Wednesday should have been a great day for Republicans.
For the previous 36 hours, political and media attention had been engrossed in the fallout from Hillary Clinton's exclusive use of a personal email to conduct government business while running the State Department. Instead, retired neurosurgeon and presidential hopeful Ben Carson hijacked a sizable piece of the spotlight, telling Chris Cuomo on CNN's New Day that he believes the scientifically unproven idea that homosexuality is a choice, citing prison rape as evidence.
That sent gay Republicans flying into damage control. In anticipation of a softened political climate on gay rights in the run-up to 2016, two major gay conservative groups, the Log Cabin Republicans and American Unity, are crafting strategies to position the GOP in the best possible light, both publicly and behind the scenes.
Calling Carson's comments "absolutely out of touch," Gregory Angelo, the executive director of Log Cabin Republicans—a gay conservative group with 30,000 members across the country—fired back. He disputed the narrative that Carson's views represent the entire Republican party, trying to minimize the fallout.
"This is one ridiculous statement by a man that does not have a chance to win the White House in 2016," Angelo told National Journal, noting that while he doesn't take Carson's comments "exceptionally seriously," he does feel the need to push back on them for the good of the party. "If Republicans express sentiment that is out of touch with the reality of gay families in the United States today, it's our duty to call them out on that."