Will gay marriage destroy the GOP?

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.


  • Paula

    We are seeing this in micro at the local level. I’m on my county Republican executive committee and we’ve experienced a great deal of internal conflict over this issue in the past year. Actually, not even over the issue of marriage, but simple religious liberty. Our (allegedly conservative) Republican state senator was the sole Republican sponsor of a poorly written so-called “equality” bill that would endanger the religious liberties of those who don’t subscribe to the new liberal views of sexuality. Those who supported his primary challenger were told they were dividing the party and not being team players. (Funny that those who support divisive policies and attack conservatives are never accused of being divisive). Some people in leadership paid a heavy price politically for not supporting the incumbent and for their criticism of his policies.

    What it’s coming down to (at least in Ohio) is that those in the GOP who are not orthodox, biblical Christians are running from their former support for traditional marriage. Why wouldn’t they? But for our commitment to Christ and the promises in His word, which of us would choose to go against what is now the mainstream and face being marginalized and mocked in the culture? I don’t see it ending well for the GOP. If we go down the path of moderating on social issues, we depress the conservative vote. There is no winning position on this issue right now.

    The good news? Opportunities abound to be prophetic witnesses for Christ in the culture. God is shining a light on the state of Christianity in America. Newsflash: There are lots of unsaved people in the GOP and even in the conservative movement. We have our work cut out for us.

  • Ian Shaw

    So where is the line drawn? “This far, no further!”. Say the GOP caves on this issue to stay “culturally relevant” in the 2016 election. Does it stop there? What the next flavor of the month/hot button social equality issue that will arise that will make the GOP irrelevant in political culture?

    Once you start retreating from your position, it becomes all the more easier to continue re-drawing the line and eventually, you have nothing you stand for. Maybe if they did a better job doing the things they do stand for: creating jobs, keeping down debt, etc., they wouldn’t have to cut their losses to not get asked to leave the house party.

    The Republican party will probably sellout, so they have a chance of being elected. That’s great for conservatives. A party of cultural sellouts.

  • Ken Temple

    So called “Gay marriage” could destroy the GOP, but it definitely is contributing to the further destruction of decency, normal culture, civilization, logic, and mental and emotional stability.

  • Ian Shaw

    Log Cabin Republicans is a real group? I thought that was pure folly from an episode of American Dad years ago.

  • Ken Temple

    Why are young people so open to “gay marriage”? Is it because they are all experimenting with all kinds of sexual behavior in college? Aren’t most college students and 20 year olds today just immature- pagan-secular-Darwinian-naturalist-matter is all there is-experimenting with all forms of sexual behavior-trying to find their place in the world-agnostic-atheist-postmoderns-party animals, who don’t have the wisdom yet to be driving culture so much? Are they not learning their lesson of being decieved by voting for Obama in 2008 and 2012 by all the scandals – VA, Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious, NSA, etc. ?

    Last night, O’Reilly showed Jesse Waters go to the beach and ask the typical young person (all 18-30, seemingly) about Memorial Day. Most could not even tell us who fought in Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War 2, etc. !! Most didn’t know difference between Ben Laden and Saddam Hussein. Some thought our enemy in the Revolutionary War was China!!

    • Matt Martin

      “Why are young people so open to ‘gay marriage’?”

      Because young people believe in liberty. Liberty allows one to live out their personal beliefs so long as those beliefs do not infringe upon the rights of others, even if I view theirs as immoral.

      “Is it because they are all experimenting with all kinds of sexual behavior in college?”

      Yes, college kids are having sex. But I highly doubt that in the middle of the act of sex with a member of the opposite sex they realize all of a sudden that homosexuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals. Its probably because eventually logic prevails and they see that their friends should have the same opportunities and rights as themselves.

      “Aren’t most college students and 20 year olds today just immature…who don’t have the wisdom yet to be driving culture so much?”

      Yes. But the youth aren’t driving culture either. They don’t vote. Again, logic and liberty usually end up prevailing.

      “Are they not learning their lesson of being decieved by voting for Obama in 2008 and 2012 by all the scandals – VA, Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious, NSA, etc. ?”

      Nope, because they were jaded from Bush and all his lies, scandals and screw ups – Iraq War, Blackwater, Halliburton Contracts, US Attorney Firings, Walter Reed, Libby/Plame Affair, Abramoff, Katrina, Torture, etc…etc…etc…It goes both ways. Most youth are skeptical of politics period. They just want their friends to live and have the same rights as themselves.

