GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, who was the architect of John McCain’s presidential campaign, believes the Republican party should drop it’s opposition to gay marriage and gay rights to help grow the party. Read more about it below, see photos and watch a video.

Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt

Is the GOP running the risk of becoming the ‘religious party’ with its opposition to same-sex marriage? Steve Schmidt, a GOP operative for a number of top Republicans in the party including Dick Cheney, Arnold Schwarzenegger. and most recently John McCain, says the GOP needs to endorse civil unions and stop using the Bible as rationale for gay-marriage opposition or face ‘increased marginalization’.

He spoke to the DC convention for the Log Cabin Republicans — a grassroots group for gay and lesbian Republicans saying:

“If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party. And in a free country a political party cannot be viable in the long-term if it is seen as a sectarian party.”

“If the party is seen as anti-gay, then that is injurious to its candidates” in Democrat-leaning and competitive states, he said.

Steve Schmidt, whose sister is a lesbian, predicts gay marriage will create a bigger and bigger divide between the GOP and the electorate in the years ahead. He also believes that as young voters age, they may adopt conservative views on the economy and national security, but they will not abandon liberal, social beliefs.

Interesting. Once again, social conservatives — the core of the GOP — are called out as the problem for the GOP not winning elections. The 30 states that have adopted constitutional marriage amendments have passed them by an average margin of 68-32 percent but of course that isn’t part of this new enlightened strategy.

What ever happened to Republican orthodoxy? What ever happened to core values and the right to defend them instead of casting them off to appear more hip and socially appealing? Is compromising really the way to win hearts and minds? Social conservatives! Go sit in the back of the bus — but make sure you still vote GOP and give us your money and hours and hours of volunteerism!

Personally, I don’t think social issues win elections but I do not run from them, hide them, or even ‘set them aside’ because they are an integral part of my Christian belief system. I prefer we focus on taxes, bloated spending and national security. But for me, social issues become an issue when appointed uber-liberal judges become activists and forcibly insert themselves into my life.

Now, could someone remind me what Steve Schmidt did during John McCain’s failed 2008 campaign that shows he knows anything about what real Americans think? Just wondering.

More photos and a video from ‘Steve Schmidt: GOP, Civil Unions, Gay Marriage’ are below.

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Steve Schmidt Photos

Steve Schmidt Video