Despite their party's official stance on the issue, more and more Republicans have been coming out of the woodwork to say they support marriage equality. And now, Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, is saying her father, the 20th century president the GOP seems to revere more than any other, would have been a-okay with gay marriage, too. Huh?!
Well, as counterintuitive as it sounds that Reagan and modern day Republicans should be on the side of same-sex couples', it really does makes perfect sense. That is, if you consider some conservatives' Libertarian views that government oughta keep its nose out of Americans' personal business. But the political rationale is just one of the reasons Davis says her dad would have been cool with the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Davis told The New York Times believes the former president's Hollywood acting career and close friendship with a lesbian couple would have both been factors encouraging Reagan to back gay marriage. The lesbian couple, who Davis referred to as her aunts, once cared for Davis and her younger brother Ron while their parents were on a Hawaiian vacation — and slept in the Reagans’ king-size bed.
Plus, Davis recalls how her dad once described homosexuality to her ... The two were watching a Rock Hudson film, and Davis said that the actor “looked weird” kissing his female co-star. In response, Reagan explained that Mr. Hudson “would rather be kissing a man,” and conveyed, without using the words homosexual or gay, the idea that “some men are born wanting to love another man.” Wow, definitely progressive, huh?
That said, Reagan's track record in actually supporting gay rights while president was ehhhhh. As the POTUS in office when AIDS became an epidemic, he was painfully slow to respond, and his administration spewed vile rhetoric about the disease being "nature's revenge on gay men." But when he was governor of California he joined a number of Democrats, including President Jimmy Carter, in opposing a ballot measure that would have barred gays and lesbians from working in public schools.
At any rate, Davis' take is certainly interesting. Sounds like there's a solid case there for his would-be backing of gay marriage. And though we'll never truly know, his hypothetical progressiveness and humanity on the issue is heartening in a small way.
Where do you believe President Reagan would have stood on same-sex marriage?
Image via Reagan.utexas.edu