Can Republicans Increase Support By Backing Equal Marriage?

More Republicans have finally come around and expressed support for equal marriage in the last few days. This is, really, not that surprising. The Republican party is in trouble. Their base is not large enough to win national elections and almost half of young Republicans support same sex marriage. The truth is that by embracing equality the Republicans could increase their support in the gay community. According to the Washington Post nearly one-third of self identified gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals voted Republican in 2012 even while the party officially considers them second class citizens (at best).

If Republicans could get abortion off the table they might actually be back in the game but maybe only for a heartbeat. There is a problem with the solution: Many social conservatives are not fiscal conservatives. Christians, including many Evangelicals and Catholics may oppose same sex marriage and abortion but are more in line with left/liberal economic policies.

This problem has been compounded by the election of Pope Francis. While he surely is against equal marriage, abortion and birth control his views beyond that are not very Tea Partyish:
"Consider that this pope from Latin America has views about strong state and international government energetically standing for the poor and vulnerable, ecological protection, and nonviolence that are to the left of Nancy Pelosi. He would likely be considered too liberal for a prime time speaking slot at the 2016 DNC convention. The pope is radically suspicious of the libertarian approach to “autonomy” and “choice”—especially when it ends up hurting the vulnerable and opening the way for violence.

For Pope Francis, to no one’s surprise, this includes suspicion of the right to choose abortion. His anti-abortion views might make his pontificate seem unfriendly to Democrats, but in reality our peculiarly American obsession with autonomy and individual choice—whether it is about our guns, our pelvises, or our money—is more at home in the Republican party. If Democrats could embrace Pope Francis’ connection between social justice for the poor and equal protection of the laws for our prenatal children, they could finish the GOP for a generation.

Perhaps the only weapon Republicans have left that could turn the tide, and it remains a powerful weapon, is their reputation as the pro-life party."

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It appears, once again, that the GOP has found a dead end. While they may pick up some support in the LGBTQ community and among allies, they stand to lose Catholics and possibly Evangelicals, which leaves the party still screwed either way.
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