Young Conservatives launch $1 million effort to reform GOP platform on marriage
April 16, 2014
Today, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry launched a $1 million campaign to reform the Republican Party platform by striking anti-gay language and replacing it with unifying language. The campaign, called "Reform the Platform," officially kicks off today with emphasis on early primary states and will run until the 2016 GOP convention.
The goal of the "Reform the Platform" campaign is to strike anti-gay, anti-marriage language that currently exists in five different sections of the Republican Party platform. In addition, the campaign seeks to replace these sections with unifying language that respects differing views on marriage and unifies the Republican Party around common values of strong families, limited government, tolerance, and personal freedom.
We believe that marriage matters both as a religious institution and as a fundamental, personal freedom. Because marriage - rooted in love and lifelong commitment - is one of the foundations of civil society, as marriage thrives, so our nation thrives.
We believe that the health of marriage nationwide directly affects the social and economic well-being of individuals and families, and that undermining families leads to more government costs and more government control over the lives of its citizens. Therefore, we believe in encouraging the strength and stability of all families.
We recognize that there are diverse and sincerely held views on civil marriage within the Party, and that support for allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry has grown substantially in our own Party. Given this journey that so many Americans, including Republicans, are on, we encourage and welcome a thoughtful conversation among Republicans about the meaning and importance of marriage, and commit our Party to respect for all families and fairness and freedom for all Americans.
The campaign was created in response to increased Republican support for the freedom to marry and a growing division between older and younger GOP voters: This year, polls have tracked overall support for marriage among Republicans at 40%, with 61% of Republicans under the age of 30 saying they support marriage for same-sex couples.
A GOP report following the 2012 elections affirmed that young voters see social issues "as the civil rights issues of our time," adding: "We do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays…If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out."
"Reform the Platform" is also a reflection of pockets of grassroots activism that have already begun to change official Republican stances in a growing range of states, from Nevada to Indiana and California to Oregon, where party leaders are modifying their state platforms to make the language less divisive. Most recently and prominently, Republicans in Nevada removed language restricting marriage to different-sex couples.
Tyler Deaton, campaign manager for Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, explained today:
It’s time to modernize the Republican Party. Our aim is to make the national platform less divisive toward gay people and their families - and more focused on unifying all conservatives around our core beliefs of freedom, family, and individual liberty. The future of the Party is clear on the marriage issue - a seismic shift is already underway in support of the freedom to marry.
Between now and the 2016 presidential election, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry will tour the country to actively engage conservative advocates, beginning in the key primary states: New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina.
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is the campaign to highlight and build support for the freedom to marry among young conservatives across the United states.