Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

CPAC, conservatives must see DOMA as a human rights issue

Recent weeks have drawn much attention to the issue of gay marriage. We have not only seen organizations uninvite gay support groups to major events, but have also seen key politicians and those with influence of the issue come out in support of federal legalization of civil unions. Fortunately, our homosexual friends and family will hopefully be released of their marital restrictions once the Supreme Court begins arguments regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on March 28.

As some of us may have watched, The American Conservative Union hosts an annual convention to spread and inspire conservatism across the state by inviting key conservative leaders and members to engage in conversation and activism; this convention is called the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and it took place last week from March 13-16. An organization called GOProud, a gay-friendly conservative group that promotes conservative values and is openly a supporter of gay marriage rights, was officially uninvited from the conference due to other attended organizations’, and donors’, dislike for GOProud. Although the organization was banned, this did not stop the Executive Director of GOProud, Jimmy LaSalvia, who was invited by another group to participate in a panel at the conference. Another surprising twist in this story is the results of individual polls done by outside organizers of the members attending CPAC and their opinions on the ban of GOProud. With over 60 percent of attendees being between the age of 18-29, about 80 percent of those asked thought that CPAC was wrong to have uninvited the group.

These numbers are not too surprising when considering new Pew results released Wed., March 20, regarding new attitudes toward gay marriage. Of those asked in the recent poll, 49 percent of the total population are in favor of gay marriage. When broken down by demographic, Millennials (born in 1981 or later), responded with 70 percent in favor of gay marriage.

The support for this issue is exploding at rapid numbers and public support is now being represented in those who have the chance to influence the issue the most. Both Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton went public with their announcement of support for gay marriage. Senator Portman, a former co-sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act, took to his local newspaper to announce his change of position which was inspired by his gay son. Portman, saying he has looked at the issue from a different perspective: “that’s of a dad who loves his son too and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have.” As for former Secretary Clinton, during a speech about human rights in Geneva, she expressed hope and support for gay rights causes across the world and inspired everyone to be “On the right side of history.”

Although some people want to still consider this a difference of political party issue, it is not. It is a solid human rights issue affecting everyone across the nation no matter what political party you belong to. Support for the overturn of DOMA is now higher than the support to keep the act in legislation. The government has no right to tell someone who they can or cannot love and it is great to know our homosexual community is no longer alone in the efforts to ensure their right to marry.

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CPAC, conservatives must see DOMA as a human rights issue