Politics, government and public life for Southern California

RNC votes on resolution defining marriage as between one man and one woman

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Prop 8 supporters like this couple (seen at a 2010 San Francisco protest) might be encouraged by the Republican National Committee's vote to continue opposing gay marriage.

Top officials of the Republican National Committee are in Hollywood for their annual spring meeting. Friday afternoon, RNC chiefs voted in favor of a resolution that affirms the party’s support for marriage as between one man and one woman.

The so-called “resolution for marriage and children” was tucked in among a dozen resolutions on topics from overseas military voting to support for a strong space program. There was no debate, just a simple voice vote on all 12 resolutions at once. They all passed.

One party leader who did not vote was the head of the California Republican Party. Jim Brulte says he stepped out of the room for a cup of coffee. He wouldn’t comment on the vote because he hadn’t read the resolution.

Adam Abrams, regional vice chairman for the California GOP, says the will of the people in California is still represented by Proposition 8. "I was in a black-American community, giving a speech not too long ago," he says. Abrams says people told him, "Do not leave us on the marriage issue."

The resolution reaffirms the 2012 GOP party platform, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman as the “optimum environment in which to raise healthy children.” But it runs counter to a recent internal RNC 2012 election post-mortem that says some voters consider same-sex marriage to be the “civil rights issue of our time.”

California Republicans lost four Congressional seats in the November election. The GOP plans to beef up the party by reaching out to potential new Republicans.

Mark Vafiades, the new chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, says the GOP philosophy is good for the economy and individual citzens. The problem is marketing what he calls the party of inclusion. "We’re figuring out new ways to message, new ways to get our philosophy to the public," he said, "and to reach out to communities that haven’t seen us as reaching out to them."

The RNC is hiring staff to target Asian, Latino, and African-American communities. Vafiades says there’s no specific outreach to the gay and lesbian community because that’s handled by the Log Cabin Republicans group.

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