WASHINGTON, D.C., April 22, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Republican voters continue to be at odds with many party leaders and donors on the issue of marriage, a new national poll shows.
Over three-quarters of GOP voters support marriage being kept between a man and a woman, according to the poll, released last week by the Family Research Council and American Values. The release came a few days after the Nevada GOP decided to drop support for marriage from its platform, and in Illinois six of seven state party committee members were replaced after they pushed back against a former chairman's support for same-sex “marriage.”
A number of billionaire donors to the Republican Party are also supporting candidates who back same-sex “marriage,” and making other moves to push the party to support changing the definition of marriage.
According to American Values president Gary Bauer, the GOP should prioritize its voters' support for marriage, not the preference of party leaders and donors. “That battle's been there forever. I cut my teeth with the Reagan campaign, and the establishment hated Reagan,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“A lot of folks in the leadership of the Republican Party believe in every ounce of their beings that values issues are costing them elections,” says Bauer. “I believe the exact opposite — even on marriage, there are more Americans who agree with the GOP on supporting traditional marriage as opposed to not increasing taxes on billionaires, or cutting Social Security.”
Bauer blames some of the split in the GOP over marriage on “a growing libertarian faction in the Republican Party.” He says that “they certainly have their own influence on the reluctance on values issues — life and marriage issues.”
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The solution, according to Bauer, is “literally millions of successful Christian businessmen and women in America who have not invested their funds in the life issue or the marriage issue. If they want to stop the drift in America away from Judeo-Christian values, those people need to step up.”
Bauer says pro-life and pro-marriage business owners could change the course of American politics in weeks. “If those business owners who are pro-life and believe in marriage between a man and a woman, and support religious liberty, were to donate their money, it would take a mere 30 days to run ads, social media campaigns, and to get the ads out for the 2014 races and the 2016 presidential race.”
In a public statement, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said, “Republican voters continue to resist the demands of cultural elites who want to see the party abandon the very core values that gave rise to American exceptionalism. Republican voters, like everyone else, have seen that redefining marriage is really about fundamentally altering all of society.”
Republican National Committee spokesman Raffi Williams told LifeSiteNews that the national committee is not abandoning its principles. “Our party stands for traditional marriage,” said Williams. “It’s stated in our party platform, which guides our party until the next national convention.”
The poll showed 82 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters believe that marriage should not be redefined, and two-thirds of all respondents “definitely disagree” with the idea “that politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.”
The poll, which asked over 800 people their opinions, stands in stark contrast to surveys and polls of the American population at large. The Public Religion Research Institute released a survey of over 4,500 respondents showing that over half of the American public supports same-sex “marriage.”