In a speech to the conservative gay rights group Log Cabin Republicans, former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt urged his party to start embracing same-sex marriage.
“There is a sound conservative argument to be made for same-sex marriage. I believe conservatives, more than liberals, insist that rights come with responsibilities. No other exercise of one’s liberty comes with greater responsibilities than marriage,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt said allowing gay marriage is congruent with the cornerstone Republican belief that government should stay out of people’s personal lives, and that the GOP must become more accepting if it wants to end the party’s shrinking numbers, particularly among young voters. “People are turned off in large measure by what they see as intolerance coming out of the party,” he told CNN.
Schmidt’s endorsement of marriage equality came the same week that Republicans announced the formation of GOProud, a non-profit organization representing conservative LGBT people and their allies, which seeks to educate people on political candidates and public policy issues.
Meghan McCain, another high-profile Republican, recently wrote in her public blog, “I seem 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.”