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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:23 PM

Varied Voices from GOP After Decision

From the WSJ:


Members of the Republican Party, which has long officially opposed same-sex marriage, gave mixed and sometimes muted reactions to Wednesday's Supreme Court decisions so loudly cheered by gay-marriage supporters.

Many Republicans criticized the court's overturning of the federal Defense of Marriage Act while lauding the fact that the fight would now firmly reside in the states. Most GOP political leaders restated their stance that marriage should strictly be between a man and woman. A smaller number said it was crucial for the party to change its tone and at least soften its opposition to gay marriage. The responses reflected both an evolution within the GOP and a growing acknowledgment, even among opponents of same-sex marriage, that the party's current stance on the issue could make it harder to win national and statewide elections.

The tussle within the party comes as a number of GOP governors, including New Jersey's Chris Christie this year and Ohio's John Kasich in 2014, face re-election campaigns that will focus in part on debates over gay marriage. "We have entered a distinct period where the issues that once split Democrats now split Republicans," said former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, who was part of a Republican National Committee panel that assessed the party after its November lossesand called for it to show more tolerance on social issues. "If Republicans think we are a big tent, we have to act like a big tent."


"The future of marriage equality is in the hands of Republican leaders," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which announced Wednesday a $10 million lobbying campaign to try to convert GOP state lawmakers to embrace gay marriage. To lead the effort, by far the largest of its kind to date, the ACLU has hired GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, a top adviser to Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, and Jimmy LaSalvia, the president of the gay conservative group GOProud.



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