With recent polls showing that a majority of voters under 34 favor marriage equality, it'd make sense that some of the more rational members of the G.O.P. would start paying less and less attention to the Evangelical voter behind the curtain and trying to broaden the party's base by supporting same-sex unions. After all, the party's future relevance is at stake and even the most sincerely bigoted politician or political power broker loves one thing more than anachronistic societal mores — political power.
Writing on the the New York Times' op-ed page, Frank Bruni profiled one of the most important Republican donors in the country — 67-year-old billionaire hedge fund manager Paul E. Singer, whose expensive effort to support gay rights is starting to gain some traction within the G.O.P. Singer, who recently raised $5 million for Mitt Romney (an avowed opponent of same-sex marriage) at a Manhattan fundraiser, has given almost $10 million to gay-rights initiatives not just in his home state of New York, but also in New Hampshire and New Jersey. That figure, adds Bruni, doesn't even include the assistance to a wider network of donors supporting individual candidates, such as the $250,000 worth of support for each Republican state senator whose votes for the state's same-sex marriage legislation accounted for its margin of victory. Singer's latest move has been to set up a $1 million super PAC that he and some like-minded Republicans have called the American Unity PAC, whose sole mission it will be to fund Republican candidates that support same-sex unions and help them feel financially shielded from groups opposing such unions.
Whatever other problems you may have with the Republican party or however cynical you may be that this is simply a very smart, calculated move to help keep the G.O.P. from eventually going extinct in a cretaceous burst of moral righteousness, Singer has a lot of financial weight to throw behind the national push for same-sex unions and his efforts show that other Republicans are willing to get on board. Former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman told Bruni, "A political party that ignores demography or ignores broader cultural trends does so at its own peril," and it seems to finally be dawning on at least some other prescient Republicans that opposing same-sex unions is like trying to build a Delorean time machine and going back to the time when Ronald Reagan, the actor, was president.
Besides, keeping government out of people's lives seems to be the most popular Republican stump refrain, so getting rid of laws that keep lifelong partners from being legally recognized as lifelong partners offers Republicans the chance to purge the party of some of its more onerous philosophical contradictions.
The G.O.P.'s Gay Trajectory [NY Times]