GOP leader calls gays "intolerant bigots"
September 24 2003 12:00 AM ET
The National Stonewall Democrats have denounced Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie for referring to gay Americans as intolerant bigots. On Tuesday, Gillespie told The Washington Times, "I think when people say, 'Well, no, that's not enough that you accept me for who I am, you have to agree with--and condone--my choice,' that to me is religious bigotry, and I believe that's intolerant. I think they are the ones who are crossing a line here." Gillespie also said that the RNC will move to oppose civil recognition of same-sex marriage in its 2004 platform.
"Gillespie is the one displaying his bigotry, not gay Americans," said Dave Noble, NSD's executive director. "Suggesting that someone is a bigot because they want the legal right to visit a dying partner in the hospital is wrong and, frankly, disgusting."
Gillespie said that while a decision hinges on the outcome of a potential marriage ruling in Massachusetts, the RNC appears to be ready to support a U.S. constitutional amendment outlawing recognition of same-sex relationships. The RNC chairman noted that he sees no difference between civil unions and same-sex marriages.
Log Cabin Republicans executive director Patrick Guerriero took issue with Gillespie's support of the proposed constitutional amendment. "We should not marginalize gay families," Guerriero said. "And to be true to our conservative roots, we should not tinker with the sacred United States Constitution to score temporary political points.
"We win elections by addition, not subtraction," Guerriero continued. "With the electorate evenly divided, a small number of fair-minded swing voters who embrace tolerance and inclusion will decide this election. They want our party to focus on jump-starting the American economy and winning the war on terror, not igniting the failed cultural wars of the past."