In the GOP, It's Staffers Vs. Candidates on Gay Rights

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While Republican candidates publicly oppose gay marriage, Huffington Post's Sam Stein points out that the staffers who work for them often support it:

... A large chunk of the GOP operative class has no problem with expanding gay rights, but those staffers nonetheless work for candidates who are principally opposed to such moves.
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Steve Schmidt, who managed John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, waited until after the election to announce that he not only supports gay marriage but also believed the Republican Party would be better off supporting it in its platform. Ken Mehlman, who served as the campaign manager for the 2004 presidential reelection campaign of George W. Bush -- in which the prospect of gay marriage served as a key, divisive social issue -- came out of the closet only after removing himself thoroughly from politics.

Below campaigns' top tiers, such ideological differences are even more common. Liz Mair, who worked alongside Richardson at the Republican National Committee and helped the McCain campaign, joined the firm Hynes Communications after the 2008 election. While at that post, she shifted between the worlds of commentary, campaign consulting and issue advocacy -- the latter of which landed her a gig on the advisory board of the Republican group GOProud, which supports expanding gay rights.

Which perhaps suggest that, as time goes by, we'll see more GOP opinion leaders and publicly supporting gay marriage. Pew reported in October that Republican support for gay marriage sat at 24 percent, up from 19 percent the previous year.

Read Stein's full story at The Huffington Post.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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