Social Conservatives' Stern Warning to GOP: You Can't Win Without Us

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    (Photo: The Christian Post)
    Gary Bauer, president of American Values and former President Reagan’s chief domestic policy advisor, honors ambassador Daniel Ayalon and his wife Anne on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007 in Washington, D.C.
By Melissa Barnhart, CP Reporter
April 12, 2013|1:55 pm

Thirteen influential social conservative organizations warn Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, that the party will be making a "huge historical mistake" if they marginalize the base and change their stance on the core values of its platform, namely support for traditional marriage.

Members of the Republican National Committee are in Los Angeles, Calif., for their spring meeting and will vote on a resolution to continue their opposition to same-sex marriage.

In a letter sent to Priebus on Monday, the high-profile conservatives dissect the RNC's 100-page Growth and Opportunity Project report, released last month, which Priebus named as being the RNC's autopsy, by expressing their "displeasure" in its statements about conservatives' inability to reach out to minority groups, and the underlying fears about the party's future if it doesn't support same-sex marriage.

The report states that Republicans must "… campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too." It adds, "If we want ethnic minority voters to support Republicans, we have to engage them, and show our sincerity."

Likewise, the report cites the appearance of a generational gap in support for same-sex marriage, by claiming: "There is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays – and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be."

In their letter, the social conservatives provide examples of coalition building among minority communities, and disagree with the RNC's findings that the party is mistreating members of the gay community. "The fact that the Party is strongly committed to traditional marriage has not prevented their involvement through GOProud or Log Cabin Republicans. We deeply resent the insinuation that we have treated homosexuals unkindly personally."

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Social conservatives also take aim at the RNC's claims that the party must change its position on same sex-marriage, citing the voting outcomes in Maryland and Illinois, in which social conservatives worked with Hispanic and black leaders to oppose same-sex marriage on the ballot in Maryland; and recently, in the state House in Illinois, where the Democrat-majority has stalled a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state.

"It would be wonderful if both political parties would be in agreement with the timeless values of our society," said Kristi Hamrick of American Values, a conservative nonprofit organization that was among the 13 signers on the letter to the RNC.

"The GOP has prospered from the three-legged coalition of social conservatives, economic conservatives and conservatives who support a strong national defense. These issues are not an insignificant part of the GOP," Hamrick said about the support for traditional marriage, and other core values that are important to the millions of grassroots social conservatives who are essential to the effectiveness of the working coalition.

Hamrick told The Christian Post on Friday that Gary Bauer, the president of American Values and one-time presidential candidate, is reminding the GOP that support from social conservatives and these values are central to the GOP's success, and have been since President Ronald Reagan was elected.

"These are the issues that inspire Americans across the board. The GOP cannot win exclusively with moderates. They can only win with all three sides of the coalition, when all sides of the three-legged stool are represented," Hamrick stressed.

RNC spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski told CP in a statement on Friday, "Conservative leaders have been working for several weeks on a resolution that reaffirms all planks of our platform. The committee is expected to approve this resolution today."

The letter writers include: James Dobson of Family Talk Action, Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, among others.

 

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