Politico may want to try considering the reality on the ground before making too many claims about the Republican Party and marriage equality. Just because they are silent or are backing down does not mean that they are not virulently opposed to same-sex marriage. After all, they are virulently, as a whole, opposed to contraception and abortion, but are finding that to be a difficult position to maintain. So, they remain silent about it.
Or tried to.
Politico notes in a recent article that:
Just a few years ago, House Republicans were trying to etch their opposition of gay marriage into the Constitution.
Now? They’re almost silent.
It’s been one of the swiftest shifts in ideology and strategy for Republicans, as they’ve come nearly full circle on same-sex politics. What was once a front-and-center issue for rank-and-file Republicans — the subject of many hotly worded House and Senate floor speeches — is virtually a dead issue, as Republicans in Congress don’t care to have gay marriage litigated in the Capitol.
Politico does not think this through. Rather, they stick by the idea that the GOP aren’t really opposed to same-sex marriage any more, or are at least more focused on the economy. The reality is that many of the leadership in the GOP know that same-sex marriage as an issue is now untenable, especially since it has not been a rip roaring success for Rick Santorum on the campaign trail.
Politico also wrote:
It’s not like the GOP has become a bastion of progressiveness on gay rights, but there has been an evolution in the political approach — and an acknowledgment of a cultural shift in the country. Same-sex relationships are more prominent and accepted. There are more gay public figures — including politicians — and it’s likely that many Washington Republicans have gay friends and coworkers. Just as important — there’s also a libertarian streak of acceptance on people’s sexuality coursing through the House Republican Conference.
“In one decade, what’s shocking on TV is accepted as commonplace in the other,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a veteran of the culture wars of the 1990s. “It’s the same with sexual mores all over that if you look at campuses and universities, they have a lot of gay pride clubs and so there has been a deliberate and effective outreach to the younger generation about being more accepting of same-sex relationships.”
If you want, you can read the rest at Politico. The problem is that the rhetoric on the campaign trail is hardly a match to any kind of evolution. All of the GOP Presidential contenders are opposed to marriage equality- including Mitt Romney. This really is not about some evolution within the Republican Party, but more of a split within the GOP, and a desire not to go into full out civil war within the Party.
In several states, including Ohio, moves towards equality have been pushed back by the Republican Party, and the GOP has pushed two amendments to ban same-sex marriage in the states because they can. The GOP just knows that they cannot win a battle over same-sex marriage in Congress, so they aren’t willing to pursue it, and that means they aren’t going to talk about it.