With Republican Party consultants and power brokers increasingly recognizing that the party must become more inclusive, the religious right is frantically trying to preserve its influence over the party platform. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage gave an interview with USA Today in which he said that if the GOP accepted marriage equality, it would be destroyed:
PAGE: Reince Priebus, the Republican National Chairman, said the party needed to be inclusive on this issue — needed to keep the party platform but welcome people who support same-sex marriage as good Republicans. Should the party be inclusive?
BROWN: Does “inclusive” mean that you get rid of your founding principles? Are party platforms supposed to mean anything? If the party does that, the party’s done. The party is done if the Republican Party abandons traditional marriage. It would mean that it has turned its back again on not only its base, but on the overwhelming majority of folks who identify as Republicans.
Done! Done, he says! And this demonstrates the bind that the Republican party finds itself in, trying to appeal to younger voters while not losing the hard right. But demographic and electoral reality is difficult to budge. As Nate Silver notes, the polls over the last year and a half have strongly shown majority public support for marriage equality. And even among Republicans, the numbers are only 56% opposed. Independents strongly favor it now, especially younger voters, who support it by a nearly 3-1 margin. If you take out elderly voters, whose numbers will drop for obvious reasons over the next few years, the reality just doesn’t budge.
And by the way, this notion that supporting equality would “abandon traditional marriage” is absurd. Traditional marriage isn’t going anywhere and it won’t be affected in the slightest by allowing gay couples to get married too, any more than allowing interracial marriage affected non-interracial marriages.
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