The Cycle
updated 4/11/2013 4:51:36 PM ET 2013-04-11T20:51:36

On the agenda for the RNC's spring strategy meeting: a resolution that would affirm the GOP's opposition to same-sex marriage.

The Republican National Committee could pass a resolution this week affirming the GOP’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Republican leaders began meeting Thursday in California for the RNC’s three-day spring meeting to discuss the party’s strategy moving forward on various issues that have created tension among conservatives since Mitt Romney’s loss in November.

But according to a copy of a resolution obtained by Yahoo! News, RNC members are considering a vote on whether or not the party should reaffirm “its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

The “Resolution for Marriage and Children 2013″ states that the institution of marriage “is the solid foundation upon which our society is built and in which children thrive” and states that “marriage is America’s greatest weapon against child poverty no matter what ethnic background individuals are.” The resolution also encourages Republicans to implore “the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.”

The chief sponsor of the resolution, RNC Resolutions Committee Chairwoman Carolyn McLarty, told the Washington Times in March that despite “increasing acceptance of homosexuality among younger voters, [it] does not mean the GOP will changes its stance on marriage to accommodate others who want to redefine marriage.”

While the resolution essentially re-states the Republican Party’s 2012 platform—which rejected an endorsement for same-sex civil unions and reaffirmed support for “traditional marriage” instead—a vote passing the resolution could further widen an already-growing gap within the GOP.

In a letter sent to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus obtained and verified by NBC News, 13 social conservatives representing various influential groups warned Priebus that they would leave the party if the GOP does not reconsider its position on social issues—particularly same-sex marriage.

“We respectfully warn GOP leadership that an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support,” the letter concludes.

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin denounced the possible resolution in an email statement, saying, “As the country and the GOP evolves on the issue of marriage for gay and lesbian couples, this resolution is a step backward from the party that Republican leaders say they are trying to build.

He added, “Instead of passing this resolution, the party should use this as an opportunity to reach young and independent voters who are tired of the divisive culture wars of the past.”

The RNC’s spring meeting comes at a time when both Republican and Democratic leaders across the country are announcing newfound support for legalizing same-sex marriage. Prominent Republicans who have spoken out recently include Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk.


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