Below are some initial excerpts from the speech (with more to come later):
“…it cannot be argued that marriage between people of the same sex is un-American or threatens the rights of others. On the contrary it seems to me that to denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic national rights affirmed in the preamble of our declaration of independence – liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
------“Whether you are for or against same-sex marriage, every Republican ought to value the right or the people to make such personal decisions for themselves. As former Vice President Dick Cheney used to say, ‘Freedom means freedom for everybody.’ And I think Republicans and our Republican Party should always stay on the side of expanding freedom and equal rights, it is our heritage and it is our legacy.“I believe, and I think most Americans believe, you are born with your sexuality -- it is not a choice.
It should offend us as Republicans and Americans when gays are denigrated as un-American or undeserving of the government’s protection of their rights. And the Republican Party should give voice to genuine outrage when anyone belittles the humanity of another person, it is offensive in the extreme to the values of this nation and we should be in the forefront of rejecting such truly un-American prejudice.“Moreover, if you believe, we are born with our sexual orientation, it is hard to deny the inequality under the law that exists when people of one sexual orientation are aloud to marry and people of another orientation are not.
“Even though a majority of Republicans remain opposed to it, we must respect dissent on the subject within the Party and encourage debate over it and should not reject out of hand and on specious grounds, the question that the Party might be wrong on this question.“We should publicly affirm that gays are entitled to the same respect and protections given heterosexuals to be secure from discrimination in their employment, in the place they choose for work, and to enter into contractual relationships with another person that grant them the benefits and the privileges allowed married couples – such as tax advantages afforded to married couples or the responsibility to make end of life decisions for one another.