On Friday, Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Republican from Pennsylvania, attended his gay son’s wedding.
But earlier in the week, Thompson voted with most of his GOP colleagues against a bill that would protect same-sex marriage rights across the country.
What’s good for his son, apparently, isn’t good enough for anyone else.
47 House Republicans voted in favor of the “Respect for Marriage Act.” The bill, if it passes in the Senate, would simply require all states to respect the marriage laws of other states just as they do with straight couples already. So if a gay couple gets married in one state, they would still be considered legally married in other states even if the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell and a Republican legislature decides to ban same-sex marriage in their state. (The same bill would also protect interracial marriage the same way.)
Glenn Thompson voted against that protection for gay couples. Even after Gawker published a piece last week noting his son’s same-sex wedding, and even after other news outlets confirmed Thompson’s attendance at the festivities, Thompson hasn’t said a damn thing in his own defense.
The only statements on the topic come from his press secretary, Maddison Stone, who said this before news broke about the wedding…
“This bill was nothing more than an election-year messaging stunt for Democrats in Congress who have failed to address historic inflation and out of control prices at gas pumps and grocery stores,” Stone said in an email.
… and this after news broke about the wedding:
“Congressman and Mrs. Thompson were thrilled to attend and celebrate their son’s marriage on Friday night as he began this new chapter in his life,” Stone said in an email, adding that the Thompsons are “very happy” to welcome their new son-in-law “into their family.”
Even if it was a messaging stunt, it revealed that the Republican Party is more divided on marriage equality than just about anything else. And as we’re now witnessing, it also exposed at least one of their own member’s blatant hypocrisy.
In 2015, by the way, Thompson denounced the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, saying the Court had forced Americans to “redefine biblical marriage.”
Based on Stone’s comments, it seems safe to assume Thompson didn’t say any of that while giving a toast at the wedding.
But his attendance raises some really important questions that go beyond the mere hypocrisy: Why was he “thrilled” for the couple if he believes they’re redefining biblical marriage? Did he have a change of heart in the span of 72 hours? Did the grooms want him there? How come the couple hasn’t said anything about all of this? Do they agree with his anti-gay vote? WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS FAMILY?!
No one is saying a thing. Yet. And perhaps it’s unfair to expect any statement from Thompson’s son, who’s not a public figure, but that rule doesn’t apply to Thompson.
Then again, it’s not like conservative Christians have been in lockstep on this issue. Sometimes, they realize their bigotry is indefensible far too late. Sometimes, they realize they’ve been spreading misinformation about LGBTQ people for years and vow to make amends. Sometimes, they double down on their hatred. Sometimes, they come around on the matter, at least publicly.
But only Thompson has the audacity to vote against gay couples while attending a gay wedding in the same damn week.