April 4th, 2013
01:38 PM ET
2 years ago

Reagan siblings at odds over same-sex marriage

(CNN) – Two of the late President Ronald Reagan's children are taking opposing stances on same-sex marriage, as Supreme Court justices weigh a federal ban prohibiting marriages between gays and lesbians.

Michael Reagan, a conservative author, defended a controversial op-ed piece warning of a "slippery slope" after same-sex marriage approval during an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan on Wednesday.

"I think it does send a slippery slope," Reagan said. "I think if you accept the redefinition of marriage then you're going to have to accept the redefinition all the way down the line."

In the op-ed, Reagan argued that making same-sex marriage legal could result in "a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder."

Speaking on CNN, Reagan said similar questions have been posed in courtrooms without angry backlash from same-sex marriage proponents.

"When they're posed in a court of law to a solicitor general or to someone else, there's no outcry. There's no outrage," he said. "But if I quote or I use those same words in an op-ed piece, that are being used in courtrooms across America, somehow there's all this outrage that is out there."

Michael Reagan's stance is a far cry from the views of his sister Patti Davis, who told the New York Times her father would have supported allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

In the article, Davis recalls a friendship between her parents and a lesbian couple who once babysat the Reagan children.

"I grew up in this era where your parents' friends were all called aunt and uncle," Ms. Davis told the Times. "And then I had an aunt and an aunt. We saw them on holidays and other times."

"We never talked about it, but I just understood that they were a couple," she continued.

On CNN, Michael Reagan also recalled friends of his parents who were in a committed same-sex relationship.

"I have friends together 40 years. Forty years they've been together. Great Republicans. Great friends of my dad. My God, I've been with these people for 40 years, love them to death," he said.

"The reality of it is, I don't believe in gay marriage, as many people don't believe in gay marriage. I think you can have a debate on that. I don't believe in it. I think it does send a slippery slope," he continued.


Filed under: Ronald Reagan
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. John in Brooklyn

    Michael Reagan has actually equated being gay as the moral equivalent to MURDER!? Really!? I think his father would be deeply disappointed in him. The conservatives today really do live in a bazaar bubble. Too bad we can't turn around their efforts to keep people from voting and insert a "reasonable sense of reality" qualification to THEIR right to vote.

    April 4, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Michael Reagan, a conservative author ... "

    Michael Reagan is still doing the "conservative tour for money" route, is he? How interesting.

    Well, OK. Not really.

    April 4, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Oh PLEASE

    "When they're posed in a court of law to a solicitor general or to someone else, there's no outcry. There's no outrage," he said. "But if I quote or I use those same words in an op-ed piece, that are being used in courtrooms across America, somehow there's all this outrage that is out there."

    That's because in a court setting, your ridiculous argument will be refuted by the process. In a op ed piece, your ridiculous argument could be perpetuated by those reading the article. There's a difference.

    April 4, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Boo

    Who cares? Reagan is dead I don't care what his kids think.

    April 4, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. sqeptiq

    When you have no sane argument, you have to come up insane ones if you are a paranoid ideologue. Just like Saddam Hussein promised to destroy the American invaders and Kim Jong-Un threatens nuclear devastation to America. Crazy is as crazy talks.

    April 4, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. David B

    Gay Marriage and Bestiality are two different subjects. Linking the two is not relevant. Gay Marriage has been legal in several European countries, Canada & South America, & Argentina. Only an Ignoramus would compare two such Irrelevant subjects.

    April 4, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. JimInMS

    Michael is an adopted Reagan, and he lived with the future president for only a few years before being shipped off to boarding school. His lineage is a slippery slope.

    April 4, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Silverado

    Papa Reagan famously (and bizarrely) said "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do". That was very believable!! I am not sure why we are being subjected to listen to what the baby Reagans have to say.

    April 4, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Sally

    If two men or women can marry, why wouldn't two women be allowed to marry one man? He actually does have a point here.

    April 4, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Frank

    I didn't care for Reagan when he was President so I certainly don't care what either of his kids think.

