Representatives from the group Young Conservatives for Freedom to Marry are meeting with Republican leaders in South Carolina this week as part of a campaign across early primary states to change the GOP platform’s language on marriage.
“There has to be room in the party for people with both points of view,” Tyler Deaton, campaign manager for Reform the Platform, told The Washington Post in an interview.
Marriage for same-sex couples became legal in South Carolina last month, and is now legal in all early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa. Deaton said the group hopes it can convince the party by 2016 to swap out five sections in the platform on marriage with new language.
“We’re starting this campaign very early,” Deaton said. “We’re trying to create the space for Republicans to step out on this issue.”
The proposed language says “marriage matters both as a religious institution and as a fundamental, personal freedom” and encourages “a thoughtful conversation among Republicans about the meaning and importance of marriage.”
“Because marriage — rooted in love and lifelong commitment — is one of the foundations of civil society, as marriage thrives, so our nation thrives,” the proposal reads. “We recognize that there are diverse and sincerely held views on civil marriage within the Party, and that support for allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry has grown substantially in our own Party.”
Marco Nuñez, Jr., a member of the campaign’s leadership committee who’s previously worked on campaigns for presidential campaigns for George W. Bush and John McCain, called the platform language “very neutral.”
“We’re not trying to ram anything down anyone’s throat,” he said. “We’re looking for language that reflects the party I know and love. We’re just looking for language that all Republicans can agree on.”
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry are meeting with lawmakers, college Republican groups and activists Tuesday and Wednesday throughout South Carolina, and have previously met with leaders in New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada.