Will Republicans Step Up to Challenge on Values?
For sure, Democrats rejoiced as they watched Republicans painfully twist in the wind at the beginning of LGBTQ Pride Month, trying to figure out how to position their party on this issue.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel got flak from the right and from the left, as she essentially waved a white flag, declaring Republican Party neutrality on a key issue of our cultural conflicts.
"We will continue to grow our big tent by supporting measures that promote fairness and balance protections for LGBTQ Americans and those with deeply held religious beliefs," she tweeted.
But McDaniel's invitation to relegate these life-defining issues to the sidelines and enter a Republican big tent wasn't received with great enthusiasm.
In America's raging culture war, there is little doubt who is winning.
In 1996, according to Gallup, just 16% of Republicans said same-sex marriage should be legal. In 2021, this was up to 55%.
Across the board, what are generally thought of as traditional values have collapsed.
Twenty years ago, 40% of Americans said gay/lesbian relations were morally acceptable. In Gallup's most recent polling, it was 66%. Similarly, over this period, Americans saying out-of-marriage childbirth is morally acceptable went from 59% to 66%, sex between unmarried adults 53% to 72%, and divorce from 59% to 77%.
In 2006, 49% said that it is "very important" that couples with children legally marry. In 2020, this was down to 29%.
The point is that Republican pretense about neutrality on so-called social issues -- marriage, family, sexual identity -- is self-delusion.