HRC Blog

Young Conservatives Supporting Marriage Equality

Young Conservatives for the Freedom to MarryPost submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

A group of young conservatives is calling on the RNC Platform Committee not to oppose marriage equality when the committee meets next week in advance of the party’s convention. In the letter, the Leadership Committee of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry writes (emphasis added):

We are a group of politically active young conservatives who believe strongly that support for the freedom to marry is in line with our core belief in limited government and individual freedom. As President Ronald Reagan said, it is the role of government to “work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back.” We feel strongly that excluding committed same-sex couples from marriage does not mesh with those principles. To quote former Vice President Dick Cheney, “freedom means freedom for everyone.

We, as conservatives, have traditionally cited the importance of marriage because it contributes to society and promotes stability and shared responsibility. Marriage makes our nation stronger socially and economically by strengthening families and communities. Committed gay and lesbian couples share with other couples the importance of family and community; worries – like making ends meet or the possibility of losing a job; and hopes and dreams – like finding that special someone to grow old with, and standing in front of friends and family to make a lifetime commitment. Same-sex couples who want to make that commitment in life before family and friends should be able to share in that commitment under law through marriage. And, if we truly believe in family values, we must value all families.

Polling indicates that nearly half of all conservatives under the age of 35 support marriage equality. The letter goes on to highlight that much of the progress made on marriage equality in the last few years was possible because of bipartisan advocacy:

Over the past several years, elected Republicans have played an increasingly important role in advancing freedom to marry legislation. Last year in New York, it was a GOP-led state Senate that moved marriage equality legislation. And earlier this year in New Hampshire, the overwhelmingly GOP controlled New Hampshire House voted down a repeal of the popular freedom to marry law in that state, by a lopsided 211-116 margin, with a majority of GOP lawmakers voting against repeal. To date, 197 Republican state legislators across the nation have stood up for the freedom to marry.

And of course, no one doubts the Republican credentials of former Vice President Dick Cheney, former First Lady Laura Bush, former Solicitor General Ted Olson, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman. They are all supporters for freedom to marry.

Read the full letter.

The Republican Convention is taking place in Tampa from August 27 – 30. During the convention, the party will officially nominate the Romney – Ryan ticket and ratify the party’s 2012 platform.

Last week, we got a look at the Democratic Party’s platform language which, among other things, explicitly supports marriage equality and an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. That platform will be ratified when Democrats gather in Charlotte for their convention in early September.

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