Wyoming Republican Party: “The Definition of Marriage is the Union of One Man and One Woman”
The Wyoming Republican Party recently made waves on social media when they posted their stance on marriage.
The Wyoming GOP platform’s Facebook page, which has 17,546 followers or ‘likes,’ put out a statement on January 25, suggesting that marriage should only be between man and woman.
They began the post with a quote from Dr. James Dobson, an evangelical Christian author and psychologist. He is also the founder of Focus on the Family, a fundamentalist Christian organization that promotes conservative views on public policy.
The quote was this: “Marriage represents the very foundation of human social order. Everything of value sits on that base. Institutions, governments, religious fervor, and the welfare of children are all dependent on its stability. When it is weakened or undermined, the entire superstructure begins to wobble. Admittedly, there have been periods in history where homosexuality has flourished, such as in the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. None of those civilizations survived.”
After quoting Dr. Dobson, they wrote that, “The Wyoming Republican Party believes that the definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Amber Pollock, a city councilwoman for the Casper City Council, as well as the owner of Backwards Distilling Company, called the stance "nonsense."
"There is no place for [this stance] in the platform of a party that believes in personal liberty and small government like the Republican Party purportedly does," Pollock stated. "Wyoming communities have some really significant challenges to face and they're working with a Republican Party that is basically ignoring those issues, instead choosing to pander along these lines. Such a shame. Fighting a battle to define marriage (which has already been defined, by the way), will do nothing to help Wyoming families who need real solutions to real problems. But, by all means, do read the rest of the platform and help work to eliminate all the other inappropriate and extraneous items it includes that get in the way of the party doing the work that would actually make a difference for Wyoming People."
Sara Burlingame is the Director of Wyoming Equality, a non-profit organization that "strives to achieve equity for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, and queer Wyomingites by building broad and inclusive communities, shifting the hearts and minds of our neighbors, and achieving policy victories." She echoed many of the same sentiments that Pollock did, suggesting that this take is simply a distraction from the larger issues.
"It was confounding to see the GOP publicly denounce the multitude of LGBTQ Wyomingites, as well as their family members, who belong to the Republican Party," Burlingame stated. "It didn’t make sense to harken back to a time when same sex marriage wasn’t the law of the land. The only plausible reason we can find is that the Wyoming GOP hopes that folks will rally around attacking their neighbors' marriages and forget all about their schism over treason, the suggestion that we should secede from the union and other realities too absurd and numerous to name.
"We suggest they figure out how to get back to being the party of limited government and unlimited liberty. Folks seemed to like that. Or they can keep broadcasting that their religion is white supremacy and their party platform is homophobia and watch their influence and fundraising dollars dwindle."
Joe McGinley, the chairman of the Natrona County Republican Party called the post "out of touch."
"With all the problems that are going on, why is this even a concern or an issue and why would they need to put out a post like that?" he asked. "It just doesn't make sense. Being a Republican, you believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You don't get to pick and choose what you agree with or don't agree with. You're supposed to be protective of rights across the board, and in protecting other peoples' rights, even if you personally disagree. I don't know what they were trying to accomplish besides alienating more people from the party and if that is what they were trying to accomplish, they did a good job."
The Natrona County Republican Party famously walked out of a meeting last year so, McGinley stated, the NCRP was not there when it came time to vote for the GOP platform.
"I was not there when the platforms came up for debate and discussion," McGinley stated. "Neither was, I'd say, about 80% of Natrona County Republicans. We walked out in protest."
McGinley continues to protest some of the ideas from the Wyoming Republican Party, especially in regards to marriage.
"It's just out of touch," he continued. "If you believe in conservative values, and you believe in what true Republican principles are, then you know you're supposed to fight for equal rights. You're supposed to fight for liberty and the pursuit of happiness; not define what that means.
"What makes you happy is going to be different than what makes me happy. And that's the great thing about conservative values - what makes us happy is irrelevant. We fight for those rights no matter what. And that's why I think some leadership in the party have lost their way or are focusing on their own personal views and personal opinions, instead of what it really means to be a Republican."
The Facebook post urges followers to read the rest of their platform by going to their website, where it states the following:
“WE (sic) believe there are Timeless Truths that will always inform and direct our party and our country regardless of current events and circumstances, changing strategies, goals, and leadership. These Truths, put into action, maintain, protect, and defend our unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
In addition to their stance on marriage, the GOP also shares their views on the Second Amendment, Equality, Religious Freedom, and more.
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, which legalized it in all fifty states and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses.
When reached for comment, Frank Eathorne, the Chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party, stated that, "The elected delegates at the Wyoming Republican state convention have upheld this position on marriage for years. Traditional marriage has held the place of platform plank number two for a number of conventions. Keep Wyoming great!"
The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines marriage as "The state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law."