GOP Urged by Strategists to Drop Opposition to Gay Marriage

As the 2014 mid-term elections approach (ahead of the almighty 2016 presidential elections), more and more stories have emerged about Republican attempts to change their party’s stance against gay marriage.

The most recent one from The Hill notes that despite the national platform’s support of “‘traditional marriage’ between a man and a woman” and the “majority of Republicans in Congress [who] remain opposed to same-sex marriage,” there are “now eight Republicans in Congress who support same-sex marriage, split evenly between the House and Senate.”

LehmanThe article also mentions Kathryn Lehman (pictured), “a top GOP lobbyist and partner at Holland & Knight” who helped draft the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” that once served as a major impediment to nationwide marriage equality. Now working with the group Freedom to Marry, she regularly visits the offices of 40 to 50 congressional Republicans in an attempt to change their views on marriage equality.

Carl Thorsen — another GOP strategist working the Human Rights Campaign (pictured below) — encourages Republicans who might want to publicly announce their support for marriage equality by offering advice on how others have done it.

“These are human beings who view these issues on a deeply personal level,” Thorsen told The Hill, “but at the same time, they’re elected officials, and articulating those views may be — understandably — complicated by their political situation.”

CarlthorsenThe political situation includes the fact that most of  Republican party state platforms still oppose same-sex marriage and only 30 percent of Republican voters support same-sex marriage.

The article continues:

Organizations like Log Cabin Republicans and Project Right Side are also pushing Republicans by providing data about changes in public opinion and, like lobbyists, offering lawmakers and their offices a “safe space” to talk about the challenges facing LGBT individuals.

With an increasing number of national polls and court victories in favor of marriage equality, even Gregory Angelo — the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans — has said that many of “the most rock-ribbed social conservatives in Washington… see the writing on the wall, they see the direction the country is headed,” and the political peril that will accompany an entrenched opposition to marriage rights.

Ken Mehlman — the infamous Republican National Committee chairperson turned pro-marriage supporter who orchestrated George W. Bush’s intensely homophobic 2004 re-election campaign — said, “As conservatives, we don’t have to ignore… a strong conservative argument for safe schools, for civil marriage, merit-based decisions at work.”

Nevertheless, a majority of Republicans continue to oppose employment non-discrimination legislations unless they allow religious exemptions allowing Christianist companies to continue firing LGBT people.


  1. Sergio says

    Let scum like Ken Mehlman pay. Never forget the way Republicans held us down just to hold on to power.

  2. TampaZeke says

    Most Republican voters are against marriage equality PRECISELY because it’s the Republican position. If the Republican Party told them that supporting marriage equality was the Republican position they would then support it.

  3. Patterner says

    If Republicans are willing to drive the whole country off a cliff if they don’t get their anti-gay way, they’ll surely be willing to at least destroy themselves over it.

    We haven’t forgotten their loud pronouncements that the anti-gay crusade is literally worth dying over. They’d have a civil war over this if they could.

  4. robroy says

    The lobbyist working against equality before switching well funded teams smacks of opportunism. I doubt she cared either way biy simply followed the $. So she is the perfect R in that regard.

  5. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    They may hold their hateful tongues if they think it will result in getting enough extra votes (primarily from naive gays) to win a close election, but once they gain power, you can be sure they’ll enact their homophobic agenda.

  6. james street james says

    The most assured way of making Republicans support equality in marriage would be to have Obama oppose it!

    The real Republican agenda isn’t about opposing equal marriage but only to use that as one issue to form a coalition to bring them back to the White House. Now that it is becoming clear that this issue won’t help them they will give it up in time for the presidential election. In the meantime they will continue to oppose equal marriage for the midterm elections where they believe it will gain them votes in certain regions.

  7. BobN says

    “I doubt she cared either way”

    I suspect she’s more concerned about making the GOP electable than supporting gay rights.

    Why liberal organizations cooperate with folks whose PRIMARY goal is the GOP is beyond me.

  8. MaryM says

    Kathryn Lehman and Ken Mehlman are evil scum.

    The GOP are an extreme right, semi-fascist crowd of c***s who hate the poor, hate the USA, and they deserve to be spat at.

    No point in doing that.

    Until the US becomes a democracy – instead of our current system of oligarchy – then it doe’sn’t matter 1 bit whether the Dems or the Repugs win.

  9. DC Insider says

    Maybe they should try to get the Republicans to oppose segregation first, like a trial balloon.

  10. says

    Does that mean they’ll also drop their opposition to a women’s rights and health concerns? Their racism? Their xenophobia? Their worship of the wealthy and disdain for the middle and working classes?

    Thing is – “hating gays” is how they trick the poorest folks into voting for them…

  11. JoyZeeBoy says

    “These are human beings who view these issues on a deeply personal level,” Thorsen told The Hill, “but at the same time, they’re elected officials, and articulating those views may be — understandably — complicated by their political situation.”

    HORSEHOCKEY! These people play games with OUR lives and think nothing… NOTHING of it. They are self-serving, egotistical fools for hire. As someone smarter than me commented, Washington is “Hollywood for ugly people.” Ugly on the outside, and really ugly on the inside. I hate all of them.

  12. Merv says

    It won’t make any difference. Republicans are so thoroughly identified with the position, that nothing will change that perception.