    April 4, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. goblackhawks

    Ron Jr .. should have paid attention to his dad when he was alive .. he was awful to his dad when he was alive and now he is just exploting his name ... so to listen to him is dumb. I do find it funny how people are just angry with Christians when it comes to marriage .. about 99% of religions are in favor of marriage between a man and woman .. ask a muslim what they think .. I say let the people of the US vote and we will see if a majority of people are really for gay marriage ..

    April 4, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. John M

    It's stunning the lengths these so called "conversatives" will go to in order to prevent change. Equating a legally binding document between two consenting adults to a relationship between different species, in which the non homo sapiens kind do not have any way to consent or sign documents, is absurd. And where does this notion of marriage equality lead to murder? That is just plain crazy and not debatable.

    April 4, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. afmcalax

    Michael Reagan's arguments have been refuted so many times only a person with no discernable intellect would actually believe them. Those arguments have been made in court and have been roundly dismissed legally as religious bigotry or personal prejudice. Neither have a place in setting secular law.

    Marriage was first defined as 1 man with multiple women. The Bible is full of examples. The man could then get rid of or add to his collection on a whim. The women had no rights and were not much more than property. Is that the marriage definition Michael wants to defend? Later religion was used to make interracial marriage illegal. Many of the same arguments were used by those bigots that are used today by a new breed of religious bigots. Marriage has always elvolved and gotten stronger. The only change to its past definition is that it is now between 1 consenting adult and another consenting adult. Still only 2 people, still consenting, still adults; just the sexes of the participants don't matter.

    April 4, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. ronjayaz

    "'I think it does send a slippery slope," Reagan said." I dont think law and morality are parallel. It was once legal to own humans as property and sanctioned by the Bible. Where was the morality in that? And when slavery was abolished the Bible didnt change the recognition of slavery nor did we free all animals. At most the Bible is an ancient record of the history of "man" & humorously followed in our "Constitution: as "All MEN are created equal." Caps not in the original.

    April 4, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. cc423

    This hack has denigrated the good name of his father once too often.

    April 4, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Roger

    Patti Davis is a bold-faced liar. Ronald Reagan would not and did not support anything from the homosexual agenda, no matter how much the homosexuals raged and tried to intimidate him. Michael Reagan speaks truth and makes excellent sense. Once morality is thrown out, you won't beable to say no to anyone's redefinition of marriage. America is finished. It was on its way down for years but homosexual rage is not the straw, but the massive boulder, that broke the camel's back and crushed him dead.

    April 4, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Rob

    If you define something it must have parameters, if you redefine it, then you must put new parameters.

    What new group will demand it change for them?

    April 4, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Ajax

    "a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder".......sounds a little bit like someone who might be suffering from the beginnings of the disease that afflicted his father. What does he think is going to happen? Does he think that it will all of a sudden become mainstream for a mob of gay people to marry donkeys and ........what? I have no idea how he may be including murder into the equation. I'm not gay but all the gay people I know are kind and intelligent. He needs see see a doctor if he really believes this nonsense.

    April 4, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. ya rights

    Heh they have been at odds for years, so what is new?

    April 4, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Susan

    The only "slippery slope" here is the one in Michael Reagan's head. And in the minds of all desperately grabbing at nothing to find some way to enact their fears upon the rest of the population. I hope he/they get some help.

    April 4, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. KellyinBoston

    Sally–He doesn't have a point. A marriage is a contract between two humans, not three. And Michael Reagan's comments about bestiality are even dumber. An animal (or a child) can't make contracts.

    April 4, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. mark

    "a mob of gay people to marry donkeys and..."
    *giggle*

    quite a few women might already state they've married jacka$ses... does that count?

    April 4, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. anotherGDlefty

    Dear Roger the poster, America is not going anywhere. You probably call yourself a "patriot", you are not. You probably call yourself a "real American", you are not. Times change, laws change, America survives. Home of the free, land of the brave.
    On a side note, why does the argument always go right to raping kids and animals with the religious right?
    Freudian slips maybe?

    April 4, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. mark

    "a mob of gay people to marry donkeys and..."
    *giggle*

    quite a few women might already state they've married jacka.ses... does that count?

    April 4, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. rude one

    What would Reagan say? He'd say "braaaiiinnss". What else would a zombie say if it came back to life?

    April 4, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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