House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a top Republican who has repeatedly voted anti-gay, yesterday said the GOP needs “to be a party of inclusion not exclusion.” Cantor, the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress, has a “0″ rating from HRC, the country’s largest LGBT rights group.
“I’ve always said we need to be a party of inclusion not exclusion,” Cantor said said in an interview with BuzzFeed:
“We need to be promoting tolerance and, you know, as someone who is a religious minority, I sort of grew up with having that mindset, knowing full well that I am in a very distinct way from a religious background, separate and apart from the mainstream of this country.”
“I think that that tolerance is something that enables people to be passionate about their positions. And if you’re for gay marriage, this country allows you to express your views. Some states support it and allow it, and others don’t. But its ok to have that difference of opinion in that.”
Buzzfeed adds, “Cantor, who is also part of the leadership group that has brought a lawsuit against the Obama administration’s decision to not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, argued that open discussion and diversity are what make the nation ‘unique,’ and warned against institutional attempts to enforce a standard position on the population.”
When asked if the Republican Party specifically needs to do a better job of accepting opinions on gay marriage and other cultural issues that do not align with party orthodoxy, Cantor said “absolutely.”
“I’ve always said we need to be a party of inclusion not exclusion,” Cantor said. “We need to be promoting tolerance and, you know, as someone who is a religious minority, I sort of grew up with having that mindset, knowing full well that I am in a very distinct way from a religious background, separate and apart from the mainstream of this country.”
In no way did Cantor offer support for same-sex marriage or ENDA, for example. In no way did Cantor offer anything except platitudes.
In response, the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican group, hailed the Majority leader’s comments in a statement:
“The Log Cabin Republicans motto is ‘inclusion wins,’ and it is encouraging to see conservative leaders like Majority Leader Cantor promoting that message as key to victory in 2012,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “From the Republican Party’s staunch support for candidates like Log Cabin member Richard Tisei to the leadership of conservative champions like Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), there is increasing support for LGBT equality within the GOP. The march to victory in 2012 and beyond will require a big tent, respecting diversity of opinion while uniting around the core issues that unite us as Republicans. We are grateful to Majority Leader Cantor for leading the way.”
Image via OnTheIssues
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