Exclusive: Interview with The Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry

Is the Republican Party ready to accept gay marriage?

One group is spearing heading an effort to reform the national Republican Party platform on marriage to do just that.

The group, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which started in 2012, has backed ballot measures for marriage equality in four states. Now, the more than 60 members hope to convince state Republicans, especially national delegates, that opposing gay marriage is a losing issue for the Republican Party.

Now the group is touring the Presidential primary states leading up to the Republican National Convention to meet with like-minded GOP activists and elected official to discuss their campaign.

The group visited South Carolina where Ed J. Lopez spoke with’s Joshua Cook. So far the group has already visited New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada.

During the 2012 presidential primaries, Lopez served as a member of the Leadership Council at Standing Up for New Hampshire Families and on former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s New Hampshire State Steering Committee. He is also the national Vice Chairperson of the Republican Liberty Caucus, as group trying to influence the GOP to embrace free markets, low taxes and individual liberties.

“One reason I’m really passionate about the issue is that we have found that it is a gateway issue for a lot of people that would otherwise vote Republican,” said Lopez.

He also said that ⅔ of Republicans under the age of 40 support gay marriage. And that 52 percent of Republicans 50 and younger also support the freedom to marry.

“There is movement and momentum in that direction,” he explained. “That’s the bottom line.”

Lopez said that unless the Republican Party follows suit that they’re building barriers in front of new membership.

The problem, he said, with the GOP platform is that its chosen and shaped by very few people. The group hopes to help people become delegates for the national convention, which could help the seachange.

“We’re looking to get new blood in there,” he added. “And making sure that the language of the platform is reflective of what we feel most Republicans embrace or are being to embrace.”

He said the all language that could appear homophobic should be removed.

This issue, Lopez said, is mostly settled in the public eye with more and more states allowing gay marriage.

“If the GOP is not willing to make the change to the platform it may make the GOP irrelevant,” he added.

To listen to Joshua Cook’s full interview with Lopez, below: