John M. Becker

Senior GOP Spokesman Comes Out

Filed By John M. Becker | September 05, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: coming out, GOP 2014, Republican Party, welcome out

gay-republican-rainbow-elephant.pngJames Richardson, a former spokesperson for the Republican National Committee and GOP luminaries Haley Barbour and Jon Huntsman, has come out of the closet as a gay man and is calling on his party to embrace the freedom to marry.

In an op-ed published yesterday in the Washington Post, Richardson -- who now works at a conservative communications firm -- wrote:

The federal government's number crunchers believe some 21,318 same-sex couples call Georgia home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent accounting, and new research forecasts that as many as half would jump the broom within three years if allowed by their government.

I'm one-half of one of those aggrieved couples -- denied, for more than five years, the social stability and legal protections of marriage. And, as a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee and adviser to prominent party figures, I'm also a professional political operative who's helped install in government those who perpetuate marriage bias in America.

Throughout my career I've publicly advocated for the freedom to marry, urging the party for which I work to allow gay men and women to wed even as I never openly disclosed my personal stake. I've preached the small-government virtues of equal marriage, echoing a conservative case that had been made many times before by thinkers more eloquent and far brighter than myself. Never once did I write that I am gay.

Richardson adds that he's aware that his disclosure may cost him friends and clients, but that "the potential reward of convincing even one dubious neighbor [to support marriage equality] is greater than the assumed risk of a diminished social orbit."

Indeed. Welcome out, James.

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