A new poll released by the Joel Benenson of the Benenson Strategy Group and Jan van Lohuizen of Voter Consumer Research has found that the majority of young U.S. Republicans support legalizing same-sex marriage. Fifty-one percent of Republicans under the age of 30 support marriage equality, a five-point margin over the 46% who oppose it.
The report was commissioned by the group Freedom to Marry and was carried out by pollsters on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the political spectrum. Van Lohuizen was pollster for George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, while Benenson was the lead pollster in 2012 for Barack Obama.
“What a great affirmation of the changing tide in the Republican Party,” said the director of New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality, Tyler Deaton. “We’ll continue to push for equality, knowing that the future of our party depends on full freedom in marriage.”
This serves as further proof that Republicans are slowly rounding the bend and realizing that marriage equality should be possible for any couple who wants to make that commitment. Last week, many prominent Republican leaders filed a brief with the Supreme Court that urged the strike-down of California’s Proposition 8. The brief was organized by the well-known Republican Kenneth Mehlman and was signed by several other Republicans he had recruited to the cause. Mehlman has continually argued for marriage equality on the basis that it is consistent with the basic ideology of Conservatives.
Perhaps the combination of Kenneth Mehlman’s marriage equality campaigning and young Republicans’ recognition of basic human rights will stir older, more powerful members of the GOP to change their stances. Time continues to deteriorate the numbers of those against equal rights, and soon they will have no choice but to accept what is right. After all, aren’t politicians supposed to represent the opinions of their constituents?