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.
Even more than that, Republican leadership has evolved, too. It has quietly worked behind the scenes to kill amendments that reaffirm opposition to same-sex unions, several sources told POLITICO.
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.
Politico’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer write that, in the new political climate, Republicans are scared to take on the gay-marriage issue. Read the full story, it’s worth it.