishing the names of the grooms, neither of whom is a public figure.
Thompson’s press secretary, Maddison Stone, also confirmed the congressman was in attendance.
Like I’m sure many of you did, I wondered at first if this was just a case of family loyalty being played out in the media. After all, even if Thompson doesn’t believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, this is his own son we’re talking about. He could probably bite his tongue, play his part in the event, and wish his son and his new husband well, right?
But that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Thompson’s press secretary released a lengthy statement on behalf of her boss. In it, she said that Thompson and his wife were “thrilled to attend and celebrate their son’s marriage.” She went on to say that the Thompsons were “very happy” to welcome their new son-in-law “into their family.”
That really doesn’t sound like someone who is morally opposed to gay marriage, does it? I mean, he’s going far above and beyond the minimum he could do to simply wish his son well and support him at an important point in his life. And surely he must have known that his participation in the wedding was going to make its way into the news, right?
This casts his recent vote in a very hypocritical light. His opponents on the left will have ammunition to say, ‘Glenn Thompson is fine with his own son having a gay wedding, but he wants to stop you from having one.’ Conversely, the portions of his conservative base who may still oppose gay marriage are going to look at this news and question whether or not he’s really on their side. It was a lose-lose proposition for Thompson either way.
Chalk this up as example number 7,329 of why I keep insisting that the government should keep its big nose out of the question of marriage. The government shouldn’t be requiring licenses for people to marry, nor should it be collecting taxes for the “privilege” of holding such a ceremony. Offer civil contracts to any couples (regardless of gender) who want them to make property settlement questions easier to handle if things don’t work out. Leave people to decide for themselves if and how they marry. When you try to drag this issue back into the political realm in the current era, it will just wind up blowing up in everyone’s faces, as it has with Congressman Thompson.