      “Last night, O’Reilly showed Jesse Waters go to the beach and ask the typical young person (all 18-30, seemingly) about Memorial Day.”

      I could go to the beach, ask questions and make any video I want by just using certain clips and takes. You do remember Michael Moore, right?

      “Most didn’t know difference between Ben Laden and Saddam Hussein.”

      Most do know though that its Bin Laden instead of Ben Laden.

      • Ken Temple

        Matt –
        The scandals of the Bush years don’t seem to rise to the level of the Obama years, IMO. (in the context of Islamic terrorism, response to 9-11-01, and bad information, and Saddam’s trickery; hindsight is 20-20)

        “It goes both ways” – true. But the main stream media hammered and nuked Bush and Cheny and during Watergate in the 70s, they nuked and fried Nixon. Not so now with Obama. Sad. The press is suppossed to do its job and ask the hard questions, and be like “pit bulls” in not giving up, so that politicians in a free constitutional representative republic can get the facts.

        Bin Laden vs. Ben Laden – ok, you got me there. But in reality, it is ????? ?? ????

        Young people seem to be driving culture now, more than ever before – their vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012 was key. You say they don’t vote; but those times, especially 2008, they did; and we are seeing the immaturity of that generation’s fruits.

        • Ken Temple

          ooops !

          so that politicians in a free constitutional representative republic can get the facts.

          should have been

          so that politicians are held accountable and the people in a free constitutional representative republic can get the facts.

          • Ken Temple

            Katrina was mostly a natural disaster, but the Democratic governor and New Orleans Mayor Naygen were much, much more responsible for the horrible preparation and horrible response. That was not Bush or Chenney’s fault.

        • James Stanton

          Ken, I think your comparison of scandals is a bit skewed. Obama has received plenty of criticism from the press for scandals, both real and imagined ones. Your issue seems to be that the political damage has been minor.

          The scandal over Iraq is that we attacked a country on false pretenses using a doctrine of preventive war. We killed thousands in the initial stages of that war and created a vacuum of power that led to a violent and destructive civil war that continues until this day in which tens of thousands have lost their lives and millions have been displaced. This led to the destruction of the Christian community in Iraq. We replaced one dictator with another and gave the country over to the influence of Iran. We adopted torture of prisoners as an acceptable and moral practice. This war is projected to cost ~$6 trillion including the long-term costs for the healthcare of injured veterans. We should not be comforted by claiming “hindsight”. This is an avoidance of collective responsibility and shifts blame.

          There has never been a true accounting for the enormity of this error and those who continue to lend it credibility have no shame.

          Benghazi is a scandal in that adequate security was not provided at the consulate. The behavior of the NSA is a terrible threat and infringement to the privacy rights of all Americans. Fast and Furious and the IRS are scandals in that they became media stories. Fast and Furious started under the Bush Administration and the IRS rightfully scrutinized both conservative and progressive groups who were skirting the rules in seeking classification as “social welfare” entities.

          As for the youth… I don’t think they are much enamored with Obama. 2008’s election reflected backlash for a crashing economy and foreign policy failures. The truth is both parties offered mediocre candidates and stale platforms and one bad choice prevailed over the other in 2008 and 2012.

          Perhaps the youth have been conditioned to have a far different worldview than previous generations but I think the moral failures of their elders have played a large part in today’s prevailing cultural sentiments.

          • Ken Temple

            James Stanton,
            Most of your points are good and valid.

            The slow march of history and a long view of justice (that God will eventually deal with all the secret wrongs and evils – there is a judgement day – I Cor. 4:5; Heb. 9:27; Matthew 25; Revelation chapters 19-22), under God’s sovereignty, is the only comforting thought. I cannot figure all these big political and war issues, who is really telling the truth in government, scandals on both sides, policies on both sides for decades that are now coming out, etc. issues out, except what is clear in Scripture.

            At the end of the day, I am encouraged by Psalm 131, the part that seems to teach us that we will never be able to fully figure out the big questions like these in this world, therefore, we must trust God. – “I do not involve myself with things too wonderful/difficult for me.” (see also Ecclesiastes 3:11; Romans 11:33-36)

            “Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
            Or in things too difficult for me.” Psalm 131

            Amazing that the inspired writer David could say, “My heart is not proud”, etc. – I don’t think any one of us can honestly say that; so that part of that verse is a call to “pour contempt on all my pride” (When I survey the Wonderous Cross).

