The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Lane: Republicans should heed gay marriage trends

“The union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard,” reads the official stance of the Republican Party, according to CNN. Or at least, that’s what it reads for now.

Gay conservatives working with the nonpartisan advocacy group Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry hope to have the wording of the party’s platform changed by the 2016 Republican National Convention to a more open, and accepting, phrase.

This would be the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan took every Electoral College vote except for those of Minnesota and Washington, D.C.

According to the CNN article from last weekend, a New York Times public opinion poll showed that 40 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Republicans under the age of 45 support same-sex marriage.

But 40 percent of the Republican Party is less than a majority and would seem to indicate that leaving the party platform as is would result in stronger support from its base. However, if you dig a little deeper, there is a more important trend going on.

According to a Gallup Poll conducted in May, same-sex marriage support reached an all-time high of 55 percent. What is startling, however, it the percentage of those in the 18-29 years demographic that believes same-sex marriage should be legal: 78 percent.

That’s incredible. The same poll from 1996 had support from this group at just 41 percent — a 37 percentage-point swing and one that should be the writing on the wall for the Republican Party.

For the majority of my life (only two years of which I have been legally able to vote), I have considered myself a moderate. The problem is, like many people in my generation, social issues are very important to me, which often pushes me to favor the Democratic candidate.

It would appear that I’m not alone. According to another Gallup Poll, until the age of 44, reported party affiliations consistently favor Democrats over Republicans. In fact, they favor Democrats so much so that between the ages of 18 and 29, the lowest percentage-point difference between the two parties is 10, while the highest is an impressive 18.

While I often agree with the conservative viewpoints on economy and government-funded organizations and programs, I have difficulty backing the Republican Party whose official view does not allow for same-sex marriage.

The preamble of the GOP platform includes the following statement: “This platform affirms that America has always been a place of grand dreams and even grander realities, and so it will be again, if we return government to its proper role, making it smaller and smarter.”


I’ve always found it rather ironic that a platform headlined by decreasing the size of government (an idea of which I am quite fond) also preaches that marriage be controlled and limited to only a man and a woman.

Should this advocacy group succeed in changing the official stance on gay marriage of the GOP, it would be a huge leap forward for the party and would push it one step closer to gaining a larger portion of the younger demographic, a push that may prove critical in the next presidential election.

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