Republican Chairman Steele Shoots at Gay Marriage, Hits the Whole Institution

In trying a new line of attack against gay marriage, he manages to argue against the whole institution.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I've written before about how the anti-gay marriage arguments have had to evolve as marriage equality has made advances in various parts of the country, but RNC Chairman Michael Steele recently trotted out a line of attack that in its inanity seems less like evolution than unfortunate mutation bound for quick extinction.

Speaking to the state GOP convention in Georgia over the weekend, Steele said that Republicans could recast the gay marriage issue as an economic one:

Steele said that was just an example of how the party can retool its message to appeal to young voters and minorities without sacrificing core conservative principles. Steele said he used the argument weeks ago while chatting on a flight with a college student who described herself as fiscally conservative but socially liberal on issues like gay marriage.

"Now all of a sudden I've got someone who wasn't a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for," Steele told Republicans at the state convention in traditionally conservative Georgia. "So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money."

There's one small problem with that argument against gay marriage, as TNR's Christopher Orr points out: It also applies to traditional marriage.

But hey—if Michael Steele wants to position the GOP as the pro-business, anti-marriage party...who am I to object?

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