Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has once again suggested there’s a more inviting way for the GOP to express its opposition to LGBT equality, but suggested he didn’t want to go as far as expressing “tolerance.” Speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Priebus said he doesn’t care for the word “tolerance” and made it clear that the party’s positions were not abandoning that there’s “only one sovereign God”:
PRIEBUS: I don’t know if I’ve used the word ‘tolerance,’ I don’t really care for that word myself. I don’t have a problem with it, I just think it has another meaning politically that can go the other direction. I happen to believe that our principles are sound. I do believe, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversial at all and I would think that Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language, that’s the New Testament. [...]
So ‘tolerance’ — maybe some people use that word, what I would tell you, when I think about it, I think about grace, I think about love, and I think about respect, and I think those are things that are very square with our beliefs as Christians.
Watch it (via Right Wing Watch):
This notion that there’s a way the Republican Party can express its same-old opposition to LGBT equality in a more approachable tone has been a talking point since the party released its “autopsy” of the 2012 election. That report suggested the party could attract young voters if it just didn’t emphasize its anti-LGBT beliefs in such a pronounced way. Priebus then explained that the talking points could be sugarcoated “in a way that is not judgmental.” Jeb Bush has since similarly suggested that he and his fellow Republicans “have to change our language to be inclusive but not abandon principle.”
But this supposed strategy did not stop the Republican National Committee from nearly unanimously supporting a resolution recommitting to opposing marriage equality, citing junk science about same-sex parenting for support. The Defense of Marriage Act has now been ruled unconstitutional, but Priebus’s talking points have not changed at all: same-sex families should still be deprived of the legal securities of marriage because God said so. Not only does this perpetuate stigma against the gay community, it also erases the many LGBT people who are themselves Christians, as well as the many Christian allies who support marriage equality. So far, the Republican approach appears to be exactly the same as before — absent any grace, love, or respect for the lived experience of same-sex families.