Saturday, June 08, 2013

Are Republicans Reconsidering Position on Gay Marriage?

Image by John Gara/Buzzfeed

The caveat to the title of this post is that the words "sane" and "rational" need to be inserted before the word Republican.  The gay-hating, spittle flecked Christofascists will never accept same sex marriage or that homosexuality is a natural variant of normal sexual orientation.  They'd rather cling to a few selective passages of a mythology written by uneducated and in modern terms utterly ignorant unknown authors of thousands of years ago.  But as a piece in BuzzFeed suggests, sane and rational Republicans seem to see the hand writing on the wall and want the GOP to move towards modernity and the acceptance of new knowledge on sexual orientation.  Moreover, they do not want to be drowned by the growing tidal wave of gay acceptance in the general population.   Here are some article highlights:

WASHINGTON — In the next few weeks, the Supreme Court will be issuing decisions in two major cases relating to same-sex couples’ marriage rights. With those decisions, addressing the constitutionality of part of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 marriage amendment, the justices could change the conversation about gay rights in the country forever. 

The question remains, however, what the immediate impact will be on the Republican Party, which has lagged behind the Democrats on support for LGBT rights measures.

“I don’t make policy for the party, but if you look at the numbers, it’s hard to imagine a circumstance where, 10 years down the road, opposition to same-sex marriage is a major part of the Republican Party. That’s because, how can you be opposed to something that 88 percent of people under the age of 30 are for?” said Alex Lundry, a Republican pollster and data analyst who served as the director of data science for the Romney campaign.

For Republican supporters of marriage equality, they describe this as the key moment in changing the party. Margaret Hoover, who has been a stalwart supporter of marriage equality from within the party, said change needs to start with, at the least, making the party open to all viewpoints.

“I think what Republicans can do is begin to change their messaging,” she said. “There has to be a movement towards allowing Republicans to vote their conscience on this issue and not having a litmus test on this — especially when you have polling data that suggests 52 percent of Republicans under the age of 50 are in favor of marriage. The direction the country and the party is moving is uni-directional on this issue.”
Nicolle Wallace, communications director in the President George W. Bush’s second term and a senior McCain-Palin campaign adviser, is a supporter of marriage equality who sees a middle ground for the party.

Wallace makes a passionate case for equal treatment of same-sex couples by the federal government through a discussion of military families.  “I think military families are particularly difficult ones to explain away for Republicans because we pride ourselves on really understanding the military way of life, caring for men and women who serve. But if you deny a same-sex couple serving in the military, with children, access to all the benefits of marriage — financial benefits, the right to live on the base and be part of the military community — I just don’t know how we explain that away through a policy debate that’s real and affects people’s lives in a very real way,” she said.  She called this the sticking point that forces the issue: “the human toll of denying all the benefits of marriage to a certain class of people based on their sexual orientation.”

[A]ll of the statistics — in all demographic groups — point away from the Republican Party’s current position and toward urging a more inclusive view.  “Republicans are still holdouts; only about a third support same-sex marriage — but that’s still growth of about 18 percentage points in the last nine years. And then, you look at the generational divide. Look at evangelical millennials — people born between 1980 and 2000: 64 percent of evangelical millennials support same-sex marriage. 

“This is a tidal wave of public opinion, and it’s headed directly for the Republican Party.

To me the choice for the GOP is clear:  either it changes its position on gays and other social issues or it will become limited to being the party of Christofascists and anti-gay hate groups.  A refusal to change will equate to a slow moving sort of political suicide.


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