Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) — a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016 — rejected former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s argument that conservatives must embrace marriage equality for gays and lesbians if they want to survive as a party and reiterated his support for “traditional marriage.”
“Look, I believe in the traditional definition of marriage,” Jindal said during an appearance on Meet The Press on Sunday, and went on to claim that Republicans don’t have to make the case on social issues to attract young voters and win future elections and instead should continue focusing on economic issues. “We lost [the 2012 election] because we didn’t present a vision showing how we believe the entire economy can grow, how people can join the middle class. We’re in aspirational party and we need policies that are consistant with that aspirational private sector growth.”
In an essay for The American Conservative entitled “Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause,” Huntsman — a Mormon whose previous support for civil unions set him apart from Republican presidential candidates in 2012 — argued that if the Republican Party wants to survive, it must enhance its appeal to gay Americans and the growing majority that supports marriage equality.
“[I]t’s difficult to get people even to consider your reform ideas if they think, with good reason, you don’t like or respect them,” Huntsman wrote. “Building a winning coalition to tackle the looming fiscal and trust deficits will be impossible if we continue to alienate broad segments of the population….Consistent with the Republican Party’s origins, we must demand equality under the law for all Americans.”