Tomorrow, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) will address CPAC. On Monday, he was brandishing his conservative credentials by appearing at a forum in Iowa sponsored by The Family Leader, a conservative group spearheading the repeal same-sex-marriage campaign in Iowa. Pawlenty repeatedly emphasized his Christian faith during the event, even going so far as to suggest that his opposition to expanding marriage to gays and lesbians was a “universal” value that was “embedded in our culture”:
REPORTER: Is it appropriate for policy to be driven by values that are not necessarily shared by everyone, yet have a very significant effect on everyone?
PAWLENTY: Well, these values that come from God and that our county was founded on, even if you personally…doesn’t necessarily codify them in their religion, these are universal values not based on some mythical idea but it’s based on things like we’re going to make sure we respect life, we’re going to make sure we respect traditional marriage. We’re going to make sure we’re going to promote not discourage parenting…So I don’t think those values ore demeaning or disrespectful to somebody else’s religion. These are values that are embedded in our culture, our society, they have been for a long time and they’re appropriate subjects for public debate and discourse.
Ironically, by refusing to recognize same-sex relationships and families — and by specifically advocating for legislation that would take away these protections from families in Iowa — Pawlenty is discouraging parenting and families. He’s also disrespecting the many denominations of Christianity — Evangelical Lutherans, Unitarian Universalists and Episcopalians — who recognize same-sex couples.