Update, 2/14 11:45pm: CUCR confirms that, in fact, not all of the Ivy League school groups have agreed to sign on to the statement, despite what both political sides at Columbia were told from UPenn.  CUCR President Tyler Trumbach asserts that CUCR and CUDems still stand by their own joint statement and hope that the remaining Ivy groups will follow their lead.  Frankly we hope the same of our fellow Ivies and are proud of CUCR and the Dems of standing by their statement.

The Republican and Democrat student groups from each of the Ivies have come together to make the following joint statement in support of marriage equality:

“We, the College Democrats and College Republicans chapters of the Ivy League, endorse marriage equality and challenge our nation’s leaders to join us in defense of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.”

While short in words, it has a strong and important message.  From Columbia, CUCR and CUDems say:

The Columbia Democrats and Columbia University College Republicans are pleased to endorse marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.  We join with all of the College Democrats and College Republicans chapters of the Ivy League in urge our nation’s leaders to move forward on an issue too important to be held hostage by party politics.  Our generation overwhelmingly supports marriage equality, and we look forward to a future of bipartisan cooperation in ensuring equality for all Americans.”

Tom Callander, CUCR Director of Finance, says this effort comes in the midst of the group discussing the feature of the organization and their beliefs.  It was a near unanimous decision on the board to join in–they wanted to best represent the views of the general body that they serve, a majority of whom are in support of marriage equality.  CUCR and the Dems met up earlier this week to write their statement.

Janine Balekdjian, CUDems Pres, explains that the initiative was spearheaded by the UPenn Democrats and Republicans, who decided to reach out to the other Ivies after coming together themselves.  On the CU Dems decision to join in, Janine says, “of course it’s a no-brainer.  I mean we’ve supported marriage equality for way before I’ve even been at Columbia.”

Callander hopes that the force of both sides in the Ivy League will help sway the debates.  The way he sees it, there are no downsides to the statement; “worst case scenario, it’ll be ignored.”  Balekdjian believes that on campus it won’t have much impact–as she sees it, most Columbians already support gay marriage–but she’s hoping the mass joint statement will make people across the country know that young people are in favor of marriage equality, regardless of political affiliation, “and that this doesn’t have to be a partisan issue–this is about love and human rights.”

To that end, we’d like to make a similar no-brainer statement and say Bwog endorses marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples and we hope to see significant changes made very soon to right the current discriminations.

Update, 12:22 am: CUCR members received the following email half an hour ago:

Dear Members of the Columbia University College Republicans,

I am writing to inform you that the Executive Board of the College Republicans, in a near unanimous vote, has decided to endorse marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. After a long discussion and much debate, we decided that it was the right thing to do. We think that it is most fitting to make this announcement in time for Valentine’s Day. As Republicans, we cannot idly sit by while millions of honest, hard working individuals are denied the legal rights afforded to heterosexual couples.

CUCR is endorsing marriage equality as part of a larger ivy league initiative. In the coming days, many more Republican and Democratic college organizations will unite to stand up for marriage equality.

In a short while, Bwog and the Spectator will be releasing our statement. However, I wanted to reach out to you first to let you know of this important decision.

Yours in Conservatism,

Tyler Andrew Trumbach
President, Columbia University College Republicans