Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was a guest contributor to the New York Times editorial page this morning. He figured this was a good place to reassert his opposition to gay marriage. Apparently non-Louisianans urgently needed the reminder.
As has become the fashion (and this is almost certainly a strategy cooked up by some high-priced, focus-group-humping consultancy inside the Beltway), Jindal carefully avoided the word “gay” when explaining his opposition to gay marriage.
Excepting the Beavis and Butthead-worthy headline, “I’m Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage” (which by custom would likely be written by someone at the Times), Jindal only used the word “gay” once in a column entirely about. . .gay marriage. For example, there was this passage about the fate of recent antigay measures in Indiana and Arkansas:
In Indiana and Arkansas, large corporations recently joined left-wing activists to bully elected officials into backing away from strong protections for religious liberty. It was disappointing to see conservative leaders so hastily retreat on legislation that would simply allow for an individual or business to claim a right to free exercise of religion in a court of law.
The emphasis here is mine. Jindal describes the popular objection to efforts to curb same-sex marriage as coming from “left-wing activists.” Apparently, this is the new term for “young Republicans,” who support same-sex marriage nearly as much as Democrats as a whole.
Depending upon whose polls you believe, support for same-sex marriage among Republicans in the millennial age category hovers somewhere around 60 percent, lagging just 15-20 percent behind their counterparts in the Democratic Party. That makes for a significant schism within the Republican Party on the same-sex marriage issue, the key predictor clearly being age. Here’s how it breaks down, according to Pew:
Ages 70 and older: Only 20 percent favor same-sex marriage.
Ages 56 to 69: 30 percent in favor
Ages 35-50: 42 percent in favor
Under 35: 58 percent in favor
The data on this issue is hilarious and tracks with the varying support levels among Republicans on a lot of other social issues, like marijuana legalization (support levels there are around 60 percent among young Republicans).
Reading between the lines, the children of older Republicans no longer agree with their nutbar parents on these key social issues. These young Republicans will probably change the party platform to reflect that split sometime in the near future.