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Conservatives for marriage equality seek RNC's support

WASHINGTON – Members of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee sent a letter to the Platform Committee of the Republican National Committee today asking it to resist adding language to the Republican Party platform opposing the freedom of same-sex couples to marry.

“Republicans cherish freedom, family and community as basic conservative principles,” said conservative commentator, political strategist and CNN contributor Margaret Hoover, who is a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee.

“The marital bond provides a non-governmental social safety net, whereby individuals care for one another and anchor society in self sufficiency. Excluding gays and lesbians from civil marriage hurts families, hurts America, and is inconsistent with conservatism's emphasis on individual freedom. It’s time for us to correct this inconsistency by not opposing the freedom to marry in this year’s Party Platform.”

The Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee includes Hoover and seven other conservative advocates. Hoover will represent the committee at the Republican National Convention, along with Sarah Longwell, vice president at Berman and Company, a communications firm in Washington, D.C., that defends free-market principles; and Torrey Shearer, a Public Affairs Advisor at Holland & Knight LLP and one of the “35 under 35” most influential Republicans in Washington, according to the District of Columbia Republican Party.

“I support same-sex couples’ freedom to marry because I support limited government and strong family values, both of which are fundamental principles of the Republican Party,” said Tyler Deaton, executive director of New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality, the Secretary and Finance Chairman of the New Hampshire Young Republicans, and a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee.

“Ending the exclusion of gay couples from marriage would restore the federal government to its historic practice of recognizing marriages performed in the states, and would limit interference in citizens’ personal lives. The center of political gravity has shifted, and it is both politically smart and morally right for the Republican Party to begin supporting marriage for all committed couples.”

The full text of the letter appears here

A May 2012 Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that among younger Republicans, support for the freedom to marry is approaching majority, with 46% of self-identified Republicans aged 18-44 in support and 46% in opposition. And according to veteran Republican pollster Jan van Lohuizen, only 29% of Republicans oppose any legal recognition for same-sex couples.

Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry will host a complimentary brunch at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 10am to noon, with the program MC’ed by Hoover. Additionally, Longwell will participate in an event on Tuesday evening titled “LGBT at the RNC: Oxymoron or Happy Marriage?” where she will discuss Republican support for the freedom to marry.

Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry launched at a kickoff event in Washington last month.