Log Cabin Republican representative talks gay marriage, getting involved in politics

It’s common belief that gays and lesbians cannot comfortably belong to the Republican Party. It’s an equally common belief that Republicans will not support matters of gay and lesbian rights. That doesn’t need to be the case, James Humphreys said.Humphreys, an advocate for gay and lesbian rights, is the vice president of the Utah Log Cabin Republicans. He talked to Utah State University students Thursday of the importance of getting involved in elections early in the season and the need for a dialogue between the two major political parties. “We won’t improve the ideology of any party unless we are involved, which is why I’m involved, despite the fact that I have Republicans who literally hate me to their core and Democrats who think I’m the craziest loon who ever walked the face of the planet,” he said. “I get it all the time because if I don’t try to change the party from the inside out, then I don’t have a lot of room to complain.”The

<a href=”http://www.logcabin.org/site/c.nsKSL7PMLpF/b.5468093/k.BE4C/Home.htm”>Log Cabin Republicans</a>

believe in inclusion and advocate equality for gay and lesbian citizens. Humphreys visited campus to speak at Pizza and Politics, a recurring event hosted by the College Republicans.One argument against gay marriage is that extending the title of marriage to gay and lesbian couples will ruin the sanctity of the marriage relationship. This argument is flawed, Humphreys said. Married citizens get many tax breaks and benefits from the government that aren’t available to single people or gay and lesbian couples. Marriage certificates cost the average citizen $45, but Humphreys said he and his husband had to spend more than $2,500 in legal fees to get one-third of the rights of a heterosexual couple. The government hasn’t always had benefits for married couples. However, the fact that the government does give benefits to married couples changes marriage from an issue of religion to an issue of government. Religions may define marriage within their church as they like, but denying gay and lesbian couples equality through the government is an issue of discrimination.”The government takes the same money from me that they take from you and from everyone else,” Humphreys said. “I don’t care if we talk about how much we like or don’t like the subject at the dinner table, in our churches, if we want to talk about it with our friends. I don’t care, but don’t take it to the place that takes the same money from me as it takes from you. I deserve to be treated the same way by the same government.”Protecting rights and protecting cultural norms are not necessarily the same thing, he said. There’s a difference between finding common ground and giving up personal principals. As with other discrimination matters in the past, such as rights for women and African Americans, both major political parties need to work together to make a change.Humphreys is not a “one-trick pony,” he said, and advocating for gay marriage isn’t the only thing that defines him or the Log Cabin Republicans. According to the Utah chapter’s

<a href=”http://logcabinutah.org/”>website</a>

, members believe in “limited government, strong national defense, free markets, low taxes, personal responsibility and individual liberty.”Those who want to be part of a change in the government need to be involved from the very beginning of the election process and do their own research on the issues.”Being involved in a voting republic – or democracy, however you want to look at it – requires some work. Those who do the work show up, and those who show up make the decisions for the rest of us,” he said. – rachel@cvdaily.com

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