As the chair of the Mount Vernon Republicans, I want to take a moment to celebrate the 12 Republicans who recently voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate. The time has come for our party to be more inclusive, and thanks to the efforts of Maine’s own Sen. Susan Collins, who worked to convince 11 other GOP senators to cross the aisle, the legislation is close to becoming law.

It is disappointing that more Republican senators did not support the bill. Recent polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans support marriage equality. When I tell people that I am a Republican in favor on this concept, some are perplexed. The idea that being right of center translates into opposition of equal rights for all simply is not true. Other Republican colleagues and friends have had similar experiences.

Being conservative should be synonymous with supporting the concept that government should stay out of people’s lives as much as possible. I believe all Americans should have the freedom and opportunity to work, earn a living, provide for their families, and contribute to their communities. I believe freedom and fairness for all make our country stronger.


Doug Stevens

Mount Vernon

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