Young Conservatives Launch $1 Million Effort to Reform 2016 GOP Platform on Marriage

4/16/2014

New campaign kicks off in early primary states, ends at GOP Convention

New York – Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is launching a $1 million campaign to reform the national Republican Party platform between now and the 2016 GOP convention. The group’s aim is to strike existing anti-gay language from the official party platform and replace it with more respectful and unifying language.

“It’s time to modernize the Republican Party,” said Tyler Deaton, campaign manager for the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. “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 limited government. The future of the Party is clear on the marriage issue- a seismic shift is already underway in support of the freedom to marry.”

A Pew poll earlier this year shows 61% of Republicans under the age of 30 supporting gay couples marrying. Another poll by the New York Times/CBS News shows a majority of Republicans under 45 are also supportive.

The new campaign, called "Reform the Platform," reflects and builds on grassroots pro-freedom successes already seen in states like NevadaIndianaCaliforniaOregon, and New Mexico.

The campaign is also in response to the Republican National Committee’s post-2012 election Growth and Opportunity Project. “We do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view,” noted the report. “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" will begin touring the early primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina this spring and summer.

Young Conservatives propose striking the anti-gay and anti-freedom to marry references in five different sections of the official platform. The group also wants to replace the divisive language with unifying language that reads:

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.

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Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is a campaign to highlight and build support for the freedom to marry among young conservatives across America. They represent the rapidly growing numbers of young conservatives across the country that agree all Americans should be able to share in the freedom to marry.