The Republican National Committee released a sweeping report aimed at revitalizing the party following its losses last November, noting that:
For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. 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.
If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out.
This has not gone down well with many. Conservative columnist Byron York comments:
That is not a flat-out declaration that the RNC supports gay marriage— but it’s pretty close. In addition, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, in introducing the report Monday, said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, had “made some pretty big inroads” into broadening the party’s appeal by declaring support for gay marriage last week. Again, the report’s position puts the RNC in danger of a breach with key grass-roots supporters.
That’s mild compared to what Rush Limbaugh had to say:
If the party makes [gay marriage] something official that they support, they’re not going to pull the homosexual activist voters away from the Democrat Party, but they are going to cause their base to stay home and throw their hands up in utter frustration.
Thus the battle lines are drawn, with action and reaction from the party. But who would have thought that the RNC itself would ever have taken such a bold step—not the LGBT progressives, who have written off the party as hopeless.