"If you have never read about or heard Barry Goldwater, you are missing out. He was a Republican Senator in Arizona and the Republican Presidential nominee in 1964. Nicknamed "Mr. Conservative", he represents what the Republican Party should have been before selling out to the Religious Right - a party dedicated to small constitutional government, equal opportunity for all, free markets and individual liberty. He has become a libertarian hero for his dedication to these principles even as the Republican Party moved closer to the Evangelicals and abandoned its core mission to keep our citizens as free from the constraints of government as possible. Here are some quotes I think you will enjoy.
On Gay Rights
"The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they're gay. You don't have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that's what brings me into it."
"Having spent 37 years of my life in the military as a reservist, and never having met a gay in all of that time, and never having even talked about it in all those years, I just thought, why the h*ll shouldn't they serve? They're American citizens. As long as they're not doing things that are harmful to anyone else... So I came out for it."
“Gays and lesbians are a part of every American family. They should not be shortchanged in their efforts to better their lives and serve their communities. As President Clinton likes to say, ‘If you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll be rewarded’ and not with a pink slip just for being gay.”
On True Conservatism
"What I was talking about[Gay rights, Abortion]was more or less 'conservative,' " Goldwater recalls, saying he was smeared by the people around President Johnson – "the most dishonest man we ever had in the presidency." Goldwater continues: "The oldest philosophy in the world is conservatism, and I go clear back to the first Greeks. ... When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye." "[SOURCE: BlueNC.com]
I think the religious fundamentalist have been successful in taking the Republican Party away from the Republican Party. We need to return to our core principles of small constitutional government, equal opportunity for all, free markets and individual liberty.
Therefore, it appears to me that a "true conservative" will support gay rights and marriage equality based upon the principles of our Constitution.