Corbett should alter views on gay marriage

In a recent interview with WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Governor Tom Corbett (R-Pa.) recently compared the idea of legalizing gay marriage to the idea of legalizing incest. According to the Los Angeles Times, on Oct. 4 he apologized for his recent court filing that initially compared the marriage of gay couples to child marriage on the basis that both are illegal in Pennsylvania.

Corbett acknowledged unsarcastically, “It was an inappropriate analogy, you know. I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you?” While he later apologized for this comparison, after outrage from the gay community, this is indicative of the uninformed and out-of-touch mindset of legislators who oppose gay marriage.

Corbett is far from the first national politician to exhibit such insensitivity toward the issue of gay rights, let alone the first Pennsylvania politician. Most notably, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is notorious for his opposition to gay rights. According to The Huffington Post, he has stated his belief that legalizing gay marriage would discourage future heterosexual marriages. He has also stated that legalizing gay marriage would lead to the legalization of bigamy, incest, and polygamy, according to CNN..

The conservative evangelical policy makers that hold these views not only find themselves out of touch with their constituents, but in some cases, also with their own religions. While not completely in line with increasingly popular views on gay rights, the Church of Latter-day Saints has made strides for openness and acceptance toward homosexual individuals. According to Time magazine, Mormon leaders have backed the Boy Scouts of America’s move to allow openly gay scouts, and church leaders no longer advise gay members to marry only people of the opposite sex. The Catholic Church has similarly seen some progress. According to CNN, Pope Francis stated in July, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

While religious institutions may still oppose gay marriage, they express greater degrees of acceptance than Corbett.

It is time for politicians to do their research, become more conscious of the scope of gay rights, and better reflect the views of their constituents and their religious beliefs.

If Corbett fails to adopt a more accepting stance similar to other conservative figures and institutions, he may lose the support of his constituents.