Two leading Republicans leaders in the District announced their support Tuesday for efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the District.
Robert J. Kabel, the chairman of the D.C. Republican Committee, and Patrick Mara, an unsuccessful Republican council nominee last year, both pledged to lobby Republicans on Capitol Hill to stay out of the same-sex marriage debate in the District.
"On behalf of a large constituency of D.C. Republicans, we would like to thank you," the two wrote to Council member David A. Catania (I-At large) Tuesday after he introduced his legislation. "We appreciate your efforts in supporting this long overdue legislation in the District of Columbia...We would like to offer our support in aiding the advancement of this bill in Congress, particularly amongst Republicans."
Kabel is believed to be the only openly gay chairman of a state GOP committee in the nation. Mara, who is heterosexual, has been a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage. He is also widely believed to still have ambitions of joining the council.
The comments from Kabel and Mara put them odds with many of their counterparts in other state GOP committees, but highlight the local party's progressive views on many social issues.
Still, local GOP officials are limiting the committee's role in the same-sex marriage debate.
Although Kabel and Mara made public their letter to Catania, the committee itself does not plan to endorse Catania's bill. The D.C. Democratic Committee approved a resolution earlier this summer supporting same-sex marriage.