A refreshing dose of sanity in the GOP. The Republican Party needs to end its anti-gay politics and should become more inclusive, former Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told the Wall Street Journal.
Ridge is a now businessman, consultant and philanthropist. Last month he endorsed Mitt Romney for president, but he remained critical of some of his fellow Republicans. "I think, as a party, we sometimes come across as very judgmental and very self-righteous, and that doesn’t play well to a lot of people," he said. "Not just on political grounds, but in terms of the culture. We accept diversity in many different ways, and we need to be more clear about that and careful to express that."
In particular, Ridge urged a more expansive approach to what he termed "the gay community," noting that increased familiarity with gay people tends to lead to less judgmental politics. "I think that’s the right way to be," he said. "Younger Americans on both sides of the aisle are saying, ‘Live and let live.’ "
Asked about same-sex marriage, Ridge said he had no particular point of view. “It’s one of those situations where I’d leave it up to the state.”
Ridge served as Pennsylvania governor from 1995–2001. Ridge became Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security in 2001–2003. He later became the first Secretary of Homeland Security in 2003.