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A former management analyst at the Library of Congress is claiming he was fired after he “liked” a Facebook page for same-sex parents, an act he says led to his boss discovering he is gay. 

Peter TerVeer liked the “Two Dads” page on Facebook, a group that helps “promote the gay and lesbian community,” according to the page.

When his manager, John Mech, discovered he was gay, TerVeer’s once-positive performance reviews turned negative, he alleges, and his boss started making derogatory statements about his sexual orientation, according to TerVeer’s attorney Thomas Simeone.

Simeone would not comment on details of the case, but a Roll Call article published Tuesday said shortly after TerVeer liked the Two Dads page:

TerVeer said he started to receive emails from Mech that contained ‘religiously motivated harassment and discrimination.’ Mech then called him into a meeting for the purposes of ‘educating him on hell and that it awaited him for being a homosexual.’

TerVeer’s therapist ordered him to take medical leave because of the stress, Simeone said. He was fired last week for missing 37 consecutive days of work.

A spokeswoman for the Library of Congress said she could not comment on personnel matters. But the Library released a statement saying, “Library of Congress employees, like all employees in the federal government, have protection against workplace discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Library employees who believe they have been subjected to discrimination may avail themselves of an internal administrative process to address their equal employment opportunity complaints.”

TerVeer filed a claim with Library of Congress’ Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints Office, Simeone said. The office has until mid-May to make a ruling. After that, TerVeer can take his case to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer would not comment on the case.

Even though sexual orientation discrimination was part of the case, Simeone said his client will fight the termination based on religious bias. He saidlaws protecting workers against sexual orientation discrimination are limited and provide few, if any, remedies for compensating workers in cases like TerVeer’s.

Whatever the outcome, it’s a wake-up call for employees who may not yet understand the extent to which their social media participation can impact their careers. The question of what’s private and what’s not on social networking sites is rearing its head in the workplace more often.

This month Maryland became the first state to ban the practice of asking for a job candidate or worker’s social networking password; and Illinois is considering similar legislation, said Daniel Prywes, an employment attorney for Bryan Cave.  “The proposed bills would broadly prohibit employers from seeking access to private areas of social media accounts, with no exceptions for law enforcement or similar sensitive types of employment.”

Facebook has threatened to “take action to protect the privacy and security of our users” in cases where employers seek passwords.

While most companies don’t cyber snoop on workers and job candidates, it can be legal for your employer to mine your social media meandering and take adverse action against you for something on your Facebook orLinkedIn, as long as your employer doesn’t thwart discrimination laws or collective bargaining rights.

 

MSNBC.com

By Eve Tahmincioglu

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NEW YORK — A day before Easter, the head of New York’s Roman Catholic archdiocese faced a challenge to his stance on gay rights: the resignation of a church charity board member who says he’s “had enough” of the cardinal’s attitude.

Joseph Amodeo told The Associated Press on Saturday that he quit the junior board of the city’s Catholic Charities after Cardinal Timothy Dolan failed to respond to a “call for help” for homeless youths who are not heterosexual.

“As someone who believes in the message of love enshrined in the teachings of Christ, I find it disheartening that a man of God would refuse to extend a pastoral arm” to such youths, Amodeo said in his letter to the charitable organization last Tuesday.

Phone and email requests from the AP for comment from the archdiocese were not immediately answered on Saturday.

The conflict started with a letter to Dolan from Carl Siciliano, founder of the nonprofit Ali Forney Center that offers emergency services to homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people. He said the cardinal’s “loud and strident voice against the acceptance of LGBT people” creates “a climate where parents turn on their own children.”

“As youths find the courage and integrity to be honest about who they are at younger ages, hundreds of thousands are being turned out of their homes and forced to survive alone on the streets by parents who cannot accept having a gay child,” Siciliano wrote in his letter, sent last week.

Siciliano, who is Catholic, said parents who are strongly religious are much more likely to reject children who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Of the nation’s homeless youths, as many as 40 percent are LGBT, studies show.

Siciliano received a response from the cardinal in a letter dated March 28.