            When I survey the wondrous cross
            on which the Prince of Glory died;
            my richest gain I count but loss,
            and pour contempt on all my pride.

            2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
            save in the death of Christ, my God;
            all the vain things that charm me most,
            I sacrifice them to his blood.

            3. See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
            sorrow and love flow mingled down.
            Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
            or thorns compose so rich a crown.

            4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
            that were an offering far too small;
            love so amazing, so divine,
            demands my soul, my life, my all.

  • Ian Shaw

    Ken, to answer your first 3 questions (unfortunately)- yes, yes and yes. Only when they are gasping for air will they realize the milestone tied around their necks. They’ve bought the lie that they are nothing but innate matter and they should do whatever feels right/good (which isn’t that a selfish way to act anyway? Not very altruistic). We as parents have not prepared our children for what they will walk into. To quote Admiral Akbar “it’s a trap!”

    Shoot, Leno did the same thing when he’d go out and ask people question about stuff I remember from 5th grade thru high school.

  • buddyglass

    He’s wrong. Gay marriage may prevent the GOP from being monolithic on that particular issue, but it won’t destroy the party.

    Both parties are capable of being polymorphic. GOP congressmen from highly conservative districts can rail against gay marriage long after it’s reached the peak of its acceptance. Indeed, they may have to in order to get elected. On the flip side, GOP congressmen from moderate districts can voice their support. Candidates for national office will try to avoid talking about it at all and, when they do, either voice lukewarm support or simply state that it’s “the law of the land” and try to leave it at that.

    Even if this new version of the GOP results in an exodus religious conservatives that still won’t kill the GOP. Why? Because the new GOP, unencumbered of the religious right, will be free to lurch leftward and steal some moderates from the Democrats. In that scenario the equilibrium would be a hard-right protest party (that never succeeds in electing candidates to national office) with maybe 10-15% of the electorate with the rest split between the neo-GOP and Democrats.

  • Andy Moffat

    While I respect and am thankful for the efforts at the higher levels of political leadership etc, this is certainly a call to the grass roots to be out living their faith among their neighbors. That is how the tide will change.

  • bobbistowellbrown

    If the GOP puts support for gay marriage in their platform I will vote for write in candidates. I would consider writing in Ben Carson for President and Tony Perkins for vice president.

  • James Bradshaw

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but do fundamentalist Christians not believe that Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and perhaps even Catholics are living out a “false faith”, the penalty of which is eternal damnation in a literal lake of fire alongside homosexuals?

    I’m pretty sure this is a fact (albeit not often stated out loud in mixed company).

    Nevertheless, fundamentalists see no issue with working alongside these other heretics and unbelievers, allowing them to worship as they see fit and even receive the acknowledgement and stamp of validity by the federal government via tax exemptions.

    So … what makes civil gay marriage (which simply extends government benefits to gay couples) all that *different*?

    Look: gay people exist, and one’s orientation is not something one can be coerced or “recruited” into. The question is what is a just and fair treatment of gay couples under the law. If you wish to talk about religious liberties, that’s a worthy issue … but it doesn’t stand to reason that religious liberty considerations take such precedence over the rights of gay men and women that the latter’s rights shouldn’t be considered at all.

    • Esther O'Reilly

      Even if the government passed such a law, that’s a bad analogy because there’s nothing that would happen concretely to further some particular societal ill as a result. Whereas for gay people to be recognized as “married” or even just civilly joined forces the rest of society to comply in various detrimental ways—for example, forcing adoption agencies not to recognize that the mother/father unit is healthier and better for a child than two same-sex parents.

      • buddyglass

        “for example, forcing adoption agencies not to recognize that the mother/father unit is healthier and better for a child than two same-sex parents.”

        I don’t think this is true. Adoption agencies already discriminate against married heterosexual couples based on criteria having to do with what’s “best for the child”. If they could demonstrate convincingly that the lack of both a mother and father is detrimental then I don’t see why they couldn’t give preference to mother+father couples over father+father or mother+mother.

      • James Bradshaw

        Esther, the state recognizes many heterosexual marriages with participants that would not be granted adoption rights because of various reasons. Marriage licenses are granted to persons who are currently incarcerated, for example.

        Two entirely separate issues.

  • buddyglass

    “So … what makes civil gay marriage (which simply extends government benefits to gay couples) all that *different*?”

