The state of Indiana famously found itself in the middle of an embarrassing fight last year after passing a so-called “religious freedom” bill, which opponents claimed would target LGBT people. The nation looked on as numerous protests followed, and the state took an enormous economic hit after corporations and major organizations registered their displeasure at the bill’s passage.
So perhaps it’s not surprising that in a new focus group report, Indiana Republicans overwhelmingly chose one option when asked which issue party leaders should stay far away from: same-sex marriage.
The poll, from the Annenberg Center for Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, focused on a dozen GOP primary voters in Indiana, 11 of whom were described as “hardcore.” Nearly all of the questions were about the Republican presidential candidates, until this tidbit at the end:
In light of the myriad other pressing issues facing the country, when asked which issues they believe Republicans should stay quiet about and just move on from, Republican primary voters decisively choose gay marriage.
Eight in 12 focus group participants say they want Republicans to “just shut up” about same-sex marriage. In a state that has seen its share of controversy around gay marriage, these Republican primary voters say we have so many other bigger problems to fix, such as healthcare, terrorism, and the economy.
There is a sense that for the most part it does not affect their lives directly and there is no point in arguing about it anymore.
It will be interesting to see if party leaders take their advice, and if GOP legislators in other states (ahem) will be wary of throwing their support behind “religious freedom” bills or any other legislation that could chip away at the LGBT community’s freedom to marry or other rights.