A GOP pollster who served George W. Bush in the 2004 election, Jan van Lohuizen, fired out a confidential memo telling Republican operatives it’s time to run like hell from the anti-gay-marriage rhetoric.
Support for same sex marriage has been growing and in the last few years support has grown at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down. A review of public polling shows that up to 2009 support for gay marriage increased at a rate of 1% a year. Starting in 2010 the change in the level of support accelerated to 5% a year. The most recent public polling shows supporters of gay marriage outnumber opponents by a margin of roughly 10% (for instance: NBC / WSJ poll in February / March: support 49%, oppose 40%).
Even among Republicans, there is majority support for recognizing basic legal protections for gays and lesbians. As the memo says, this includes majority Republican support for the right to visit partners in hospitals, protections against bullying, harassment, job threats, etc. , but also protection for gay couples in the form of same sex marriage or domestic partnerships.
I love the stuff at the end. Van Lohuizen suggests ways to smooth-talk interview questions. Conservative fundamentalists are urged to reply:
As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone. This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government.
Suddenly being gay is a family value. A freedom.
Blind pigs. Acorns. Eventually.