Conservatives and Republicans are hoping you’ll forget about all their anti-gay relations and speeches come 2016. As noted in Washington, DC’s METROWEEKLY magazine, at the spring 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), there was nary any mention of or against gays:
“I think throughout CPAC, if I’m being polite, there has been a sensitivity toward gay issues,” said Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. “If I’m being a little more cynical, a tiptoeing around gay issues.”
This is all in an effort to, hopefully, distance themselves and the Grand Old Party from its anti-gay and anti-equality stances of previous years. As poll after poll shows a positive move forward and more Americans being supportive of gay marriage, equality and gay rights in general, politicians are realizing if they want to win, they need to stop all that gay-hating that turned out their voters in the past. As of this writing, that’s a tricky tightrope to walk.
While conservative politicians may have ceased to be aggressively and outwardly against gay rights, they can’t yet openly embrace it either. Polling, though positive, still shows that there is a large enough group to whom the anti-gay stances would still have some sway. Conservative politicians have to walk that fine line of trying to please and appeal to both. The way they speak to the anti-gay crowd is now in more generic terms on family and values:
But while the negative may have diminished in 2014, it certainly hasn’t vanished.
Rick Santorum, who has run for president with campaigns firmly planted in social issues, told the audience he didn’t want to talk about “redefining marriage,” but about “reclaiming marriage as a good for society and celebrating how important it is for our economy.” From whom marriage must be reclaimed Santorum did not say, but it was easy enough to read between the lines.
This allows them to not renounce their previous anti-gay stances, while hoping that those for equality will forget them, or, perhaps, so they can shed them as we go into the next presidential election.