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. Anonymous

    Michael was adopted AND is a Reagan – just one with HUGE daddy issues, trying to please the people who think his dad was a saint.

    April 4, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. PushingBack

    The irony of this is that the real Reagan, Patti Davis, believes in it. The fake Reagan (adopted) Does not.

    April 4, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Ridculegan

    I stopped reading when I saw gay marriage leads to murder. Instantly unworthy of discussion, and should not be on a reputable network.

    April 4, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Michael Reagan being adopted has nothing to do with his opinion. His opinion is wrong, but leave the adopted scheise out of it, for Pete's sake!

    April 4, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Michael was adopted AND is a Reagan – just one with HUGE daddy issues, trying to please the people who think his dad was a saint.

    April 4, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Jack 2

    This is the slippery slope, If gays can marry then incest relationships have a right to marry. These relationships are a perversion. If you allow one perversion you have to allow the other. People are being duped, just because you love someone doesn't meant it's reason to qualify or re-define marraige. You shouldn't have went ther ein the first place. To reward folks in these relationships and redefine marraige and give them special rights is wrong to the nation. This will open the door and say this is perfectly normal to our children when we ALL really know this isn't right. This is just a special self-interest group with power in certain places and pliticians that are in need of votes. Just like when we post aginst his our posts don't get posted half the time. People wake up clear your head and see wha this really is. The impact of this will harm our children in the long run by the glorification as it is now of these relationships.

    April 4, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Jack 2

    Anonymous... He was a Saint compared to Obama, he was a great president.

    April 4, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Peter

    Gay marriage leads to a legalization of murder? If this doesn't show how nuts these people are, what does?

    April 4, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Bermille

    Just like Jeremy Irons said that gay marriage could lead to a man marrying his son. I said unless you can marry your daughter in Engliand right now, then no you couldn't marry your son either.

    April 4, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. BD70

    Go with Patti.

    April 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Rob-Texas

    So if your are adopted and raised by the same parents as a natural born sipling of the smae family our are a fake? Why bother adopting? What a joke. I believe his point is the only place you can have a reasonalbe discussion on the issue without a backlash from either side, seems to be in court. Also, many people that don't believe in -ay marriage, are completely Ok with civil unions. Did you know that the goverenment was not in the marriage business until the late 1800's?

    April 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Jack 2

    This is the slippery slope, If gays can marry then incest relationships have a right to marry. These relationships are a perversion. If you allow one perversion you have to allow the other. Just because you love someone doesn't mean it's reason to qualify for or re-define marraige. You shouldn't have went there in the first place. To reward folks in these relationships, re-define marraige and give them special rights is wrong to our children. This will open the door and say this is perfectly normal to our children when we ALL really know this isn't right. This is just a special self-interest group with power in certain places and pliticians that are in need of votes. Just like when we post aginst his our posts don't get posted half the time. People wake up clear your head and see wha this really is. The impact of this will harm our children in the long run by the glorification as it is now of these relationships.

    April 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Gill Bates

    Just using the same old, tired, invalid, "slippery slope" argument shows how little opponents like Reagan have going for them.

    April 4, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    And here we have a wonderful example of why GOPers/Teatrolls should not be allowed to adopt.

    April 4, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. PtBarnumBoy

    Who cares what these people think about anything??? Most of us would just as soon not remember the member of this family who did make it to the big time.

    April 4, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. spiper41

    He doesn't believe in gay marriage? As if it's a religion or a god that you do or don't believe in. He could say he doesn't like it or he doesn't approve of it or he doesn't accept it, but saying he doesn't believe in it is ridiculous. And what is that nonsense about "sending a slippery slope"? Does he think a slippery slope is like a message? One wonders if he even understands the concept of one thing leading to a supposed dire something else. If he does, he sure doesn't make clear what that horrible next thing is.

    April 4, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. rabbitcommarogerindyreader

    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."

    Seriously – how many times does it have to be pointed out that animals (and children, and inanimate objects) are not able to give legal consent and thus cannot enter into a contract – which is what civil marriage is – before ___s realize the question is a waste of typing and stop posting it?

    April 4, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. Don in Lawrence, Kansas

    Don't believe in gay marriage Michael Reagan? Don't get gay married.

    April 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. chris

    Marriage itself is based off and brought about by religions. although there were unions before hand it was not until religions came around then we had this thing called marriage.

    I don't believe in marriage at all straight or gay. Considering how much of a farce that marriage is, it proves my point that it is a waste of time, money and energy. Other then a religious stance there is no reason for marriage. It does not mean commitment otherwise there would be no divorces. It does not stand for love as a person does not love the other more the day after getting married then before.

    April 4, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. NurseLi143

    great op-ed on huff post today would classify Michael a bigot. Love who you love. Equal rights under the law – it is time...

    April 4, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. MKR

    This guy has serious iinsecurity issues. Seems to simply say ingratiating things for effect. Ron Reagan and Patti Davis who really have some substance have no issue standing up for what they think is right.

    April 4, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Grampa

    Michael really comes off sounding like a lunatic in this article. How sad.

    April 4, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Name kippy

    Who care about it.

    April 4, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. mary

    The arguement that conservative Republicans are using with regards to this subject leave me baffled. Why are they so scared of this subject and the thought of two people who love each other being with one another as a married couple? It is just ridiculous. They worry that this will destroy the family? Really! Gingrich divorced 3 times, Regan once, and i could go on but won't bother because you get the picture. Hypocrits all of them.

    April 4, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Eli Cabelly

    How in the world would two people getting married lead to incest, polygamy, bestiality, or even murder?

    It still won't be legal for two brothers to marry each other, or two sisters to marry each other. Children and animals can't enter into binding legal contracts. Any marriage that is a binding legal contract between 2 people will still be a binding legal contract between 2 people.

    As to his claim that this will lead to murder, what?!? What does murder have to do with marriage?!?

    April 4, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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