A wave of local and state Democrats throughout the U.S. are leaving the party due to controversy over its leadersâ€™ support for â€œgay marriage,â€ as well as concerns about religious freedom and the defense of the unborn.
â€œThere comes a time when you have to stand on what you believe in,â€ said Greg Waggoner, sheriff of Leake County, Miss. â€œAnd I can no longer have any connection with the Democratic Party if thatâ€™s the route theyâ€™re going to take.â€
Waggoner was one of seven local Mississippi Democrats who formally switched his party affiliation to Republican on May 30.
He said that the Democratic Party took an â€œextreme left turnâ€ when its national leaders â€œendorsed same-sex marriageâ€ in recent weeks, presenting a direct conflict with his faith and allegiance to Christ.
Firmly committed to the belief that marriage is a union â€œbetween a man and a woman,â€ he realized that his views were better reflected in the Republican Party.
According to the Mississippi Republican Party, more than 50 Democrats in the state have switched their affiliation since â€œNancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have taken over the national Democrat party.â€
Other states â€“ particularly those in the South â€“ have had a similar experience, as Democrats are exiting the party at a significant rate. The shift is being attributed to increasingly liberal stances by leaders of the Democratic Party.
On May 9, U.S. President Barack Obama voiced his official endorsement of â€œgay marriage,â€ becoming the first president in the countryâ€™s history to do so.
His announcement came just days after Vice President Joe Biden said that he was â€œabsolutely comfortableâ€ with â€œgay marriage.â€
The move immediately sparked controversy, with critics arguing that it does not reflect the will of the people. In every state where the issue has been put to a vote of the citizens, marriage has been upheld as the union of a man and a woman. [More]