David Lampo serves on the national board of the Log Cabin Republicans—a group within the GOP that supports legal gay marriage. Lampo has a provocative piece in Politico today titled, “Gay Marriage Will Destroy the GOP: If conservatives don’t embrace the inevitable, they’ll become irrelevant.”
His argument is simple. Courts are overturning state bans on gay marriage all over the country (which is true). A majority of Americans now support gay marriage (which is true). Young people across the country overwhelmingly support gay marriage (which is true). Support for gay marriage is on the rise even in the red states (also true). Republicans cannot win general elections if they continue to defy the majority of the electorate on this issue. Lampo concludes:
Slavish devotion to right-wing social policies is the road to oblivion on the national stage.
So it’s time to stop letting the anti-gay tail wag the Republican dog. The Christian Right spokesmen’s pious pleas for tolerance for their anti-gay religious convictions will fall on deaf ears (and should) as long as they continue their own intolerance for those who practice different faiths or have different sexual orientations than they do.
Ending their tight grip on the party’s social agenda, and its 2016 platform, must be the top priority of those who wish to bring the Republican Party into the 21st century and make it appeal to more than just old white men.
I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I don’t know what is going to happen to the GOP. Nevertheless, I suspect that Lampo is correct about the tide of public opinion and about electoral possibilities. I don’t think that the GOP will nominate another candidate for president who stands strongly for traditional marriage. And even if a candidate did stand firm, that candidate would not get elected in the general. Public sentiment really has changed that much.
That means that approaching 2016, you can expect to read more articles like this one by Lampo. There are many more in the GOP coalition trying to figure out how to toss social conservatives under the bus. Gay marriage will likely be the issue that they use to try to make that happen.