TheBlaze TV’s S.E. Cupp captured headlines on Tuesday after she announced that she’s backing out of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) until gay Republican groups are officially welcomed. Her decision was rooted in the notion that CPAC reportedly allows gay groups to attend, but does not permit them to sponsor the event — something she called a “cop-out” of sorts. On Wednesday, TheBlaze interviewed Cupp to speak further about her views on same-sex marriage and how the GOP should be handling the issue.
First and foremost, we asked Cupp how she believes the party should be handling the complex social debate — one that is increasingly dividing Republicans. In an e-mail response, she explained that the GOP should be celebrating and acknowledging that it is a party of intellectual diversity. This is true not only on the same-sex marriage front, but also on a myriad of other important issues.
“Libertarians, social conservatives and even fiscal hawks have different views on gay marriage, and even within those subsets of the party there are different foundational backgrounds and perspectives on the issue,” Cupp noted. “That’s not a bad thing. What we can’t do, as a party, is castigate or marginalize the conservatives whose support we already enjoy for their positions on gay rights.”
Just as she has defended the notion that the party should embrace gay conservatives, Cupp also spoke about the importance of not disparaging those who disagree with these unions. She noted her personal qualms with the Republican Party’s official stance on gay marriage, but said that she has no intention of speaking out against conservatives who stand in opposition to these rights for homosexual couples.
“There are interesting, well-intentioned and valid religious, constitutional and economic arguments against gay marriage, and those arguments should be given a voice,” she added. “But we allow for nuanced differences of opinion on fiscal issues, national security, foreign policy and elsewhere without questioning each others’ conservative credentials. We should allow for differences of opinion on gay marriage as well.”
Cupp doubled-down on the notion that there is no singular conservative view on gay rights: While libertarians would take a more favorable stance, evangelical Christians would not. As far as the commentator is concerned, neither perspective — or any of the others in between — would be distinguishable as the one, true conservative stance on the issue.
“I’m a conservative who believes that keeping the government out of my private life on a whole host of issues is totally consistent with supporting gay rights,” she said, noting that the finds no conflict between holding right-of-center views and allowing gays to marry.
From Cupp’s statements, some might assume that she’s arguing for the Republican Party to embrace gay marriage. But when asked about the political movement’s future if it fails to do so, she clarified her stance, saying that the GOP doesn’t need to “embrace” gay marriage, per se. Rather than touting the institution, she noted the importance of Republicans being inclusive and allowing gay individuals into the tent.
“Republicans (and Democrats, for that matter) who disagree with gay marriage shouldn’t be forced or bullied into accepting it — but the party does need to embrace gay conservatives, as well as conservatives who support gay marriage,” Cupp said.
As far as her CPAC decision goes, she informed the organizers before making her public statement on MSNBC. Rather than speaking out against event organizers, she reiterated positive feelings about the annual conservative conference, noting that it’s not her intention to use the bully pulpit or to attack CPAC. In fact, she said she’s hoping to work with the group again in the future. But for now, she simply cannot lend her support.
“This year it just didn’t feel like there was a way for me to support my friends at GOProud and [Log Cabin Republicans], promote an inclusive, big-tent party, and participate in the conference at the same time,” she explained.
Regardless of her views on same-sex marriage, Cupp also seems to have the party’s future in mind. Considering the dearth of support the GOP has among minority groups and young people, she said excluding gays simply doesn’t make sense.
It’s “beyond bad manners, that’s bad calculus,” she believes.
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