Scott Walker's Sons Support Gay Marriage & They're Not The Only Kids Whose Stances Differ From Their Political Parents'
Wisconsin governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker may not have realized it when he said it, but he upset two very important people with his recent statements on the SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling. After the historic decision on June 26, Walker tweeted that the move was a "grave mistake," calling out the "five unelected judges" who had deigned to "redefine" the institution of marriage. Unfortunately, Walker's own sons, who both support gay marriage, were less than pleased.
"That was a hard one — our sons (Matt and Alex) were disappointed," said Walker's wife Tonette, during an interview with The Washington Post on Sunday. "I was torn [because] I have children who are very passionate [in favor of same-sex marriage], and Scott was on his side very passionate." She added that her own relationship with a close cousin, a lesbian who eventually married her partner of 18 years, had changed her perspective on the issue.
For his part, Walker has maintained that he won't change his mind, despite his family's objections. But he's more than willing, it seems, to take their initiative and try a softer approach on the issue, telling a crowd of conservative supporters in Colorado on June 27 that they "should respect the opinions of others in America" but stand firm in their beliefs.
Walker's sons aren't the only political kids who hold beliefs that are contrary to their politically-minded parents. From congressional representatives to first families, here are three more young adults making a name for themselves apart from their well-known families.
Although her father, President George W. Bush, ran on a strict traditional-marriage platform, it seems Barbara herself was all about equality, recording a video statement for the Human Rights Campaign in 2011 in which she stated,
I am Barbara Bush, and I am a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality. And everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love.
Bush also disagreed with her father on raising taxes, as well as several key global issues, such as Saddam Hussein's reign and the role of the United Nations, reported The New York Times.
The daughter of former presidential candidate and Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, Meghan may side with her father on certain topics, such as the war in Iraq and global warming, but she certainly doesn't mind voting her own conscience regardless. In 2004, McCain reportedly voted for John Kerry in the presidential primaries, harboring no friendly feelings toward George Bush after he shouldered her father out of the arena four years earlier. McCain, who has stated that she is pro-life, maintains that abstinence-only education, of which her father is a fan, is ineffective, writing in a 2009 Daily Beast op-ed (titled, surprisingly enough, "The GOP Doesn't Understand Sex"):
The worst sexual double standard in politics right now is that too many subconsciously believe Republican women are void of sexual desire altogether. ... As a Republican, I am pro-life. But using birth control and having an abortion are not the same at all. Actually, the best way to prevent abortions is to educate people about birth control and make it widely and easily accessible....If we can’t discuss birth control in addition to abstinence, and in a nonjudgmental way, kids will continue to make bad choices for lack of having access to informed, safe options.
Matt R. Salmon
The outspoken son of Republican Arizona Sen. Matt Salmon came out as gay in 2010 — which likely came as a huge shock to his father, who campaigned extensively for bans on same-sex marriage and gay adoption. Despite the rift his coming-out had on his family, Salmon said he would continue to fight for LGBTQ representation within the Republican Party, becoming president of the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans that same year.
In an interview with the Washington Blade in 2013, the lifelong Mormon explained that he supported his father, despite their differences, saying:
Whether I can legally marry in Arizona or not, it’s not going to change that fact, and my father knows that and he accepts my desire to be with the man that I love. As far as it goes with marriage, for him it’s a matter of what marriage means to him — to him marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.
In an interview with the Phoenix New Times in 2010, he claimed that he wanted to revolutionize the GOP and bring it into the current century, adding that "the religious right has such a strong hold on the Republican Party."
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