A speech Republicans can give at their children's same-sex weddings: 'I was never here'

'I want to thank you all for being here and for showing support for these two remarkable people, whose marriage I embrace and also believe should not come with the same legal protections as mine.'

Rex Huppke

Here’s a charming story: Republican Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania recently voted against a House bill that would protect same-sex marriages. Days later, he toddled off to his gay son’s wedding, gifting the newlyweds with a lifetime supply of hypocrisy.

Thompson even spoke at the wedding and, according to audio obtained by BuzzFeed News, said parents “hope and pray” their children will “find that one true love so that they have the opportunity to experience that someone to grow old with. … We love it when they find their one true love, especially when they become a part of our families then.”

Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., attended his gay son's wedding on July 22, 2022, days after voting  against a House bill to protect same-sex marriage.

If I’m being honest, it wasn’t a great speech, which is fitting given the speaker was talking out of both sides of his mouth. I’ll offer some help with the speechwriting in a moment, but first, let’s address the elephant in the room: the Republican Party.

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What's clearly 'clearly wrong'

Same-sex marriage has been legal across America for more than seven years, and 71% of the country, according to the most recent Gallup data, has reached the conclusion that marriage is marriage, same-sex or otherwise, and we’ve all got bigger things to worry about, like Klondike’s Choco Taco being discontinued and the meddlesome elves that keep stealing our left AirPod.

Same-sex marriage, we thought, was settled.

Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the landmark 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage across the country, is running for a seat in the Ohio House.

Then the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which we also thought was settled, and Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that past rulings on contraception rights and gay marriage “were demonstrably erroneous decisions” that should be reconsidered.

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“Don’t worry,” many Republicans said, “gay marriage isn’t on the table. Not gonna happen!”

That reassurance rang hollow because some Republicans, like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, went on and said the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage was “clearly wrong.” Making matters worse, this is the crowd that keeps saying things will never happen and then getting real happy when those things do happen.

Democrats do the popular thing

So Democrats put together the Respect for Marriage Act, which would enshrine same-sex marriage rights in federal law. It’s a simple act that would help reassure same-sex couples that their marriages won’t suddenly be invalidated.

That was apparently a bridge too far for Rep. Thompson in the lead-up to his son’s same-sex marriage. The lawmaker was among the 157 Republicans who voted against the Respect for Marriage Act last Tuesday.

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Participants take part in the NYC Pride March on June 26, 2022.

Maddison Stone, Thompson’s press secretary, released a statement to the Centre Daily Times newspaper in Pennsylvania saying the bill is “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.”

Don't worry, same-sex couples! Worrying about your marriage is just a liberal "messaging stunt." Nothing to see here.

GOP lawmakers will have gay kids

Getting back to Thompson’s subpar speech at his son’s wedding, I feel I should step in and help, as other Republican lawmakers are bound to find themselves in similar situations.

Our message to our wedding guests:Gay marriage inequality was real. We thought it was in the past.

In the Senate, it will be a stretch if even 10 of the 50 Republicans senators support the Respect for Marriage Act. This means that between the House and Senate, upwards of 200 Republicans will likely stand in opposition to protecting same-sex marriages.

To be fair, there are Republican politicians who over time have embraced same-sex marriage – Ohio Sen. Rob Portman attributes his "change of heart"  to his son coming out, and 47 House Republicans did vote for the marriage protection act. 

But it’s certain, statistically speaking, that a number of those 200 Republicans presently opposing the Respect for Marriage Act are going to have LGBTQ children or other family members. 

'I'm happy and disgusted to be here'

So I offer the following speech as a template for anti-same-sex-marriage Republicans who will invariably speak at a child or loved one’s same-sex marriage:

"Good evening. I’m so happy and also disgusted to be here today to celebrate and condemn my child's beautiful, godless union to the newest member of our family, who I welcome with open arms while also working tirelessly to invalidate the rights that allowed today’s ceremony to proceed.

"I want to thank you all for being here – a place I wish I wasn’t – and for showing support for these two remarkable people, whose marriage I embrace and also believe should not come with the same legal protections as mine.

"I know there are some of you who never thought you’d see the day I’d be standing here, raising a glass to a same-sex marriage. Well, let me just say that if any of you speak about me being here or share audio or visual evidence of my presence at this blessed event, you will be in violation of the nondisclosure agreements you signed on the way in and I will sue you for all you're worth.

"Aren’t they a lovely couple, folks?

"As I look down proudly and disparagingly at these two fine young people, I want them to know one thing: I will always do everything in my power to make sure their love and commitment is both respected and protected…………NOT! (Pause for laughter.)

"Anyway, folks, have a wonderful evening. Make sure you try the shrimp cocktail, and remember: I wasn’t here."

More humor and satire from Rex Huppke:

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Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on Twitter @RexHuppke and Facebook: