Today, addressing the Log Cabin Republicans, former McCain campaign message guru Steve Schmidt laid out his argument for marriage equality. "There is a sound conservative argument to be made for same-sex marriage," he said in his speech. "I believe conservatives, more than liberals, insist that rights come with responsibilities. No other exercise of one's liberty comes with greater responsibilities than marriage." Schmidt, who has spoken out in favor of gay marriage before and voted against Proposition 8 in California, argued that the movement is not un-American and that it does not threaten the rights of others. "On the contrary, it seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic natural rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence — liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Schmidt, who fought tooth and nail on behalf of his anti-gay-marriage candidate in 2008, is expected to be followed at the Log Cabin Convention by John McCain's daughter Meghan, who also disagrees with her father. Most notable, though, was the portion of Schmidt's speech where he said that the GOP is "at risk of becoming a religious party. In a free country a political party cannot remain viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party." Compelling points, but even though the Republican Party is struggling to find itself, one has to wonder whether its leaders will listen to a guy partially responsible for losing them the White House.
Ex-McCain aide to call for gay marriage support [Politicker/CNN]
Steve Schmidt: GOP "At Risk of Becoming a Religious Party" [Plank/TNR]