It hardly needs to be said that we're living in a time of massive shifts in public opinion in favor of LGBT rights, most notably marriage equality. This sea change is being led by Millennials -- the generation born between 1982 and 2000, an astonishing 81% of which supports marriage equality -- but it's happening across all demographic groups, including the group most stubbornly resistant to embracing equality: Republicans.
The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe reports:
The change is being spurred far away from Washington by state party officials and local GOP operatives who believe that it no longer makes political sense to block attempts to expand marriage rights to gay men and lesbians.
Illinois Republicans last weekend ousted party officials who disagreed with a former state party chairman's support for same-sex marriage. Nevada Republicans just days ago removed language from the party platform regarding whether gay men and lesbians should marry. A new fundraising committee supporting pro-gay marriage GOP congressional candidates announced last week that it raised more than $2 million in the first quarter from wealthy Republican donors who support gay rights. Even Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an outspoken social conservative critic of gay rights, said in a recent BuzzFeed interview that "I think we need to concede that there's been a real shift of public opinion on marriage."
Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign calls the shift a "tectonic change in the Republican Party," and of course, he's right. The question is whether the national party leadership and elected officials will listen.
More, after the jump.