April 4th, 2013
01:38 PM ET
5 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. mark

    "a mob of g.ay people to marry donkeys and..."

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

    (jeeze, 3rd time the charm? can't use the word g.ay in a comment?)

    April 4, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. The Truth

    I want to marry my goat. If you don't let me I'll throw a hissy fit. She is the only creature that understands me. Do not discriminate against me for my choice.

    April 4, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. lvsingleton

    Cool, so we are getting the opinion of a guy who got the opinion of the child about what their opinion was on how Ronald Reagan would view this. That is news for sure.

    April 4, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. NSL

    Reagan continues to state that gay marriage will lead to polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder. I'm still waiting to hear just how that is going to happen. I'm waiting for some kind of facts that lead him to believe that, some kind of existing evidence.

    It's garbage like this that makes the Republicans look like a bunch of idiots who want no government interference with what they do, but control and interference of everyone else's lives. It's another affirmation that the Republican party is a party of haters.

    April 4, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    The only slippery slopes involved here are the bigots' greasy troglodyte foreheads.

    April 4, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "I want to marry my goat."

    Tough. Goats are legally incapable of forming a contract.

    Problem solved.

    Grow up.

    April 4, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. KD

    The comparisons he makes don't make sense. Gay marriage is a commitment between two people entered into with mutual agreement. The others are predatory acts inflicting harm on another being. They are worlds apart. Two gay people getting married doesn't affect anyone outside the parties entering into the agreement. What affect on the nation or anyone could two people getting married have?

    April 4, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. knnkin

    KellyinBoston –

    Who says marriage is a contract between two humans not three??? How is that fair to the handfull of polygamist that live in our county. Shouldn't they to have the rights to marry whom ever they want ...even if that means marrying multiple partners. They can't help that they love multiple people. If we can redefine for one gourp why shouldn't we redefine for another. FYI I'm actually all for gay unions –

    April 4, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Kevin

    Reagan's argument: "It'll lead to polygamy, bestiality, and murder. Why? IT JUST WILL OKAY ;_;"

    What a joke.

    April 4, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Pete

    If it were up to Micheal Reagan gays would be strung up and quartered like centuries ago..I think it was Reagans younger son Ronnie that was basicly disowned because he told in a book of how his mother ran the WH after Reagans first term being diagnosed with a brain disease now known as alzheimers,dementia..And how his mother resorted to using astrologist to answer many of his countries questions because he couldn't think correctly and she was lost but believed in this way as too help her and him out..So it runs in the family with this type of extremism as Pres.Reagan himself at times was down right meniacal himself and republicans with his Star Wars and ICBMs knew it!!

    April 4, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Sam

    Give Michael Reagan some time. If one of his kids or grandkids declare they are gay, I am sure he will sing a different tune!

    April 4, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. The Truth

    I want to marry my goat. If gays can get married than why cant I marry my goat. She is loving, caring, and doesn't judge me. There should be a law allowing us to marry animals.

    April 4, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. rosethornne

    I think that was a good point – the guy might be suffering from the same brain-destroying disease as his father.

    Except I think he was adopted, so that eliminates that explanation.

    Then again, he IS a wacked out droolslobbering religious extremist nutjob, so that brings that explanation right back in.

    The guy is suffering from a brain-destroying disease.

    April 4, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. MJH

    Another made-up line from the children that run the GOP. A marriage is a legally binding contract between two people. Not 3 people or more, not between a person and an animal-as much as some conservatives in Alabama would like. A contract between 2 people. There is no slippery slope. Only bigots who are trying to oppress and deny rights from people they disagree with due to their own religous based intolerance. If you want religous persecution, I hear Saudi Arabia is looking for people to move there. So are Iran and Somalia-all countries where religions write the laws.

    April 4, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Rob

    I knew a wealthy lady in the US who married her Dog in a private ceremony. The dog was the beneficiary of her wealth. She did not want anything to do with her X,s, children or relatives. She would trust her Dog & nobody else.
    So, what's wrong with Gay's & Lesbians getting married & sharing their life & wealth. It is no body elses business & certainly not the Government's. Get on with life.

    April 4, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. JTC

    knnkin- My understanding isn't that the issue isn't about the morality of polygamy, but the legal issues involved in case one or more parties wants to sever the marital contract- how do you divide assets, what's fair for alimony, that kind of thing.

    April 4, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Wes

    MJH wrote:

    Another made-up line from the children that run the GOP. A marriage is a legally binding contract between two people.
    Are you ok with someone marrying their brother or sister? Father marrying their adult son or daughter? Wouldn't that be a legally binding contract?

    April 4, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Namemike

    Every time he opens his mouth, reason and decency fall down a slippery slope.

    April 4, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. jimmy

    michael reagan was adopted by ronnie and jane wyman and always felt he was never loved as much as the other biological offspring. he has been trying to compensate for years by being ever more far-right-wing than ronnie ever was, trying to be accepted as a true "reagan". i realize this is gonna sound hateful or bigoted to some, but read up on his life and i think anyone with any knowledge of psychology would come to the same result.

    April 4, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. rockysfan

    Last time I heard, and I'm not a lawyer, when making arguments to a court, no one is allowed to make "outcries". Seriously, where do these people come from?

    April 4, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Richard T.

    Conservatives are plain and simply nut cases.

    April 4, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. hawktyme

    Murder?? How does that fit into his argument about marriages? People in favor of a re-definition of marriage don't decry these not job positions because they're not stupid enough to believe that they would happen! But you know a bunch of Conservatives will fly out of the closet with their horses and goats to prove a point if Gay Marriage is authorized.

    April 4, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. tonyl

    Michael Reagan is a lunatic. He has become a talk show host trying to cash in on his father's achievements. He himself is a nut case. A clueless foool.

    April 4, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. ellid

    MURDER? He actually said THAT????

    Good God, I hope his mother doesn't see this. I may not have agreed with the Reagans politically but this must be breaking his mother's heart.

    April 4, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. Mary Ann

    Michael was always jealous of his brother,sister and their mother.He has been cashing in on the Regean name for years.Who gives a damm what he thinks?

    April 4, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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