“For you to make the allegations and insinuations you do in your letter based on my adherence to the clear teachings of the Church is not only unfair and unjust, but inflammatory,” Dolan wrote. “Neither I nor anyone in the Church would ever tolerate hatred of or prejudice towards any of the Lord’s children.”

The response prompted Amodeo to quit the board, said the 24-year-old gay Catholic who still teaches religious education to elementary school children as part of a New York archdiocese program. He’ll be doing that on Easter in a parish near Manhattan’s Union Square.

Amodeo was a member of the executive committee of the junior board of the New York branch of Catholic Charities, one of the largest global networks of charities, started in New Orleans in 1727 as an orphanage.

“Every Sunday, I teach second-graders to ‘love thy neighbor,’ but then, when we as a church have a teachable moment, we fail,” Amodeo told the AP in a telephone interview.

He said the cardinal “failed to respond to a call for pastoral assistance, to answer the question, ‘What can we do together as a church and as a people for youths who are homeless?”

Dolan leads one of the nation’s largest archdioceses — which has 2.6 million Catholics — and is president of the Washington-based U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Last summer during New York’s same-sex marriage debate, the prelate warned that the proposed legislation — which later passed — was an “ominous threat” to society.

___

By VERENA DOBNIK

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: 12:59 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012

 

 	‘It Gets Better at Brigham Young University’ features 22 current and former students talking about their sexuality. BY CORKY SIEMASZKO / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, April 9, 2012, 1:18 PM 

Gay students at a strict Mormon college have kicked open the closet doors with a new video that could get them booted from their church.

The YouTube video is called “It Gets Better at Brigham Young University” and features the sometimes wrenching testimony of 22 current and former students about reconciling their sexuality with their conservative religion.

“I just felt, I’m not worthy,” Erikka Beam, a recent BYU graduate, said in the video. “I just thought that I needed to just kill myself because the heartbreak of me dying would be less than the heartbreak my parents would experience if I came out to them.”

Adam White, a BYU sophomore, described how “empty” he would feel when he’d hear his buddies talk about girls.

“I was so scared because I thought I was broken,” he said.

Others said they prayed harder in the hope that God would, as a female business major put it, “please take this away from me.”

“And it never went away,” she said.

The video is part of columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, which is aimed at helping bullied gay and lesbian teenagers cope.

“In our religion, there is a lot of misunderstanding and ugliness about homosexuality,” said Kendall Wilcox, a former BYU faculty member who produced the video. “We wanted to send this message that God loves you just as you are.”

BYU is one of the most unfriendly campuses for gay students, according to the Princeton Review. And until 2007, students could be expelled for even discussing their sexual orientation.

The Mormon church, whose best known member is Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, prohibits gay sex and marriage.

Despite that, many gay Mormons are reluctant to leave their church, said Wilcox.

“Your Mormon identity comes first and then all the other categories like nationality or even sexual orientation,” he told ABC News.

There are an estimated 1,800 gay students at BYU, a tightly controlled campus where all students — gay and straight — are barred from having premarital sex.

BYU insists gay students are welcome as long as they adhere to the school’s honor code.

‘It Gets Better at Brigham Young University’ features 22 current and former students talking about their sexuality. – JURIGAGARIN2255 VIA YOUTUBE

Published: 26 minutes ago

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Chile’s Congress has passed an anti-discrimination law after the killing of a gay man whose attackers beat him and carved swastikas into his body.

The House of Deputies approved the measure in a close vote Wednesday, seven years after it was first proposed. The Senate passed the law in November.

President Sebastian Pinera had urged lawmakers to accelerate approval of the law after 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio died March 27. His death came 25 days after he was attacked, and his case set off a national debate about hate crimes in Chile.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called last week for Chile to pass new laws against hate crimes and discrimination after Zamudio’s death.

By Associated Press, Published: April 3

MONROVIA, Liberia — An anti-gay group in Liberia distributed fliers over the weekend with a hit list of people who support gay rights, and one member of the group threatened to “get to them one by one.”The fliers mark the latest development in an increasingly hostile national debate about gay rights in this country on Africa’s western coast.

