The GOP's challenge on same-sex marriage
Opponents of same-sex marriage will march en masse outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as justices hear arguments on two cases.
Even if traditional marriage activists win the court battles, though, it looks more and more as if they have already lost the war.
Public opinion in America has undergone such a rapid sea change that opponents of same-sex marriage increasingly look as if they soon will hold the fringe position. A growing chorus of conservatives argue that what only a few years ago was a fundamental plank of the GOP platform — opposing gay marriage — has now became a major liability.
"In 10 years or so, no one is going to be talking about this,'' conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin predicted last weekend on a panel of Republicans supporting same-sex marriage.
"I would suggest the debate has already taken place in America. We cannot be at war with America on issues of fairness, on issues of equality." ...
Most troubling for Republicans eager to broaden the party's appeal after President Barack Obama's comfortable re-election victory are generational attitudes. A national Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week found that more than 8 in 10 voters under 30 favor legalizing same-sex marriage.
It's a staggering number that doesn't surprise Matt Hoopfer, president of the College Republicans of Florida State University.
"Most younger people are very much okay with equal rights for same-sex couples. Most, even if they support traditional marriage, don't think it's the government's place to tell two individuals who they should marry and who they shouldn't,'' said Hoopfer, lamenting that perceptions about the GOP's position on gay rights hurts the party with young voters.
"It's a driving issue for sure. This past election the Republican Party was painted as intolerant to same-sex marriage," Hoopfer said. "What we've focused on since the election is saying you can be a Republican and you can believe in same-sex marriage."