With an eye toward the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican leaders are calling for the party to be inclusive and welcoming when it comes to issues such as LGBT equality.

The recommendation is part of a 100-page report that was conducted by the Republican National Committee following Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 election.

“We do need to make sure young people do not see the party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view,” the report says. “Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the party is a place they want to be.”

There are other signs of shifting views within the party. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman spoke out in favor of marriage equality last week. And this weekend, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, a panel on increasing tolerance in the party was held in a packed room. Conversely, a panel featuring NOM’s Brian Brown that addressed bullying that conservatives say they face at the hands of the Obama administration was sparsely attended.

The majority of Americans are already on board. On Monday, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll showed a record high of 58 percent of registered voters nationwide supporting marriage equality. 

“When it comes to social issues, the Party must in fact and deed be inclusive and welcoming,” the new GOP report says. “If we are not, we will limit our ability to attract young people and others, including many women, who agree with us on some but not all issues.”

Filed under: Federal Advocacy, Marriage

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