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Rohit Joy

Marin County GOP Divides Republicans, Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

Today, the Marin County Republican Party issued a press release announcing their support for same-sex marriage. The press release states that this vote was taken as part of the adoption of a broad three-year strategic plan to revitalize the Republican Party in Marin County.

If revitalizing the Marin GOP is their goal, formally adopting a pro-same-sex marriage position is foolish for several reasons. First, such a position directly conflicts with the official California Republican Party Platform. The CRP Platform states as part of the section on the family, “we support the two-parent family as the best environment for raising children, and therefore believe it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.” What this means is that if a rank-and-file Republican voter in Marin calls the state party headquarters inquiring about where the GOP stands on marriage, he will get one answer, but if he calls the county party headquarters, he will get another answer. This will confuse voters about where the party truly stands.

A more serious ramification of this vote is it creates a rift between the county Republican Party organization and other conservative and right-of-center groups in Marin County. Numerous such groups exist in Marin County, including several Republican Women Federated chapters, the Marin Conservative Forum, and the Bay Area Patriots. The Republican Party performs best when these organizations focus on what unites them and work together to elect Republicans. We witnessed the positive results of such cooperation just this past weekend, when the Marin, San Francisco, and Contra Costa Republican Parties all pitched in to charter a bus to transport volunteers to SD16 to help Andy Vidak, and numerous Young Republicans, College Republicans, and California Republican Assembly members joined in as well. These efforts were critical to bringing about Vidak’s upset victory over Leticia Perez on Tuesday.

Bay Area GOP Vidak Group

CYRF Walkers

The Marin GOP announcement tells many of their conservative volunteers who came out and helped that they are not welcome in the GOP, and as a result, these volunteers may be reluctant to help out with similar efforts in the future. Evidence of such a fallout can already be seen with the decision by Sally Zelikovsky, the head of the Bay Area Patriots, to sever her ties with the Marin GOP.

Finally, many Republicans have heard over and over again from certain segments of our party that we should “stay out of social issues and focus on economic issues” because economic issues are what unite Republicans. Moderate and liberal Republicans make this argument in particular every four years when our state party platform is up for debate and they try to weaken the planks supporting the sanctity of life and traditional marriage. Now, in passing this resolution, this faction of the Republican Party has revealed that their true agenda is not to deemphasize the importance of social issues such as this one in favor of issues that more directly impact voters’ pocketbooks, as is often claimed, but to completely turn on its head the Republican position on the marriage issue and make it the opposite of what it has traditionally been.

It’s most unfortunate that one of our county Republican Parties has chosen to declare war on conservatives in the county. I urge local conservatives to seek out other organizations to support that better reflect their beliefs.