Reince Priebus is holding the line against gay marriage.
The Republican National Committee chairman said that the party’s opposition to gay marriage isn’t going to change even in light of several high-profile defects from GOP members.
“I know our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman,” Priebus told MSNBC’s Luke Russert on Wednesday morning.
But Priebus also acknowledged that a growing number of Republicans are giving up their opposition. He added, “I also know that we have a party that’s going to be inclusive and is going to listen to people … That’s the type of party that I want to continue to build.”
Despite his assertions, it appears that the national sentiment is building against Priebus and other GOP members who stick to their opposition. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday shows that support for gay marriage has grown to its highest level ever, with 58 percent of Americans saying same-sex marriage should be legal.
This week, Ohio Senator Rob Portman announced that he would no longer oppose gay marriage, motivated in part by his 21-year-old son coming out as gay.
Portman told CNN: “I’m announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples’ opportunity to marry … I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I’ve had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay.”
Portman’s reversal comes after more than 75 Republicans signed onto a letter supporting a Supreme Court challenge of California’s gay marriage ban. The list of those signing on included some Republicans who had not spoken out against gay marriage before and others who reversed their stance on the issue.
Though Reince Priebus is holding the line on Republican gay marriage opposition, political experts believe it will become a smaller part of the GOP platform going forward.