Young Republicans divided on same-sex marriage

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana Republican Party solidified its opposition to same-sex marriage during its state convention at the beginning of June.  But according to national research and a leader in Fort Wayne, young Republicans are divided on the issue.

A judge’s decision to strike down Indiana’s gay marriage ban on Wednesday was received with joyful celebration by same-sex couples across the state who rushed to get marriage licenses.  But it also received opposition by some within the state’s Republican party.

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Dan Kensinger is the chairman of the Allen County Young Republicans, a group with members from ages 18 to 40.  He says not all young people in the party are opposed to the judge’s decision.

“We have a range of opinions from supporting gay marriage, to opposing gay marriage, to not quite yet decided,” Kensinger explained. “The media have portrayed this as a party-line issue. And the reason I was pleasantly surprised was to hear that younger Republicans in Allen County are showing great thought into this idea. They’re bringing into discussion their personal experiences, their personal relationships, their political philosophy to discuss how this role-plays into the greater realm of our political system.”

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center is even more telling regarding same-sex marriage opinions in the Republican party.  In March of 2014, it found 61 percent of Republicans between the ages of 18 and 29 supported same-sex marriage.

But that percentage went down as the ages went up:

  • 43% of Republicans ages 30 to 49 favored same-sex marriage
  • 30% of Republicans 50 to 64 favored it
  • 22% of Republicans 65 and over favored it

Chairman of the Allen County Democratic Party John Court said he hasn’t heard of any Democrats in the area who have opposed the decision to allow same-sex marriages.

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