Monday, May 20, 2013
Josh Lederman and Thomas Beaumont/The Associated Press
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FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 file photo, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's annual birthday fundraiser in Altoona, Iowa. Rubio and other prominent Republicans are calling for a sweeping review of how to prevent tragedies like the Newtown, Conn., massacre. For years, Republicans have adhered fiercely to their bedrock conservative principles, resisting Democratic calls for tax hikes, comprehensive immigration reform and gun control. Now, seven weeks after an electoral drubbing, some party leaders and rank-and-file alike are signaling a willingness to bend on all three issues. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
If silence is a signal, shifts on other issues could be coming, chief among them gay marriage, which the GOP base long has opposed. Exit polls found half of all Americans say same-sex marriage should be legally recognized.
After three states — Washington, Maryland and Maine — voted to legalize gay marriage last month, the Republican leadership generally has remained quiet on the issue. And there has been no effort in the House or Senate to push major legislation, only narrower proposals, such as a move in the Armed Services Committee to bar gay marriages at military facilities.
But in a sign that the fight over gay marriage also may be waning within the GOP base, Newt Gingrich said it was time for Republicans to accept shifting public opinion.
The former House speaker, who oversaw passage of the Defense of Marriage Act in Congress and helped finance state campaigns to fight gay marriage in 2010, said in a Huffington Post interview that the party should work toward acceptance of rights for gay couples, while still distinguishing them from marriage.
"The momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding some way to . accommodate and deal with reality," Gingrich said.