The umbrella organization that has been pushing the issue of marriage equality for the past several years today unveiled a new group of young people one the right side of the political spectrum who favor same-sex marriage.
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is an effort to give voice to young people who want to identify as conservative but without the constraints of the vehement opposition to same-sex marriage that is often thought to embody the label. A kick-off event in Washington D.C. today featured a discussion by members of the campaign’s leadership committee on their support for the program.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, told The Politicker in a phone interview that people are unaware of how the conservative demographic is changing. “More than I think people realize, there’s movement and there’s shift within the Republican party and these young people are part of that,” he said.
On their website, the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry group cites a recent poll by the NBC/Wall Street Journal that showed that support for the freedom to marry in Republicans has grown by 41 percent since 2009 and a similar poll by the ABC News/Washington Post that revealed that 46 percent of republicans aged 18-44 support marriage freedoms.
“We think its important that people hear from those voices, the voices of the future,” said Mr. Wolfson. “Particularly as the republican party seems out of step with other parties and also with people who are in there own party.”
Young Conservatives for Freedom to Marry aims to show that marriage freedom is not a bipartisan issue. They will work to repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act” and lobby against laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Mr. Wolfson said that the same-sex marriage benefits do not clash with classic GOP values like personal freedom and personal responsibility. “What these conservative young voices are saying is that support for freedom to marry respects bedrock American values,” he said.
He added that he thinks people will be hearing more from these young conservatives in the future. “I think they really speak to where more and more republicans are moving,” he told us. “Catching up with where democrats and independents already are.”