Lawmakers in February introduced two new pieces of legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by possible jail time. And a vow by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last month to preserve an existing law criminalizing “voluntary sodomy” prompted a statement of concern from the U.S. State Department.

The fliers distributed over the weekend in parts of Liberia’s capital were signed by the Movement Against Gay’s in Liberia, or MOGAL. The group said those involved in promoting gay rights “should not be given space to get a gulp of air.”

“Having conducted a comprehensive investigation, we are convinced that the below listed individuals are gays or supporters of the club who don’t mean well for our country,” the fliers read. “Therefore, we have agreed to go after them using all means in life.”

No individual members of MOGAL signed the flier. But Moses Tapleh, a 28-year-old resident of the main community where the flier was distributed, said he was affiliated with the group and stressed that its threats should be taken seriously.

“We will get to them one by one,” Tapleh said. “They want to spoil our country.”

Asked what specific action might be taken against those on the list, he said they could be subjected to “dangerous punishments” including “flogging and death.”

A relative of one of those targeted, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the person on the list already had received threatening phone calls.

Graeme Reid, director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, said the emergence of the hit list should put pressure on Liberia’s president to take a stance in support of gay rights. Simply refusing to sign the new anti-gay laws, he said, was insufficient.

“She cannot sit on the fence when there’s this kind of provocation taking place. She needs to take a clear and unequivocal stance on this issue,” Reid said.

Robert Kpadeh, a deputy minister at the Ministry of Information, said the ministry had not heard about the fliers but that it would be open to receiving complaints.

The list includes two men who launched a campaign in January to legalize gay marriage, and who have since been subjected to protests by angry mobs and threats of violence.

That campaign began one month after the United States announced a new government-wide policy to push for the decriminalization of homosexuality overseas. As in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa where homosexuality remains a largely taboo topic, the announcement drew swift condemnation from Liberian officials and media outlets.

Liberian law currently does not explicitly address homosexuality. “Voluntary sodomy” is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison.

One of the two new bills would make same-sex sexual practice a second-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The other anti-gay bill would make same-sex marriage a first-degree felony, with sentences ranging up to 10 years in prison. Both bills are being reviewed in committee.

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia has kept quiet throughout Liberia’s gay rights debate. In an interview last week, David Bruce Wharton, deputy assistant secretary for public diplomacy in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, said by phone from Washington that the department was wary of being seen as “seeking to impose Western values on more conservative African societies.”

Homophobia is rife in many African countries. Last year, Nigeria’s Senate voted in favor of a bill that would criminalize gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection. A newly added portion of the bill levels 10 years in prison for those found guilty of organizing, operating or supporting gay clubs, organizations and meetings.

And in 2009, a Ugandan legislator introduced a bill that would impose the death penalty for some gays and lesbians. The bill was reintroduced earlier this year, though its author has said the death penalty provision will be dropped.

Even in South Africa, the only African nation to recognize gay marriage, gangs carry out so-called “corrective” rapes on lesbians.

The flier distributed in Liberia warned that the group would begin taking action shortly. “Let these individuals be aware that we are coming after them soon,” the flier reads. “We urge them to also begin saying their Lord’s prayers.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

DAN PEARCE on MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012 · 565 COMMENTS · in I’M CHRISTIAN UNLESS YOU’RE GAY, MOTIVATIONAL

I received the following email today in response to my post I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay. I had decided a couple months ago that it was time to let the whole thing rest, but this response was so powerful, I couldn’t not share it with you all. It was from a woman who simply called herself, “One proud mom.”

Hello Mr. Pearce,

I am the Christian mother of a 15 year old teenage boy and about a month ago he came home from school with a copy of your article “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay”. The teacher gave his class a homework assignment to read it and write a 500 word essay about “what it meant to them”.

He came home and showed me your article and asked me what I thought about it. I read just the title and became furious at his teacher and at you (even though I know you had nothing to do with her handing out the assignment). Anyway, I confiscated it from him and told him he wasn’t to do anything with it till I had a chance to read it first.

