Gay Marriage Activists Holding Closed-Door Meetings on Capitol Hill To Court GOP


National Journal's Influence Alley blog:

Ahead of today's Senate Judiciary Committee mark-up of legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the group Freedom to Marry has been holding closed-door "salons" over the past few weeks, trying to build a broad coalition in support of same-sex marriage.

The salons are designed to bring together groups of politically likeminded strategists, consultants and others who support same-sex marriage or are on the fence to discuss the issue and how to make it a reality. There was a salon on Oct. 11 for center-right politicos and one on Oct. 19 for Republicans, which brought together about 20 people at each gathering. Freedom to Marry wouldn't say who was there. There is a salon for Democrats on Nov. 16.

... The salons are also meant to show conservatives that support gay marriage they are not alone. Getting them to support the issue publicly, though, is another story.

...large majorities of Republicans remain opposed [to redefining marriage], putting political pressure on GOP lawmakers who support same-sex marriage to keep mum on the topic. (Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is the lone Republican cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act out of the more than 150 cosponsors in the House and Senate.)