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. Shane

    Wow, allowing this will negate any moral laws, possibly even murder.

    I assume this man had some form of education, but this just shows that if he went to a private school he needs a refund

    April 4, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Thermal Jockey

    Leads to bestiality and maybe murder?!?!?!? Because we all know that animals can legally (and physically) sign contracts? Because we know that allowing consenting contracts clearly leads to non-consenting contract murders?

    I can see the argument for consensual polygamy though. I don't think I even disagree. As long as it's truly consensual. (Most polygamy in this country isn't fully consensual. That's probably true elsewhere as well, but I could be wrong.) Heck there are not-truly-consensual "traditional" marriages as well.

    April 4, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. DJFarkus

    @Jack2: Perversion, according to whom?

    In my opinion, allowing women to have a say in marriage partners is a perversion, according to biblical precedent. Women are a speciual interest group with power in certain politial circles. They must be stopped and marriage restored to the original intent: One man selling his daughter to another man for a fair-market price.

    See how stupid your argument sounds?

    April 4, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. SpecificReasons

    How do you "send a slippery slope"? Why is this guy's opinion worth discussion?

    April 4, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. John

    Here is another slippery slope. If one group can be denied rights based on a RELIGIOUS decision then ANY group can be denied rights based on ANY other groups decisions. Maybe we should deny all conservatives the right to vote. After all, their voting habits lead to a wasteful war in Iraq – if they can't vote responsibly then they obviously don't deserve the right to vote. Or how about denying all people the right to own firearms since their gun could be used to commit a crime. Oh I can already hear the screams about "its MY RIGHT TO OWN A GUN!" now. See? That is why its called the "slippery slope" logical FALLACY and anyone who wasn't cutting class that day will understand why it hold no serious weight.

    April 4, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Noah

    It is stupid to compare gay marriage with polygamy. Gay marriage is about equality. Polygamy put women and whoever in the submissive role to the dominant one in an unfair situation.

    April 4, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Noah

    It is stupid to compare it with polygamy. One is about equality. Poly gamy put women and whoever in the submissive role to the dominant one in an unfair situation.

    April 4, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. SuperTed2

    Most Americans are caught up in their own corrupt wisdom. Marriage between a man and a woman has withstood the test of time and would continue to, no matter what variation people come up with.

    April 4, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. Gene Brady

    This is stupid. HE is stupid, like his Father.

    April 4, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Mike

    With friends like Michael Reagan, who needs enemies?

    "Oh, I've been friends with you guys for over 40 years, and I love you to death, but I'm going to compare you to murderers and rapists and oppose your civil rights at every turn. But I act that way towards everyone that I love, honest."

    April 4, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. Repugnant Alarmist!

    Leading to bestiality and murder? What's the matter with this guy's head? Does he even think before he speaks or listen to his sentences? That's what the major problem is with many Conservatives however, they have nothing substantial to offer to this country other than Fear, Alarm, plus Doom and Gloom. That is why they continue to lose elections! That's great for the Democrats, however!

    April 4, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. The Ballet Dancer?

    That surely can't be the Reagan son that was a ballet dancer could it?

    April 4, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. ShawnDH

    Good grief. The anti-equality folks really have absolutely nothing to stand on. Their arguments are absurd.

    April 4, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Tonyb

    He is so completely irrelevant. Who cares what this putz thinks?

    April 4, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. CSX

    Reagan Shmaegan.......thus Saith the Lord......that ends it.
    Wrong is wrong, unnatural, besides unhealthy.
    If a pervert wants a divorce for a cheating partner, is that adultery?

    When the line is moved, brothers, sisters, mutiple partners, children, animals and insects are next.
    Why, because it is love right? Wrong is wrong.

    April 4, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Pan3

    Michael Reagan is an idiot! that is the dumbest argument out side of "Adam & Eve, not Adam and Steve"! – Morons who don't understand the concept.

    April 4, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. joe schmo

    He is ignorant and an idiot. But for his last name, no one would allow him to speak.

    April 4, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. ImIrish

    PushingBack – So, being adopted makes one "fake"?! Neither Michael nor Patti can positively state that President Reagan would have been for or against gays marrying, unless he confirmed it publicly, which I don't believe that he did. The only person I would believe is Nancy Reagan.

    By the way, I am not adopted, but I find it disgusting that you think being adopted makes you a fake family member.

    April 4, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. sib

    give to one got to give to all . lgbts recruit the dont reproduce

    April 4, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. Jhbcanada

    Research points to a correlation between intelligence and liberal thinking. Patti has the intelligence gene; Michael has not.

    April 4, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. MLanders

    I acknowledge Ronald Reagan was our president and to some of the US population revered as "next to Jesus Christ". I am not being insulting. I acknowledge that invoking Ronald Regan gives many Americans some sort of "high five" feeling when we are going through this difficult time with foreign relations, economics, jobs, etc. I am a 62 year old disabled widow. I have a grandchild that is autistic, has seizure disorder, and is non verbal. I do not care about what President Reagan's children have to say about gay marriage. IFormer President Ronald Reagan is not relevant to my life or the lives of my children and grandchildren. Michael and Patti...get over yourselves!

    April 4, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. Tactful

    Michael ... you're doing it wrong!

    April 4, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  23. Ope Sanni

    Republicans just seem to be stuck on STUPID.
    And will always be the stupid party.
    "......redefinition of marriage to allow for marriage equality would lead to the redefinition of the laws on bestiality and murder"
    I give up.

    April 4, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Oh my – someone missed high school debate 101. The slippery slope argument is invalid folks.

    Women got the right to vote in the early 1900's – now, do dogs vote? Cats? Toddlers?

    See how silly it is? And how invalid?

    Its astounding how proud ignorance is these days..

    April 4, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  25. Dance This Mess Around

    Slippery slope is when you have no argument left.
    Choking on fumes.

    April 4, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
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