The Republican National Committee’s investigation into its 2012 electoral defeat, dubbed their “Growth & Opportunity Project,” makes clear that it the party wants to expand its outreach to minority groups including Hispanics, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans, Women, and Youth. But rather than reaching out to LGBT people, the report suggests, the party need only reach out to the straight young voters who believe in LGBT equality.
In a section called “Demographic Partners,” the report — commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus — notes that the party’s presidential nominee lost among voters under age 30 by 5 million votes in 2012. But, with a “youthful” 41-year old RNC Chairman and likely 2016 hopefuls who are younger than Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it suggests that GOP can change its current image as “old and detached from pop culture.”
Since young voters generally disagree with the GOP platform on gay rights and see this and other social issues as the “civil rights issues of our time,” the report recommends that the GOP be “welcoming and inclusive.” But rather than welcoming LGBT people, it endorses inclusion of young conservative people who disagree with the party’s anti-LGBT beliefs but might have conservative views on other issues:
For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.
If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out. The Party should be proud of its conservative principles, but just because someone disagrees with us on 20 percent of the issues, that does not mean we cannot come together on the rest of the issues where we do agree.
It goes on to say: “On messaging, we must change our tone — especially on certain social issues that are turning off young voters.” In other words, the party will continue to oppose equal rights but will do so with a less strident approach.
Rather than work to appeal to the five percent of American voters who identify as LGBT — and preferred the Democratic nominee by a more than three-to-one margin — the GOP new plan is to stand by its exclusion, but try to sound inclusive when doing so.