Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, the GOP candidate challenging Congressman Frank Pallone in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District (Middlesex and Monmouth Counties), criticized the Republican National Committee for falling to soften its stand against gay marriage.
“Let me be blunt, the Republican National Convention’s Platform Committee did a terrible disservice to the Republican Party, by failing to recognize a clearly selfevident diversity of opinion within our ranks on the issue of same-sex marriage,” said Sonnek-Schmelz, pointing to a failed amendment offered by openly gay Washington, DC Delegate Rachel Hoff. “How can we expect men and women who share our beliefs on lower taxes, balanced budgets, school choice and a strong national defense to stand with the Republican Party, when the Party won’t stand with them when it comes to something so basic as the ability to marry someone you love? We can and must do better. I am eager to be part of a new generation of Republicans with the courage to continue changing hearts and minds on this issue by making my voice heard.”
The 112 member Republican platform committee, meeting in Cleveland yesterday, rejected language offered by Hoff, a former staffer at the National Republican Congressional Committee, that would have acknowledged “a diversity of opinion within our party” on same-sex marriage. Only 20 committee members voted in favor of Hoff’s proposal.
Hoff told BloombergPolitics that a majority of Republicans of “millenial” age support same-sex marriage, as do 64% of young evangelical Republicans. If the party wants a future, it should be mindful of those statistics and evolve, she said.
“We are your daughters, we are your sons, your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, the couple that sits next to you in church,” Hoff said, her voice wavering,according to Bloomberg. “Freedom means freedom for everyone, including gays and lesbians.”