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by Chris Bodenner

A green shoot from the GOP on gay rights:

A major same-sex marriage fundraiser hosted by former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman and other Republicans provides one of the sharpest illustrations of how gay rights is becoming a cause among more elite, establishment members of the GOP. In addition to Mehlman, who recently announced that he was gay, the list of attendees includes several surprises, such as Ben Ginsburg, one of the Republican Party's top lawyers, and Henry Kravis and Paul Singer, two of the biggest donors to the GOP. According to one gay-rights activist involved in similar efforts, the fundraising pool goes even deeper. "There is a strong conservative case to be made in favor of gay marriage," former McCain campaign manager and fellow same-sex marriage fundraiser Steve Schmidt told the Huffington Post on Tuesday.

Money quote:

"I think there is a growing mass of people in Republican politics who are fundamentally sick and tired about being lectured to about morality and how to live your life by a bunch of people who have been married three or four times and are more likely to be seen outside a brothel on a Thursday night than being at home with their kids... There is a fundamental indecency to the vitriol and the hatred directed against decent people because of their sexuality.

Bold words - but the "prominent Republican" who said them didn't have the balls to print his or her name. So obviously there's still a long way to go. By the way, TNR recently released from its archives one of Andrew's conservative-based essays on gay marriage from 1996. The kicker:

The process of integrationlike today's process of "coming out"introduced the minority to the majority, and humanized them. Slowly, white people came to look at interracial couples and see love rather than sex, stability rather than breakdown. And black people came to see interracial couples not as a threat to their identity, but as a symbol of their humanity behind the falsifying carapace of race. It could happen again. But it is not inevitable; and it won't happen by itself. And, maybe sooner rather than later, the people who insist upon the centrality of gay marriage to every American's equality will come to seem less marginal, or troublemaking, or "cultural," or bent on ghettoizing themselves. They will seem merely like people who have been allowed to see the possibility of a larger human dignity and who cannot wait to achieve it.

An extended version of his argument here.

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