Alyssa Farah Griffin Says Republican Party 'Needs to Change,' Vows to Fight for Marriage Equality from Within

·3 min read
Alyssa Farah Griffin
Alyssa Farah Griffin

Lisa Ferdinando/Department of Defense/AP Alyssa Farah Griffin

Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former White House staffer under President Donald Trump, is firmly a Republican — but that doesn't mean she endorses everything the party stands for.

As she prepares for her newest gig as a co-host on The View, she wants to make clear that while she'll be representing a conservative viewpoint, she won't disagree with everything her left-leaning costars say.

Speaking to PEOPLE, Farah Griffin talks about one particular area of the Republican Party platform that she would like to see thrown out: its opposition to same-sex marriage.

RELATED: Alyssa Farah Griffin Reveals the 'Good Advice' Elisabeth Hasselbeck Gave Her About 'The View'

"I'm a conservative Republican. But not to get into policy, my party needs to change," she says. "I am adamantly, fervently, proudly pro-marriage equality. I have been since I stood on the steps of the Supreme Court in 2015."

The historic Supreme Court moment she's referencing is the June 26, 2015, ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, a landmark case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Obergefell is topical right now, after conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization — a case that eliminated the constitutional right to abortion in June — that SCOTUS should also reconsider its stances on same-sex relationships and contraception.

RELATED: Jim Obergefell, Whose Landmark Case Legalized Gay Marriage, Says 'I Have to Keep Fighting' as 'Roe' Is Overturned

In the aftermath of Thomas' comments, Congress quickly began crafting legislation aiming to protect gay people's right to marry, should the Supreme Court ever choose to overrule the Obergefell precedent.

The "Respect for Marriage Act" passed in the House in July, with 47 Republican representatives joining Democrats in standing up for LGBTQ+ rights. The bill now rests in Senate's hands, where it will need the support of 10 Republican senators in order to become law — a tall order, but one that activists believe is possible.

RELATED: The Respect for Marriage Act Can't Fully Replace 'Obergefell,' but It Can Help Prevent It from Being Overturned

"I am going to be outspoken that my party needs to codify [marriage equality] into law," Farah Griffin tells PEOPLE, adding that the GOP "needs to come into the 21st century" on some of these issues that should not be a matter of political division.

"I want to be part of fixing what the future of the Republican Party should be," she says.

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Beginning Sept. 6, Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro will officially take their seats at the View table to represent the Republican perspective on the show. Prior to them, that role was filled by Meghan McCain.

Prior to the announcement, Farah Griffin had made a name for herself in the Republican world, and though she once represented the Trump administration as the former president's director of strategic communications, she has made her distaste of Trump clear. Before working for Trump, she had served as press secretary for the Pentagon and press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence.

"I was a senior spokesperson for some of the most powerful men in the country, and that put me in incredibly challenging situations," she recalls. "I also own that I worked for one of the most, if not the most, divisive president in history. And I learned a lot from that, as I would hope anyone would."

She adds: "I walked away committed to feeling in my bone that I want to be part of solutions, not adding to the division. So rather than go on hyper-partisan TV, where I'm just going to agree with everyone around me, I want to have a really thoughtful conversation with really smart Democrats."