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Should The GOP Rethink Gay Marriage?

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Protestors gather in downtown Houston in support of gay rights.

Mark McKinnon is best known as a longtime advisor for President George W. Bush, but recently he’s been taking a surprisingly liberal stance on a popular topic – gay marriage. In opposition to many of his GOP compatriots, McKinnon has been campaigning to bring same sex marriage to the Lone Star State. The Texas Standard’s David Brown speaks with McKinnon on his stance and how he plans to go about it.

“As a Republican, one of the core messages of the Republican Party that attracted me to the party was the idea of less government, more freedom and strong families. So it seems to me to be ideologically consistent Republicans should be wholeheartedly embracing marriage equality,” says McKinnon. While same-sex marriage has begun to gain traction, only 19 currently have legal standings recognizing marriage.

While most of the Republican Party seems unilaterally opposed to same sex marriage, McKinnon argues that the actual public opinion is more diverse.

“Among mainstream Republicans, now they are equally divided pro and con on the issue of gay marriage. Then, when you get down to evangelicals and younger republicans they are split 60/40 in favor of gay marriage,” says McKinnon.

While McKinnon believes that Texas won’t pass any legislation lifting the ban on gay marriage he does believe the US Supreme Court will eventually hand down a federal standard. Something that Texans and much the GOP will have to learn to live with. Until then, McKinnon believes that it’s not too late for the Republican party to reevaluate how it views same sex marriage. “I say better late than never.” 

David entered radio journalism thanks to a love of storytelling, an obsession with news, and a desire to keep his hair long and play in rock bands. An inveterate political junkie with a passion for pop culture and the romance of radio, David has reported from bases in Washington, London, Los Angeles, and Boston for Monitor Radio and for NPR, and has anchored in-depth public radio documentaries from India, Brazil, and points across the United States and Europe. He is, perhaps, known most widely for his work as host of public radio's Marketplace. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to Texas full-time in 2005, Brown joined the staff of KUT, launching the award-winning cultural journalism unit "Texas Music Matters."
Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.
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