Gay Marriage

GOP Torn Over Support for Gay Marriage

Some Republicans have a little difficulty getting with the times


As Republicans rebound from the 2012 election and plot their future, an uncomfortable debate over gay rights is taking place.

Some party leaders are promoting a more inclusive approach to help the GOP modernize its image and reach across the generational divide. Polls show a narrow majority of Americans–and an overwhelming number of young people–think same-sex couples should have the right to marry. "The marketplace of ideas will render us irrelevant, and soon, if we are not honest about our time and place in history," wrote former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman last week in declaring his support for gay marriage.

Yet even as Republicans are increasingly willing to consider more-moderate immigration policies to bridge the gap with the Hispanic community, accepting same-sex marriage is more complicated. Gay Republican groups say they are not welcome at next month's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the largest gathering of conservative activists in the country. A coalition of gay activists had to pull footage of former first lady Laura Bush from an advertising campaign last week featuring prominent Republicans after she complained. When a leading GOP advocate of immigration reform, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, was asked recently about President Obama's proposal to allow same-sex partners to be eligible for green cards, he sarcastically quipped, "Why don't we just put legalized abortion in there and round it all out?"

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Gay Marriage Republican Party

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2 responses to “GOP Torn Over Support for Gay Marriage

  1. There is no “right to marry”! Republicans should honor their “small government” plank and advocate no State involvement in marriage — be it by civil contract or church ceremony. Problem solved!

  2. The GOP may not “Go Gay” anytime soon ? but eventually they’ll have to come to grips with the fact that vilifying Gay Americans is no longer a vote-getter for them. In 2009 a CBS News survey found that while only 18% of Americans over the age of 65 supported marriage equality for Gay couples, 41% of American under the age of 45 supported it. And since then the generational shift in attitudes among young people toward their Gay friends and family members has accelerated.

    Even conservative columnist Andrew Stuttaford grudgingly acknowledged this: “I fully understand (even if I do not agree with) the idea that same-sex unions are a threat to conventional marriage and I fully understand those who argue that opposition to gay marriage is a fundamental principle too important to be abandoned for reasons of political expediency, but these findings should, I reckon, at least be some sort of warning to those who assume that the GOP’s current position on this issue will continue to be a vote-winner.”.

    30 years ago most Americans were not aware of any Gay friends, family members, or co-workers. Today most Americans ARE aware, and they have become dramatically more accepting and supportive of the Gay people and Gay couples in their lives. And social networking sites like Facebook have made the proverbial “closet” virtually obsolete. The Republican Party ignores this growing acceptance at their own peril. The economy is important, yes? but your friends are PERSONAL.

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