One Equal World

GOP Group Pushes for Conservatives to Drop Support of Gay Marriage Ban

Posted on: July 17, 2014

An organization called the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is looking to remove the traditional-marriage stance from the GOP platform at the Republican National Conference in Cleveland, in hopes of seeing party leaders drop their support of the same-sex marriage ban by summer 2016. If successful, it would be the first time the Republican National Convention and its party members would drop the backing of the same-sex marriage ban.



Republican gay-rights lobbyists believe that their party’s stance on the issue is well outside the majority of the nation at this time. Said Marc Solomon, a group member with Freedom to Marry and a former Republican Hill staff member, “The ground has never been more inviting and welcoming to someone changing their positions on the issue. Where the polling is on the issue, it shows that we have a real legitimate chance at victory in 2016.”

Having already met with state and county party officials in New Hampshire, the group is also planning a trip to South Carolina and Nevada in September, and hitting Iowa as early as August. Says Tyler Deaton, the group’s campaign manager, “The convention is in two years, and we’re exceptionally organized.”

Many conservatives believe that opposing equal rights for gay Americans will become politically flawed very shortly, and if the goal isn’t met by the convention in 2016, it will quickly become a political nightmare for the GOP.

“I would say in America’s suburbs this is quite often the No. 1 test for younger voters to see how tolerant you are,” said Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who supports gay marriage.

Says Ken Mehlman, political strategist and former campaign manager for George Bush in 2004, “rather than talking about gay marriage, strategists are guiding Republicans to talk about the freedom to marry, and they cast the question in familiar conservative terms about the government’s role in people’s private lives,” of the way that national political dialogue is becoming more inclusive of the rights of all people, including LGBTs.

Despite the influx of Republican support to drop the ban from the party’s agenda, not all conservatives are looking to give up the issue. The Family Research Council is working to undo the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, and the council’s polling shows that 82% of Republicans favor the traditional marriage. Time will tell if the work of the Young Conservatives will pay off in time for the 2016 Republican National Convention.


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