By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY–The Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry hosted a reception Friday night at the Fathoms Lounge at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza during the Young Republican National Federation’s annual convention.
According to an interview with The Huffington Post, the organization sought a spot on the official program, but they were denied.
“With support for marriage continuing to rise (and in the wake of the court rulings), the this convention isn’t even addressing the issue. So the Young Conservatives are hoping to spark conversation and slowly get the GOP to change its adversarial stance, for the good of the Party as well as the nation,” said Nicole Collins Bronzan, the organization’s Communications Director.
In an interview with The Alabama Political Reporter, Tyler Deaton, the campaign manager for the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and a founding member of the organization, said the reception was an attempt to “bring the conservative case for marriage to the Heart of Dixie and to share it with the Young Republicans who will be among the leaders of the Party for years to come.”
Deaton said the event was “well-received” and attended by ove 50 convention attendees.
“Support for marriage is consistently growing among young conservatives, and the success of this event puts faces to those numbers,” Deaton said.
Recently, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that 81 percent of young Americans ages 18-29 support equal marriage. Couple that statistic with the same demographic’s voting behavior: two-thirds of whom voted for President Obama. Doing the math, approximately 42% of Romney-supporters would support equal marriage initiatives.
Deaton supported that estimate. “Nearly half of Republican Millennials favor allowing gay and lesbian people to marry,” he said.
A recent ABC poll showed that 52% of Republican and GOP-leaning Independents under 50 years old support the freedom to marry.
Recently, several notable elected officials, including Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) all publicly supported equal marriage.
This could be because “gay people are more visible than they have been in the past,” leading young people to “get to know their gay peers and see why marriage matters to them,” Deaton thinks.
“If the Republican Party wants to stay relevant, it must stand on the right side of history and support marriage for same-sex couples,” Deaton said.
Following landmark decisions by the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, Deaton says that the leaders of the Republican Party “need to engage in the conversation” in their attempt “to grow stronger and win more votes.”
The Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry launched in July, 2012 to “give a voice to the growing number of Conservatives, Republicans and right-of-center Americans who support marriage for same-sex couples.” The original organization began with eight leadership members and has since grown to more than 22 states.
Recently, several members of the Young Republicans Federation of Alabama took a stance on the side of equal marriage following the Supreme Court’s decision. Read more here: