VIDEO: Former GOP spokesperson James Richardson calls for marriage in Georgia
October 24, 2014
Editors' Note: This speech was delivered by James Richardson, former RNC spokesperson for the Republican National Committee and Governors Barbour and Huntsman, at an October 23 Rally for Marriage in Atlanta, Georgia, organized by Georgia Equality and Freedom to Marry. At the rally, marriage supporters like James made the case that Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens should stop defending marriage discrimination in the Peach State. Earlier this year, James came out as gay and appealed to the Republican Party to support the freedom to marry and stop holding same-sex couples back. Read the op-ed in The Washington Post here. And read more about the rally here.
I’ve made a career out of speaking for Republicans, in advancing an agenda of limited government. Throughout that time I’ve worked to reform my party’s platform and to convince earnest office holders like Attorney General Olens of the conservative values of the freedom to marry.
Fortunately, I’m not the lone Republican who believes as I do.
Go to any College Republican or Young Republican meeting across America and you’ll find at least 6 out of every 10 support the freedom to marry. You could even stumble into a college Bible study and find that a majority of these evangelical Millenials support the expansion of civil marriage to allow for the inclusion of gay men and women.
This is my generation, Mr. Olens. This is the generation to whom you must answer when you next seek office. This is the massive bloc of conservative voters who will decide whether you get that next promotion, and we won’t easily forget your actions today.
But you shouldn’t decide to withdraw your defense of this ban because of what opinion polls tell you. That’s gutless. Instead you should stop because it’s the right and moral thing to do, just as four other Republican state attorney generals have already done.
As the state’s top lawman, Mr. Olens, you have a responsibility to protect the rights of all Georgians.
As a conservative, you have a responsibility to run an efficient government that doesn’t waste precious taxpayer resources.
And as a decent man, you have a responsibility to do what’s right—to honor the Golden Rule we instill in our children—by abandoning your defense of our state's exclusionary marriage ban.
You and I believe in the virtues of freedom and individual liberty. We believe, as President Reagan said, that “man is not free unless government is limited.”
Well, buddy, I’m here to tell you that ain’t the case in Georgia. Today in Georgia the promise of freedom is enjoyed only by some. But you can change that. You should change that. So do what’s right and stop big government from eroding our freedoms.