Millennial are driving change in the Republican Party on issues such as Marriage Equality and LGBQT Rights. The movement is still in the early stages but the signs are clear, this won’t be your grandfather’s GOP. By 2024, the Tea Party may be seen has the fading high water mark of Social Conservatives in the Republican Party. A new GOP is starting to emerge around the edges that resembles the pre-Reagan party of Eisenhower, Roosevelt (Teddy), and even Nixon more that it does the party of Bush (H.W. and W) and Romney. McCain of 2000 belongs in the pre-Reagan group while the McCain of 2008 in the post.
Here in Oregon the change is highlighted by support shown for Marriage Equality by elected Republican officials such as Representatives Julie Parrish, Jim Thompson and Vicki Berger [Update: See James Owens, who is running to replace the retiring Vicki Berger is an openly gay candidate and help revive the OR chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans]. They, along with several former Republican officeholders, have voiced their support for removing Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The Republican candidate for House District 16, Jacob Vandever, makes the most strident call for change. Going beyond the issue of marriage equality to talk about “Running openly gay GOP candidates…”, and wanting to discuss issues such as homeless rates among the LGBTQ community. For a peek at just how profound the difference in social views between Millennial GOP’ers and some of the Old Guard we’ve posted an email excerpt that the Vandever campaign shared with Oregon Outpost.
“I think you alluded to it pretty well, but when you look at the 2008 Presidential Election President Obama and John McCain has fairly comparable stances on marriage equality. I like to joke with my friends that I have supported same-sex marriage longer than the President has.If the GOP acts quickly I don’t think that we have to “Miss the Boat” on these issues.
First things first the GOP needs to embrace groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans as good conservatives and make them welcome at events. Republicans also need to bring in people like Lisa Murkowski and Rob Portman and make it more acceptable for national GOP figures to be for marriage equality. Running openly gay GOP Candidates such as Richard Tisei in Massachusetts is also a positive step.
This is absolutely a generational issue, so I think getting more young people involved in shaping party rhetoric would be valuable. Republicans should also work to lift the FDA ban on gay male blood donation, and stay away from issues such as the Arizona religious freedom law.
The biggest thing that I think is needed is to be a positive force in the transition to a more accepting culture. Our LGBTQ homeless rates are outrageous, as are the rates of violence against LGBTQ folks.
At the end of the day I am sure we have some pretty dramatic differences on what policy solutions are necessary to fix the injustices related to different areas of oppression, but the GOP and myself need to send a clear message that the Democratic party does not have a monopoly on caring about those issues.
Anyways I hope that was what you were looking for, if there is anything else you need from me just let me know.
Have a great day.[Jacob Vandever]”