Introducing our new ‘Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry’ campaign
July 10, 2012
In Washington, D.C. today, Freedom to Marry is launching Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, a new campaign to spotlight and increase support for conservatives in the United States who are speaking out on why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families. Freedom to Marry will also be hosting a brunch at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in late August in order to further bring together the key demographic in this new campaign.
The launch event today will feature a number of prominent conservative voices who support the freedom to marry. Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, who signed on as the first Republican co-sponsor for the Respect for Marriage Act, the law that would repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, is one of the event's speakers. She said:
As Republicans we believe in equality of opportunity rather than outcome. Most importantly, we believe that the individual and the family are the central engines in our society. The right for individuals to lead their lives without government intrusion is a bedrock conservative principle and it is much more than just about sexual orientation. It is about the fundamental rights we all share as Americans. It is about equality for all with no exceptions.
Public opinion polls demonstrate that young Republicans, Libertarians, and others who identify as conservatives are increasingly favoring the freedom to marry for all couples. In May, a poll from The Washington Post and ABC News indicated that 46% of self-identified Republicans ages 18-44 support the freedom to marry, and the rate of increase accelerates every year.
Last year's Public Religion Research Institute Survey found that nearly half (49%) of Republican Millenials favor the freedom to marry, while 19% of Republican seniors and 31% of all Republican said the same. Clearly, the next generation of conservatives is driving these tectonic shifts in their party, and their thoughtful voices and willingness to depart from the perspectives shared by their older party members should be applauded and supported.
Our National Campaign Director, Marc Solomon, discussed the importance of the campaign. He said:
The center of political gravity has shifted for good. The freedom to marry is fast becoming a bipartisan value embraced by all Americans who believe that love and commitment deserve support and protection. Freedom to Marry applauds this group of young conservatives for standing up to make the case.
The Young Conservatives campaign is headed by a dynamic leadership committee. The team members include CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover, Comcast government affairs manager Madeline Koch, New Hampshire Republican for Freedom and Equality Executive Director Tyler Deaton, Sarah Longwell, Denzenhall Resources VP Nicole Neily, International Center for Law & Economics Director of Operation Will Rinehart, government relations professional Torrey Shearer, and Marine Corps veteran Craig Stowell. Read all about the leadership committee HERE.