Will the next Republican nominee for President support gay marriage? It is a question that was unthinkable years ago, but amid a rapid shift in public opinion and demographics, it is being seriously considered in GOP circles.
“At the rate this issue is changing within the party, I think it’s not out of the question,” said Margaret Hoover, a former George W. Bush White House aide and one of the leading Republican Party operatives calling for the recognition of same-sex marriages. “It’s not if, it’s when — 2016 or 2020,” said another Republican operative.
The confidence to even ask the question is buoyed by a sea change in Republican Party thinking on the issue over the past several weeks. Dozens of top party operatives and former politicians — including six former aides to Mitt Romney and seven current or former members of Congress — have signed onto an amicus brief supporting the legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8 in advance of oral arguments on the constitutionality of the gay-marriage ban. Ohio Senator Rob Portman endorsed gay marriage on Friday after revealing that his son is gay. And new polling has brought to light a clear shift in the opinions of Republicans and the nation at large.