And then I got madder and madder as I read it as I felt like it was a direct attack against our beliefs and our Christian religion and that it was promoting homosexuality, a practice that around here is a huge “sin”.

I gave my son an earful about homosexuality and God and told him that he could tell his teacher that he would not be participating and if she had a problem, she could come talk to me and then I threw the article in the trash. My son didn’t say anything just walked into his room and shut the door.

Long story short, a couple hours later it was supper time and I still hadn’t seen him come out of his room. I didn’t expect it to be that big of a deal to him but I went and knocked and told him to come out, he didn’t answer so I opened his door and he wasn’t there, he had left the house and gone somewhere. Of course I got more mad and tried to call him but he sent it to voicemail. I sent him a text and told him he better get home and he was grounded.

This is the text he sent me in return: “I don’t care. I’m at my friends house writing that essay and I’m not coming home till you read it.”

I think you would have seen steam coming out of my ears if you saw me. I started preparing to go talk to the school the next day. I sent a few angry texts to my son that he didn’t answer. I got the article out of the trash so I could take it into the school and get this teacher fired. My anger got a little out of control and while I was sitting there fuming and planning what to do, I got another text from my son that said “Just emailed it. Love, Jacob.”

My son’s name is not Jacob, and it took me a minute to realize that he was talking about your friend Jacob in your article. And when I realized that I suddenly started shaking in fear and anger at what he might be telling me. I started out of control crying because I couldn’t handle having a gay son and what if that’s what he was trying to tell me? After a long time I finally got the courage to go look at my email and see what he had sent. And this is what he wrote.

I am gay and only my one friend knows so far. My mom doesn’t know yet. My dad doesn’t know yet. You didn’t know it when you gave us this homework. I am only 15 years old and I have never felt so alone. My mom and dad always are being angry about gay people and talking about how they are bad and going to hell and they also always talk about how all the gays should be shipped off to their own private island or something so that the rest of us could live God’s commandments in peace.

I have been so scared of them finding out that I’m gay because I know that they would hate me and would want me out of their life and at the same time I can’t keep this secret anymore because it is not something I asked for, never in a million years would I ask to be gay in a town like this where everybody would hate me. And anyways I can’t keep this secret anymore because I’m about to do something crazy like run away or hurt myself or something. I just want to be dead sometimes.

And then you gave us the assignment to write this essay for our homework and I read it like ten times I even skipped lunch and just kept reading it in the bathroom and by the time I went home I decided that maybe I am only 15 years old but maybe this town will change if I can be honest about who I am and maybe my family will change if I can be honest about who I am with them too. I don’t see why I don’t deserve love just like everyone else. I see some crazy stuff that so many people do and people still love them but for some reason everybody around here thinks its ok to hate gays and stuff. And I don’t know really I think I just realize that I don’t want to be Jacob in ten years and still live my life in secret and scared of being hated.

So I go home and I tell my mom to read this handout you gave us and she got so mad at me and started going crazy about how evil gays are and how all of this was just the devil spreading his work and everything else she said. But this time I just got mad myself and I got so mad because I suddenly realize that this is the woman that my whole life made me go to church where they talk about love just like the writer said but she and every other person I pretty much know just hate so many people especially gay people. So I got madder and madder and madder and then I snuck out and came to my friends house to write this essay because its time to stop letting people’s hate stop me from being happy. I mean should I really have to hate my life and want to die because other people are so hating?

And I don’t know what will happen but I am done playing like I’m something I’m not and if my parents don’t love me anymore because of this then I realize that’s not my problem and it will hurt but not as much as the way I hurt right now. I feel like if my mom and dad would just think about things they’d realize that what they always say and how they always hate gays is not what Jesus would do and maybe there is a chance that they will some day love me like Jesus would. I am their kid afterall.

Tonight I am going to send this to my mom and see what she says I guess. I don’t know what will happen but I know that I deserve to be loved just like everybody else does I just hope she thinks so too.

