Conservative firebrand Glenn Beck has joined a growing chorus of Republican commentators in defending gay marriage, laying out a strong case for ending government opposition to letting same-sex couples wed.
“Let me take the pro-gay marriage people and the religious people — I believe that there is a connecting dot there that nobody is looking at, and that’s the Constitution,” Beck said during a recent segment of his online talk show. “The question is not whether gay people should be married or not. The question is why is the government involved in our marriage?”
While Beck’s defence of gay marriage may seem surprising, given his far-right political views and audience, it is actually not new. Earlier this year, Beck said that he has the “same opinion on gay marriage as President Barack Obama” and does not see same-sex unions as a “threat to America.”
Still, Beck’s public renewal of his support for gay marriage comes at a politically significant moment for the GOP, which is working to reshape its message to appeal to a changing electorate. A Gallup survey released last week found that 53 per cent of Americans are in favour of legalizing gay marriage, a number that has been steadily growing for the past decade.
Moreover, by couching his support for gay marriage in a libertarian framework, Beck makes the case for the right to look past differences on social issues in order to broaden their coalition to include all limited government conservatives.
“What we need to do, I think, as people who believe in the Constitution, is to start looking for allies who believe in the Constitution and expand our own horizon,” Beck said. “We would have the ultimate big tent.”
Oddly enough, Beck made these comments during an on-air talk with Penn Jillette, the talking half of the Vegas magician duo Penn & Teller, who is also a vocal libertarian and atheist.
Watch the whole discussion below:
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