View From the Hill

Gay conservatives took center stage in Washington this week with the launch of GOProud, a Log Cabin convention, and marriage-equality endorsements from almost-first daughter Meghan McCain and former McCain strategist Steve Schmidt.

BY Kerry Eleveld

April 17 2009 12:00 AM ET

It's been a
conservative kind of week here in gay D.C. with GOProud, a new
gay conservative group, launching on to the national stage and
Log Cabin Republicans hosting its national convention, which
will wrap up on Saturday with an appearance by Meghan McCain --
yes, daughter of the senator -- who has practically burst on to
the marriage-equality scene in the last month.

In case you haven't
really been following Republicans -- who, admittedly, have
seemed a little lackluster these days on the Hill -- Ms. McCain
is an exception. In fact, here's a dose of straight talk from
her
Daily Beast blog post

this week, "Memo to the GOP: Go Gay":

"Recently, I
seemed to have rocked a few individuals within my party by
saying that I am a pro-life, pro-gay-marriage Republican. So if
anyone is still confused, let me spell it out for you. I
believe life begins at conception and I believe that people who
fall in love should have the option to get married."

Well, thank you, Ms.
McCain, for revealing that the two positions are not mutually
exclusive and, in fact, have little to do with each other.
Although polling suggests that a growing number of millennials
agree, the current leaders of the GOP haven't quite gotten
the memo yet. But one person who did is McCain's former
chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, who made a
pro-marriage equality pronouncement shortly after Ms.
McCain's revelation.

So ponder this: What do
you get when two high-profile, under-40 Republicans come out
for same-sex marriage in the space of a month? While it may
fall short of a conservative revolution, I dare say it's
the first salvo in a battle for the soul of the party. In fact,
even as early 2012 hopefuls Palin, Huckabee, and Romney jockey
for socially conservative positions, others like Gov. Jon
Huntsman Jr. from the very red state of Utah are
staking out moderate positions on gay issues. Huntsman
delivered a Valentine shocker when he announced his support for
civil unions even though about 70% of his state
disagrees with him. No, it's not marriage, but it sure is a
proactive, affirmative statement for a Republican in the early
stages of plotting his path to the White House, and it sure is
exactly the same position President Obama holds.

Tags: Politics

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