Obviously you can imagine the emotions and thoughts that were going through my head when I read that…

I started crying and couldn’t stop for the longest time. I don’t know why I was crying exactly, just so many emotions came over me. I didn’t know what to do or how to respond. I finally stopped and went and read your article once more only this time I tried to read it through my son’s eyes and the whole thing was so different than it was a couple hours before. By the time I finished I felt as big as an ant and I realized just how much hatred I have in my heart toward others.

You see, Mr. Pearce, you are right. It’s not about what other people do. It’s about whether or not we are loving them. Nothing else matters at all. And it took all of this for that to finally sink in.

I texted my son back that I loved him and left it at that. He came home that night and didn’t try to talk to me about it, I just told him I loved him at least ten times that night and made sure not to talk about anything else. My love for him was the only thing I wanted him to feel and I knew he’d talk to me about it when he was ready.

That was a month ago and in the last month my son and I (his dad lives three states away and still doesn’t know) have grown much closer than we ever were before. We have both stood up against hate several times when we hear it coming from the people around us. You see, where we live people really do have problems “being Christian unless…” But no longer in this home.

I’ve shared your article now with countless people. I have made my sisters read it. I talked about its message to my parents. I sent it to my friends and neighbors. And I’ve had some people get really upset by it, but a change is starting to happen around here and it’s because one teenage boy finally had the courage to stand against what he felt was wrong. He believed he could make a change. And I’ll tell you right now, it makes me happy to see him so happy. I never knew how unhappy he was until I could finally see how happy he could be.

So thank you. I know this is long, but I thought you’d like to know what your article has done in this little town we live in. And it’s just the beginning.

Sincerely yours, one proud mom.

POLITICO By JAKE SHERMAN and ANNA PALMER | 3/30/12 4:38 AM EDT
Just a few years ago, House Republicans were trying to etch their opposition of gay marriage into the Constitution.

Now? They’re almost silent.

It’s been one of the swiftest shifts in ideology and strategy for Republicans, as they’ve come nearly full circle on same-sex politics. What was once a front-and-center issue for rank-and-file Republicans — the subject of many hotly worded House and Senate floor speeches — is virtually a dead issue, as Republicans in Congress don’t care to have gay marriage litigated in the Capitol.

Even more than that, Republican leadership has evolved, too. It has quietly worked behind the scenes to kill amendments that reaffirm opposition to same-sex unions, several sources told POLITICO.

It’s not like the GOP has become a bastion of progressiveness on gay rights, but there has been an evolution in the political approach — and an acknowledgment of a cultural shift in the country. Same-sex relationships are more prominent and accepted. There are more gay public figures — including politicians — and it’s likely that many Washington Republicans have gay friends and coworkers. Just as important — there’s also a libertarian streak of acceptance on people’s sexuality coursing through the House Republican Conference.

“In one decade, what’s shocking on TV is accepted as commonplace in the other,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a veteran of the culture wars of the 1990s. “It’s the same with sexual mores all over that if you look at campuses and universities, they have a lot of gay pride clubs and so there has been a deliberate and effective outreach to the younger generation about being more accepting of same-sex relationships.”

But there’s also a political strategy at work: The economy has displaced moral issues in today’s politics. Ask most House Republicans today if they have deep convictions about gay relationships, and it hardly registers.

“I personally have deep convictions about my children having a financially stable country that they can live in,” Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said in an interview. “I want my daughters to have the opportunities that I had, and that’s what concerns me. That’s what keeps me up awake at night, not worrying about who’s sleeping with who.”

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), a 32-year veteran of Congress, never a man of many words, simply said, “I don’t hear it discussed much.”

Even die-hard social conservatives like Texas Republican Louie Gohmert aren’t digging in.

“That’s not something we’re focused on now,” Gohmert said.

Social issues haven’t fully escaped the party. They’ve worked vociferously to ensure the federal government doesn’t spend money on Planned Parenthood and talked for weeks about the contraception mandate and religious liberty.

But there’s no question that for Republicans, the politics of gay rights has dramatically changed. In 1994, lawmakers say, there was “sticker shock” when President Bill Clinton created “don’t ask, don’t tell” for the military. They dashed to the House floor to rail on what they perceived as his immorality.

