(CNSNews.com) - The government should have no say about marriage, and the plank in the Republican Party platform that calls for preserving marriage between a man and a woman should be scrapped, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R) told CNSNews.com.
Furthermore, the U.S. military should not differentiate between homosexuals and heterosexuals, said Whitman. The former governor spoke Friday at the Log Cabin Republicans’ (LCR) 2009 convention and symposium in Washington, D.C.
The Log Cabin Republicans are a group that seeks to promote homosexual and lesbian concerns within the GOP. In her speech, Whitman spoke about how inclusion can help the GOP become stronger, and she called on the Republican Party to veer in a moderate direction.
“Well, I am somebody who believes in the separation of church and state and that the government, frankly, ought to be out of the business of marriage entirely,” Whitman told CNSNews.com after her speech.
“It ought to be everybody – heterosexual, homosexual. When you go down and register to get married, that’s when the legal transfer of everything occurs and that’s a legal recognition of a relationship – and if you want to get married in a church, a temple, whatever, and you find one, great!” she said.
“Civil marriage, everybody,” said Whitman. “I am not against marriage for gay couples. I just think it would make the issue easier if it was civil marriage for everybody. And I am not against – I mean, it’s [same-sex marriage] not going to threaten my marriage. I mean my 35th anniversary is on Monday. It’s not going to threaten my marriage to have a gay couple married.”
Whitman said that the entire issue of same-sex marriage ought to be removed from the Republican Party platform. That part, entitled, “Preserving Tradition Marriage,” partly reads:
“Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives. …
“A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex ‘marriages’ licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. …”
Concerning the platform’s opposition to homosexual marriage, Whitman said, “I would like them to take it out. I just don't think it’s an issue that ought to be in a party platform. It’s a personal issue, not a political one.”
In her speech to the Log Cabin Republicans, Whitman also called on the Republican Party to be more inclusive.
“I am not saying to Christian conservatives, ‘There is no place for you,’” said Whitman. “I am saying, ‘Please stop saying there is no place for us.’
“We can't succeed nationally as a party that only has 31 percent of the American people behind it,” she said. “It’s not going to work. We need everybody. We need to ingratiate them. We need to bring them in. We are not going to agree on every issue – but that’s okay.”
Whitman was the governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001 and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under the George W. Bush administration from 2001 to 2003.
While speaking with CNSNews.com, Whitman also called for the open acceptance of homosexuals and lesbians in the U.S. military.
“I don't care if he is straight,” said Whitman, in reference to a soldier’s sexuality. “I care if he can shoot straight.”