Two anti-freedom-to-marry organizations released an advocacy poll this week showing the Republican base opposes marriage for gay couples. The news of the poll was a response to the new $1 million effort launched last week by the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry to remove divisive, anti-gay language from the GOP party platform in advance of the 2016 GOP Convention.
“Those who oppose this unifying effort to improve the platform are on the wrong side of history and on the wrong path to winning back the White House in 2016,” said Tyler Deaton, campaign manager for the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. “In my lifetime, Republicans have only won the national popular vote twice. It’s time to broaden the base. Opposition to the freedom to marry is crumbling in the Republican Party – and that includes among young evangelicals who comprise the base of the party. The entire party is, thankfully, moving toward more freedom, less government, and a more consistent conservatism.”
Non-partisan, scientific polls show opposition to the freedom to marry among conservatives declining as support rises. 64 percent of millennial evangelicals support marriage for gay couples. A Pew poll earlier this year shows 61 percent of Republicans under the age of 30 are supportive, as are a majority of Republicans under 45.
Daughter of President George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, is a firm supporter of the freedom to marry. She told ABC News: “I’m Barbara Bush, and I’m a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love.”
Former First Lady Laura Bush agreed.
“There are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman,” Bush said. “But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has.”
Former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney even offered his support, saying: “I think freedom means freedom for everyone…I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish.”
Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, added: “For me, this is about treating all of my friends and all of our brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren the same as I want to be treated. Equality under the law and personal freedoms are what make America the greatest country in the world and they are core values that I hold as a Republican.”
“Reform the Platform” will begin touring the early primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina this spring and summer. For more on the initiative, visit http://www.freedommeansfreedom.org.