Politico has published a just-leaked memo from an insider on Dubya’s 2004 reelection team. In the light of Obama’s “evolution,” this guy now says that GOP strategists should abandon the losing battle against same-sex marriage.
Background: in view of this week’s news on the same sex marriage issue, here is a summary of recent survey findings on same sex marriage:
- Support for same sex marriage has been growing and in the last few years support has grown at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down. A review of public polling shows that up to 2009 support for gay marriage increased at a rate of 1% a year. Starting in 2010 the change in the level of support accelerated to 5% a year. The most recent public polling shows supporters of gay marriage outnumber opponents by a margin of roughly 10% (for instance: NBC / WSJ poll in February / March: support 49%, oppose 40%).
- The increase in support is taking place among all partisan groups. While more Democrats support gay marriage than Republicans, support levels among Republicans are increasing over time. The same is true of age: younger people support same sex marriage more often than older people, but the trends show that all age groups are rethinking their position.
- Polling conducted among Republicans show that majorities of Republicans and Republican leaning voters support extending basic legal protections to gays and lesbians. These include majority Republican support for:
- Protecting gays and lesbians against being fired for reasons of sexual orientation
- Protections against bullying and harassment
- Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
- Right to visit partners in hospitals
- Protecting partners against loss of home in case of severe medical emergencies or death
- Legal protection in some form for gay couples whether it be same sex marriage or domestic partnership (only 29% of Republicans oppose legal recognition in any form).
Recommendation: A statement reflecting recent developments on this issue along the following lines: “People who believe in equality under the law as a fundamental principle, as I do, will agree that this principle extends to gay and lesbian couples; gay and lesbian couples should not face discrimination and their relationship should be protected under the law. People who disagree on the fundamental nature of marriage can agree, at the same time, that gays and lesbians should receive essential rights and protections such as hospital visitation, adoption rights, and health and death benefits.