Young Conservatives and Log Cabin Republicans host brunch at RNC

This morning in Tampa, Florida, dozens of pro-equality young conservatives attended a brunch hosted by Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and Log Cabin Republicans. The brunch included attendees of the 2012 Republican National Convention, which ends tomorrow in Tampa. It was meant as an opportunity for conservative individuals who support the freedom to marry to come together and talk about their place in the Republican Party. For these people, their conservative values compel them to enthusiastically support - not reject - the freedom to marry. 

Many notable conservatives attended the brunch, including former Congressman Jim Kolbe, Maryland State Senator Allan Kittleman, Institute for Liberty President Andrew Langer, and three members of the Young Conservatives leadership committee - Margaret Hoover, Sarah Longwell, and Torrey Shearer, who all spoke at the event. 

Hoover, a CNN commentator and political strategist, spoke about the power of the next generation of Republicans, where we are seeing huge growth in support of ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Hoover said:

There are tectonic shifts happening just beneath the surface within the Republican Party on marriage that are starting to percolate up to the national dialogue. That's why we're here at the Republican National Convention - to continue to drive this very important conversation forward. Our group can help people see that supporting marriage for same-sex couples is absolutely consistent with the party's legacy of individual freedom and limited government. It is a profoundly conservative value.

A host of major media outlets - including New York magazineThe New York Times, and The Guardian, were on hand at the brunch to write about this exciting new organized stance for young conservatives who want to see an end to the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Time magazine reported on the significance of these young people coming together to support this value:

Pro-gay marriage Republicans emphasize the Party's changing demographics. Polls suggest that young conservatives favor gay marriage at higher rates than their older compatriots. In a Pew Research Center survey that polled the millennial generation, 37% of respondents who said they were Republican or leaned Republican also said they supported the legalization of gay marriage. Just 20% of Republicans overall say the same thing. "You are going to lose people. You are going to lose relevance," Longwell said of the GOP's stance. "At some point, it's going to look like you're so out of touch that people will abandon you." 

In addition to hosting the brunch, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and Log Cabin Republicans also made a splash in the local Tampa newspaper today. In this morning's edition of The Tampa Tribune, the groups took out a full-page advertisement calling for Republicans and conservatives to support the freedom to marry for all couples. Read more about the advertisement and take a look at it HERE

The attendance at this brunch and the positive response to the Tampa Tribune advertisement serve as evidence that the recently-revealed Republican Party platform, which takes an extreme oppositional position on LGBT issues, does not speak for all conservatives. The platform, announced last week, supports a federal constitutional amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couples. This decision ignores the rising number of conservatives - including nearly 200 state legislators and a huge number of young conservatives - who are standing up to say that they support the freedom to marry.