Guy Benson, an out author and contributor to Fox News, is a proud supporter of marriage equality, but he drew a distinction between his stance and that of “the left” on a panel with fellow conservatives this past weekend at the the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference, Towleroad reports.
In the discussion, billed as a “conversation on religious liberty and marriage in America,” Benson made a comparison to the religion-oriented bumper sticker seen on many cars across the country, which advocates for “coexistence” between faiths.
“What coexistence really looks like in America today,” said Benson, “is to disagree with someone on marriage and not trying to sue their business out of existence.”
For the most part, Benson’s statements could have easily been interpreted as liberal:
“There is some intrinsic right to marry the person you love.”
“I don’t view Kim Davis as a hero.”
But in the same breath in which he declared “I was very pleased by the outcome” of the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, Benson made a sharp turn, to the right.
“Justice Kennedy’s opinion was deeply moving, almost poetry," said Benson. "I wanted to get it embroidered on a pillow, it was so nice. It struck me as a really strong persuasive argument for why same-sex marriage should be legal, but I was not entirely sure it was sound legal reasoning.”
And then he pivoted all the way right to paint supporters of LGBT rights as intolerant:
“Once the political high ground was achieved, this argument of winning hearts and minds went out the window, in some corners certainly not all, saying, ‘agree with us or else.’" Benson declared. "‘Mandatory celebration or we’re coming after you.’And that is where I say, ’No, thank you,’ I am not aboard this train anymore.”
Benson did express a hope to someday meet a man he might marry, and defended gays against conservative critics who claim same-sex marriages are ruining the institution.
“Gay people are not ruining marriage. Straight people have ruined marriage in a lot of ways through rampant infidelity and no-fault divorce," said Benson. "It’s not the gays who are ruining it. And I think spending so much time fixating on whether or not 3 to 5 percent of the population should be excluded from this is a mistake. I think we should be encouraging the family unit and monogamy. This is one of the reasons I support same-sex marriage.”
Watch the video from CPAC 2016, below.