    The analog situation w.r.t. non-believers would be if the federal govt. passed a law stating, either explicitly or implicitly, that all religious beliefs are equally true and that everybody’s going to Heaven. As ludicrous as that would be.

    That’s how traditional marriage supporters view the legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The logic goes that there is a fixed, non-negotiable definition of what constitutes a “real” marriage and the govt. should only recognize real marriages. In recognizing same-sex marriages the govt. is calling a thing “marriage” that is not, in fact, a marriage.

  • James Stanton

    Parties are made up of coalitions. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Roe v Wade played a large part in destroying the alliance between northern liberals and southern conservatives in the Democratic Party.

    The GOP won’t be destroyed by gay marriage. The party will change and adapt. Social conservatives will have to make a choice of whether to continue with a party that supports gay marriage. Perhaps a third party will be created that stands for wholly Christian principles.

  • Ken Temple

    So … what makes civil gay marriage (which simply extends government benefits to gay couples) all that *different*?

    All of those groups that you listed, (except modern atheists)- in their consistent doctrines and practice ALL through history – Muslims (you didn’t mention Muslims), Jews, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists (the Dalai Lama even said homosexuality is wrong), – ALL of them agree with us that homosexuality is always wrong by nature and there is no such thing as “same sex” marriage. It is confusing, lying about language and the meanings of words; and it, along with the whole worldview behind it, has already opened the door to polyamory, people using the same logic to argue for marriage between minors and adults and any and all other kinds of combinations. The whole transgender confusion stuff, “trapped in the wrong body”/mental and emotional confusion/rebellion against the way God made a person – all of this – is also a part of this – the Bi-sexuals also – it is all a mass of a confused worldview based on atheism/agnosticism/materialism/do whatever you want to philosophy. It is only modern liberalism/post-modernism/atheism/agnosticism/”create your own reality” thinking in the last generation that has spawned this kind of confusion.

  • Ken Temple

    The above was in response to James Bradshaw’s comment. Beliefs about heaven and hell only come out when there is opportunity for evangelism, discussion, debate, etc. – but the leftism/gay agenda is trying to push their agenda in our faces (like the recent homosexual football players’ kiss, and gay pride marches, etc.) Decency and social normality is being destroyed.

    • James Bradshaw

      Ken, you act as if every expression of affection by gay couples is done purely with the intent of inflicting “psychological harm” on others. You attribute bad motives to people you’ve never met.

      Do me a favor this week: while you’re in a city or mall or somewhere where there are numerous people gathered, pay attention to how many heterosexual couples are walking while holding hands or who hug each other in full view of everyone. Then turn on the television and count the number of incidences of heterosexual affection.

      Look, I understand that gay couples are not as “common”, so they’ll stand out much the same way an interracial couple stands out in certain areas. It’s petty to be enraged by these things, though. The world is filled with such strife and enmity, I find it preferable to see people actually expressing affection.

      When it comes to the pride parades, 90% of the participants are t-shirt and jeans-wearing suburbanites who are as boring as you or I. Yes, there’s a bit of outrageous behavior that I don’t care for either, but the same (or worse) occurs at Mardi Gras every year, but it’s not an indictment of the entire heterosexual population.

      And yes, most religious traditions have not acknowledge gay unions. So what? Popular opinion can be wrong, sometimes. At one point in this “godly” nation, the vast majority of citizens believed that interracial marriage was not just distasteful but immoral somehow. I’m talking 90%+. That so many people can be so wrong should make you reconsider using that as an argument …

  • Paul Reed

    James Stanton makes some really good points. The Republicans/conservatives won’t disappear, but rather they will adapt. And he mentioned how we had to adapt to equal rights for blacks and women. That, in my opinion, was far more difficult than it will be adapting to equal rights for gays. Just imagine how strange it would look for a law school class or medical school class to have 50% women to someone in the 1950s. Having said this, conservatives will still be able to lobby against the most extreme equal-right provisions they find the most vile. It will still be acceptable to be against affirmative-action, late-term abortion, and forcing small business owners to participate in gay “weddings”. And if you’re a local conservative politician, you may even go further. But the liberals have won the national debate and they’ve made their point: “Blacks, women, and gays are all equal to white-heterosexual men, and the laws (with very few exceptions) will reflect that.” Any changes social conservatives make will be small or affect a small segment of the population.

  • Ken Temple

    James B. – I posted a long answer, but apparently did not go through for some reason; and I don’t feel like typing it all out again. nor do I have more time for this now.

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.