As the debate on gay marriage continues at the Minnesota capitol, there are signs that Republican opposition to legalizing same sex unions is eroding.
As Rhode Island legislators voted to legalize gay marriage this week, all five of the state’s Republican senators voted for the measure. A Republican group called the American Unity Fund is lobbying Republicans across the nation to support gay marriage.
Their argument is, in part, that the rights of gays to marry is synonymous with the Republican ideal of individual rights and less government intrusion on personal decisions.
Here in Minnesota this week, a prominent Republican voice, Brian McClung, former Deputy Chief of Staff to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, voiced his support for gay marriage. The McClung endorsement also contained a stark warning to republicans.
In a newspaper editorial and several interviews McClung warned that if republicans do not do an about face on this issue they risk “losing an entire generation of voters.” McClung points out that polls show that Americans under 30 overwhelming support gay marriage.
The Republican votes in Rhode Island came as a surprise.
It’s not yet clear what will happen in the Minnesota legislature. But there are indications that if it doesn’t happen this year, it is likely just a matter of time.