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March 25, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A slight majority of Republicans now support legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” (SSM) according to a poll released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).

The Hill reported that PRRI found the number of Republicans who back same-sex “marriage” rose to 51 percent last year, up from 47 percent in 2019. Democrats and Independents support it by larger margins, as they have for years.

The report also claimed that 62 percent of Republicans support “LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in housing, careers and public accommodations,” which The Hill used to imply that the so-called “Equality Act” currently before the U.S. Senate is mainstream legislation. However, the wording of PRRI’s questions does not reveal or ask about the full scope of what the bill would actually do.

Conservatives argue its true purpose is not to protect homosexual or gender-confused Americans from actual harm but to force religious adoption agencies to place children in same-sex homes; force other Americans such as photographers, florists, and bakers to participate in same-sex “weddings”; force employers and businesses to accommodate cross-dressing and sex-change treatments regardless of their own values or policies; and to force women and girls to share sleeping quarters, showers, changing areas, and bathrooms with gender-confused males.

Even so, the survey’s results (if accurate) reflect a consistent long-term trend. Over the past decade, the Republican Party’s national leadership effectively gave up making the case for preserving natural marriage, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered all 50 states to recognize same-sex “marriages” in the Obergefell ruling.

While he governed as a pro-lifer, championed the political Right in numerous culture-war battles, and opposed the LGBT lobby’s forays into gender fluidity, former President Donald Trump was the first president to support same-sex “marriage” since before taking office, further normalizing the position within the conservative movement.

Full social conservatives remain a large, integral part of the conservative coalition, but pro-SSM sentiment holds sway among several of its factions, including members of the Republican establishment who prioritize economics over cultural matters, libertarians who seek a large-scale reduction in government functions, and some self-styled populists who see “compromise” on the issue as key to bringing in new voters.