Evolving Position

The GOP Shift On Gay Rights

Talking Points Memo reports that the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Republican Party has endorsed full marriage equality:

Last week, the Washington D.C. Republican Committee - the equivalent of the state party - became the first state GOP group to officially endorse gay marriage with a plank in its 2012 platform.

TPM noted that each state's GOP platforms vary nationwide and represent the full spectrum of beliefs. Indiana Republicans approved a platform that had no mention of gay marriage at all, showing they may want to de-emphasize the controversial subject in 2012.

Republicans in the blue state of Oregon managed to remove anti-gay language from their state party's platform:

But the language change didn't come easy. In fact, it was almost defeated, said Xander Almeida, who was among those who pushed to remove a section of the platform seen as denigrating lifestyles and rights of gays and lesbians.

Almeida said his motion to remove the language was first shot down 2-1 by a caucus of members focusing on the "family" section of the platform. He thought his effort was over until he talked to party Chairman Allen Alley, who told him the proposal should go to a full floor vote.

And consider even the progress of the deep red Texas GOP, the Huffington Post reports:

The Texas Republican Party adopted a new platform this past weekend reaffirming the party's opposition to same-sex marriage and pornography, while ending calls for criminalizing both practices.

The party platform, adopted at a convention in Fort Worth, differs from the 2010 platform that would have made it a felony to issue a same-sex marriage license or perform a same-sex wedding. But the Texas GOP continues to oppose marriage equality. In addition, the party dialed back its 2010 call to criminalize pornography and strip clubs in the state.

Though the platform does unfortunately say:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

These changes come on the heels of a recent memo distributed by former Bush pollster Jan van Louhuizen which noted that support for gay marriage among all partisan groups is increasing 5% each year and that conservatives should embrace gay marriage as consistent with their own values:

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“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.