Even Family Research Council Concedes GOP Softening Anti-Marriage Equality Stance
The Family Research Council (FRC), a conservative Christian group bent on outlawing marriage equality across the country, has grudgingly acknowledged that the group and its allies are slowly but steadily losing ground in the Republican Party.
"Strong voices within the Republican Party would like nothing more than to change the official stance in regards to marriage between one man and one woman," Tom McClusky, FRC’s senior vice president said in a fundraising email.
He then lists prominent members of the GOP that have endorsed same-sex marriage, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, former First Lady Laura Bush, former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Chairman of the Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman, as well as two influential legislators.
Just last week, Cheney’s openly gay daughter, Mary Cheney, married her long-time partner Heather Poe. Chaney and his wife Lynne were considered the conservative voices of the Bush Administration. Their quiet but vocal support of same-sex marriage has set off alarm bells among the opponents.
The FRC email singles out two important Republican politicians, Sen. John Coryn and Rep. Pete Sessions. Both co-chairmen of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, both have raised money for LGBT groups, and both are from Texas.
"Both of these men are on record supporting marriage between one man and one woman, but there are some who will continue to pressure these men until they cave," the email states. "But the problem goes much deeper. For many solid pro-life Republican leaders, the economy appears to have pushed out moral issues in today’s politics. One of the casualties is the defense of marriage."
The reference is to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which President Obama has ordered not be defended in court. The GOP in Congress have made noises about opposing Obama on the issue, but nothing substantive has been done.
Predictably, commenters on the ultra-conservative website Free Republic reacted to FRC’s statement by declaring they were done with the GOP. (It should be noted that the same website’s members give out written fist pumps whenever a Republican beats a Democrat.)
"We are overdue for a conservative third party," was a typical response. "The gop has made it clear they don’t care about our issues; abortion, gay marriage, gay adoption."
"It has indeed taken me a good long while to fully acclimatize myself to the fact that the Republican Party I supported and affiliated myself with, steeled in the days of Reagan-era conservatism, has basically gone off the deep end," another Freeper wrote. "It’s been downright jarring to find GOP bigwigs actually supporting abject insanity like gay-marriage, open-borders amnesty, and hairbrained schemes like cap-and-trade."
Ultra right-wing groups and websites like Freerepublic have been in a meltdown ever since their presidential candidates of choice -- Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum -- went down in flames, leaving the one candidate they despise, Mitt Romney, as the nominee.
FRC’s acknowledgment that more Republicans are coming around to supporting gay marriage is the strongest indication yet that the Christian Right is losing the battle against marriage equality. More and more of the GOP elite are reading the polls, which show that the majority of young Republicans enthusiastically endorse same-sex marriage.
In May, the Washington Times, one of the most conservative newspapers in the country, posted an op-ed outlining the reasons why Republicans should support gay marriage. "Gay marriage is actually a very conservative value," wrote Catherine Poe.
"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," Poe wrote. "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."
As CNN reported, Republicans have been instrumental in getting marriage-equality legislation enacted in New York. In New Hampshire, party members helped kill a bill that would have reversed marriage equality there.
Over 100 Republican state legislators are now on record as voting for marriage equality. There have been 197 Republican state legislators who have supported same-sex marriage.
The same CNN report noted that Gallup polls have shown that the Right has lost young Americans. Nearly three-quarters of people 18 to 34 now support marriage equality.
Groups like FRC will probably continue to use the issue in their non-stop efforts to raise money to support themselves. But it is becoming ever-more unlikely that their efforts will reverse momentum on the other side.