Top McCain adviser Steve Schmidt made a surprisingly ringing endorsement of same-sex marriage in a speech to the Log Cabin Republicans:
It seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic natural rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence — liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, I believe, gives the argument of same sex marriage proponents its moral force.
I know mine is a minority view among Republicans, and I don't honestly expect our party will reverse in the very near term its opposition to same sex marriage. Nor do I yet see support for it from a strong majority of the general public. And, I do believe that such a highly charged political question such as this should be settled by the freely expressed will of the people, and not by the courts. That doesn't relieve advocates of the responsibility to make their case urgently. I understand how tired many Americans are of being admonished to be patient to right what they believe is an injustice. But I'm confident American public opinion will continue to move on the question toward majority support, and sooner or later the Republican Party will catch up to it.