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. truth hurts but reality bites

    Sniffit
    "I want to marry my goat."
    Tough. Goats are legally incapable of forming a contract
    -–

    Blacks endured the same misjustice. The laws must be changed to allow the pursuit of happiness for all. Equal rights for goats, the time has come. I'm sure PETA will get behind this movement.

    April 4, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. just sayin

    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.
    ----

    legal issues are hammered out all the time. let the parties define this in their legal marriage contract. we can call it a poly-pre-nup. we need to stop discriminating against polygamists.

    April 4, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Michael was adopted – he's cashing in on his foster-father's fame. Nothing more. He's not a Reagan at all.

    April 4, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Troy

    The line of reasoning that gay marraige will lead to people marrying animals seems to miss the point that at its must basic level, a marraige is a legal agreement. As long as your animal is sentient, of legal age, and pocessing mental capacity enough to enter into other binding legal agreements it would be fine to marry that animal. As smart as my dog is, I think she still does not meet those standards.

    April 4, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. John

    Michael Reagan was adopted. Ron clearly is more intelligent.

    April 4, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Shake Well

    Who really gives a rats rump, what the Reagan clan has to say about today's problems. The old man was president many years ago. Let's place him where he's more relevant. The past.

    April 4, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. alliestp

    40 years together and Michael thinks that one partner should not be considered next of kin, should have no voice in medical decisions, and should have to pay outlandish tax upon the other's death....Yeah Michael, with friends like you, who needs enemies....

    April 4, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. GianCarlo

    GI JOE: Well said, you took the words right out of my mouth. Michael is not a blood Reagan. All he is a want to be. I agree with his real blood children. Remember Reagan was a Democrat before he became a Republican. And who would know their father better then his real true blooded children; Patti and Ron Jr.

    April 4, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. boxer

    Don't anyone get it, the biggest threat to marriage is DIVORCE!

    April 4, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. ChristyinFL

    @GI Joe – allow me to enlighten you. An adoptive parent is NOT a foster parent. You seem to be confused. He is a Reagan if he was legally adopted by this parents. They have the same responsibilites to that child as the one they have given birth to.

    April 4, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Kathleen Kenney

    GI Joe-
    Aside from the original argument concerning gay marriage, I disagree with you.
    Michael was adopted but he is a Reagan as much as his other two children. His parents, I am sure, would agree!!!

    April 4, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. DJFarkus

    Michael Reagan is right about the slippery slope. In fact, we are already well down the hill of that slope.

    For that reason, we need to reverse course and restore marriage to what the bible intended it to be: A monetary contract between two men, where one sells his daughter to the other for an agreed-upon fair-market price.

    Yes, I am being sarcastic. Somehow I don't think the opponents of civil liberties would understand unless I pointed that out.

    April 4, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. ChristyinFL

    @John – so can we assume you were adopted then?

    April 4, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. JustSayin

    Good for him. About time we see a politician with guts to stand his ground

    April 4, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Blacks endured the same misjustice. The laws must be changed to allow the pursuit of happiness for all. Equal rights for goats, the time has come. I'm sure PETA will get behind this movement."

    Did you just compare black people to farm animals? Good on ya. Keep up the "outreach." Between that and all the minority voter suppression, you guys are gona do great...promise. Please proceed.

    April 4, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. bvilleyellowdog

    who cares what they think?

    April 4, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Spence

    Why would anyone care what Piers Morgan thinks about anything. Can't we just tie him to the front of a train engine and ship him back to the Land of Druids?

    April 4, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. maine liberal

    Michael was adopted .. not a "real" reagan :)

    April 4, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. JameyCarothers

    Michael Reagan was adopted and is not really a Reagan. Infact, he had never been invited to the White House until he whined about it 3 years into his adoptive father's presidency.

    April 4, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Jack 2

    What's really unfair and biased is these liberal news networks kick you off the sites if you're against gay marraige. When a network is biased they lose all credibility.l

    April 4, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Jack 2

    Whers my post? I posted a opposition post against gay marraige with no name calling and by the rules and it doesn't get posted. Do we have a gay monitor?

    April 4, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Phaerisee

    Reagan was a special guy who prayed and loved his wife dearly. The fact that he has children with differing political views is evidence to me that he and Nancy provided a healthy environment for them to learn and grow spiritually and secularly.

    April 4, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. kneesus

    Murder? Let's go ahead and throw in back acne and hair loss.

    April 4, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. PushingBack

    "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.

    Well fine. I don't believe in god for this very reason. That is a very slippery slope. Next thing you know, you believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. And then you move on to Isis, Zeus and Athena.

    April 4, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. ART

    Listening to MIchael Reagan is a slipery slope

    April 4, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6