The Nevada Republican Party removed opposition to abortion, and gay marriage from its platform in 2014 as state convention delegates focused on judging fellow Republicans on their ability to adhere to GOP values. When Nevada removed the opposition, it became the second state party to do so. Indiana’s Republican Party silently tossed its plank in 2012.
Before the Republican Party dropped its opposition, many observers felt Nevada would be the greatest test since it is a swing state. Overall, the push for the change sprang from Clark County, home to libertine Las Vegas and 75 percent of the state population.
Younger Republicans are blazing new paths on the issue of LGBTQ rights and the right to marry. Traditionally, the Republican party has had some weaknesses when trying to appeal to constituents. Many studies have shown that Democrats are more racially diverse and usually appeal to women more than Republicans.
A group called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is building support among conservatives for same-sex marriage. The movement is in response the increase of people in younger generations who align themselves less with the party’s conservative opinions.
The action is especially salient given state government rulings on marriage bans, as was the case in Nevada, have been seeing a pattern of overturn and appeal. The Young Conservatives group released its “Roadmap to Victory” as a guideline on how to stop federal discrimination, with public support, state marriage majorities and, eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Evan Wolfson, director of Freedom to Marry, said that the work being done is focusing on having an effect on the Supreme Court and will include supporters going to Republican meetings. “We are working in every way we can to show America is ready for the freedom to marry and that includes Republicans,” he recently told The Wall Street Journal
As for the broader Republican party, Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Republican National Committee told The Wall Street Journal, “It is up to the delegates to affirm our platform every four years.”
A Pew Research poll reveals that over 60 percent of Republicans below 30 are for same-sex marriage, Following the 2012 election, the RNC released a Growth & Opportunity Project report which noted the increasing need for inclusion if the party was going to appeal to younger voters. “We want to make sure youthful voters don’t see the Party as completely prejudiced of alternative points of view.”
The Republican party is finding out there is a generational diversity, inside the conservative branch, about matters concerning gay rights. For many younger voters, these issues are the gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.”