Maryland editorial calls for Republicans to support the freedom to marry

Last week, Jason Papanikolas, the chairman of the Republican Central Committee for Prince George's County in Maryland, published an editorial in the local Maryland newspaper, The Gazette. In the editorial, Papanikolas argues that Republicans across the state of Maryland should support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, asserting that in order to stay consistent with Republican values and remain strategic in the modern political landscape, more Republicans need to raise their voices in support of fairness for all couples. 

Papanikolas writes

The Republican Party has historically supported equal rights for all individuals. It was President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican, who saw our nation through its bloodiest conflict to ensure that all men were born free. When liberty was threatened by Jim Crow, Republicans rose up again to challenge the institutions of power and ensure that freedom, given to us by God and protected by our Constitution, was secured. We are again summoned to defend the sovereignty of the individual. To defend that most basic of human rights: the ability to enter into contract.

At its root, this is what civil marriage is: a contract between two consenting adults to share their lives together, come what may. The right of contract is the most fundamental of our rights. Contracts are the basis upon which a society operates. Even our Constitution creates a binding contract between the government and the governed. That contract limits the scope of government and its ability to interfere in the personal lives of We the People. This limitation of power is the cornerstone upon which the Republican Party and conservatism were built. It is the height of hypocrisy to call for the government to get out of our lives in one area and interfere with it in another. Our party must lead or get out of the way. We are either for limited enumerated powers being granted to our government or else we are no better than the Democrats on this issue.

The editorial comes a few weeks before Election Day, when Marylanders will be asked to vote on the state's existing freedom to marry law, which was legislatively approved in March. Marylanders committed to fairness for all couples will be asked to vote FOR Question 6 in order to uphold the law. 

Support for the freedom to marry is quickly emerging as a mainstream position in the Republican Party. More conservative leaders than ever are advocating for marriage for same-sex couples by explaining that it is completely in line with core conservative principles, like personal responsibility and freedom from government interference. Prominent conservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheny, former George W. Bush Solicitor General Ted Toldson, and former First Lady Laura Bush have all spoken out in support of ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

This year, we've been spotlighting voices of conservatives speaking out in favor of the freedom to marry through our Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry coalition. Find out more about the campaign HERE, and read more about marriage at the ballot in November HERE.