“It’s been realized that back in ’94, you could jump up on the House floor and pound your chest about [gay issues], and secure a good voter intensity, which you can’t do anymore,” Kingston said, describing the shifting dynamics of the issue.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released earlier this month showed a 9 percent increase in support for gay marriage among Republicans to 31 percent. Support among 18-to-34-year-olds was nearly 70 percent, according to a 2011 Washington Post/ABC News poll.

The Senate also has undergone a shift. When Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held the first hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act since it became law, few Republicans showed up and those who were there didn’t use it as an opportunity for fire-and-brimstone speeches on same-sex unions.

National party operatives have taken notice. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions all did fundraisers in the 2010 cycle with the national gay and lesbian GOP grass-roots organization, Log Cabin Republicans.

The group’s Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said that while the three party leaders got flak for doing the events, they stood their ground.

“Twenty years ago they would have thrown us under the bus,” Cooper said. The group recently hosted a 40th birthday fundraiser for Priebus.

Even among the most conservative ranks there has been some softening. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) — who holds a 93 percent lifetime score with the American Conservative Union — recently attended a Log Cabin Republican meeting in Houston. Poe’s office said his “views on same-sex marriage have not changed, however, he found that there were plenty of things they did agree on and he really enjoyed listening to what they had to say.”

Even liberal champions of gay rights — like Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) see the political evolution.

“Republicans see an issue that was a good wedge issue no longer is and will be a losing issue in the future,” Nadler told POLITICO. “They can’t just walk away from it; their base will get mad at them. They’re slowly walking away from it because it’s an increasingly losing issue.”

At Third Way, the prominent centrist think tank has undertaken a bipartisan “Commitment Campaign” pushing gay marriage. The group has made it easier for lawmakers to shift views on the issue, laying out steps for elected officials to change their position.

Leadership, too, has played a role. At the top levels of House Republican leadership, aides have tried to “quell” legislative proposals on the sanctity of marriage.

It’s not that Republicans have completely given up on the issue.

Human Rights Campaign’s Michael Cole-Schwartz said that while there has been a shift, “the House Republican leadership has not been friendly to the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community.”

“Substantively there has not been a lot of progress getting made even if the rhetoric has toned down a bit,” Cole-Schwartz said.

Much to the chagrin of many Democrats, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is spending millions of dollars on defending DOMA. But gay-rights activists said the decision to keep it in the court and not force a floor vote was illustrative of GOP leadership’s feelings on the issue.

“A lot of moderate Democrats would be scared to vote on DOMA,” Third Way’s Lanae Erickson said. “There was no question House Republicans were going to defend DOMA … but they made it as low profile as humanly possible.”

Some members have tried to introduce bills to cut back on same-sex rights, but they’ve been few and far between.

The House passed an amendment that prohibited chaplains from performing same-sex marriages on Navy bases. Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) introduced the Marriage Protection Act of 2011, which banned federal courts from hearing same-sex marriage cases, instead kicking them to states. But even he said he didn’t expect anything to be done at the federal level.

”I still feel very strongly about that because I think it has a great deal to do with the stability of the whole country,” Burton said. “I don’t know that people’s opinions have changed that much, but what I think has happened is that people realize the dire straits this country has been in and they think we better deal with that before we get back to the social issues.”

Most Republicans maintain that the commitment is still there — but the time is not right.

“I don’t think there is any less commitment on the part of conservatives and Republicans to protect traditional America values,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee. “I think that’s still strong, but I also understand that a lot of families across the [country] are very nervous and concerned about our fiscal and economic situation.”

Then there are those Republicans who have been fighting for gay rights for decades — people like Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Ros-Lehtinen, who has a transgender son named Rodrigo, was the first Republican to co-sponsor the repeal of DOMA.

“Also,” she wrote in an email to POLITICO, “the younger generation is not as fixated on many social issues, as important as they are to other folks. Marriage equality is an issue that is evolving in people’s minds and hearts. As with many controversial issues, the passage of time makes us more comfortable with change.”