Signs G.O.P. Is Rethinking Stance on Gay Marriage

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — It was only five years ago that opposition to gay marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.

The fact that a run of states have legalized gay marriage in recent months — either by court decision or by legislative action — with little backlash is only one indication of how public attitudes about this subject appear to be changing.

More significant is evidence in polls of a widening divide on the issue by age, suggesting to many Republicans that the potency of the gay-marriage question is on the decline. It simply does not appear to have the resonance with younger voters that it does with older ones.

Consider this: In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

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