Nearly three quarters of Americans say sexual orientation should be protected from discrimination the same way race is, according to a new Bloomberg Politics poll…

“Gay people and people of color are going through the same fight to be accepted,” said Brandi Jackson, a 31-year-old nursing assistant from Baltimore who is African-American and participated in the poll. “It doesn’t matter your race, your orientation. Everybody should be treated fairly.”

Eighteen percent said sexual orientation should not be protected the same way race is, and eight percent said they were not sure.

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The Republican Party is still slowly warming to the idea of gay marriage — very slowly.

The latest evolution: Presidential candidate and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos on Wednesday that he would attend a gay wedding of someone he was close to — while qualifying that he wouldn’t condone the union itself…

Republican elected officials who haven’t endorsed gay marriage have gradually moved toward more of nuanced position on the issue, saying it should be left to the states (while also emphasizing that they personally oppose it — federalism, you see).

And Rubio’s comment is in that vein. While we still have yet to see a GOP presidential candidate endorse gay marriage, small moves like this one are part of the gradual evolution. Rubio’s response was full of caveats, but it’s also one that could test his strength with social conservatives in Iowa and South Carolina. It’s not nothing.

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The same-sex couple featured in Hillary Clinton’s video announcing her 2016 run for president has invited the Democratic contender to their wedding, after reportedly being “surprised” to learn they were to appear in her campaign announcement.

In the video, which features a series of vignettes spotlighting “everyday Americans”, couple Nathan Johnson and Jared Milrad hold hands as they walk down the street near their Chicago apartment. Milrad says: “I’m getting married this summer to someone I really care about.”…

After the video launched, Milrad used Twitter to say: “Thanks for inviting us to your big day @HillaryClinton. We’re returning the favor & inviting you to ours. #wedding.”

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Radio show host Hugh Hewitt, a conservative, posed what he called a “meta media” question to Cruz and Santorum in separate interviews Thursday. Hewitt first put the query like this: What matters more, knowing if a presidential candidate would attend a gay wedding or whether he or she will destroy the Islamic State?

In some ways, the question to Republicans about attending a same-sex wedding could be put in the same category as the one about whether President Obama loves his country. Both Cruz and Santorum, who is eyeing another presidential run, said the Islamic State question is more important.

But it’s instructive that Hewitt still asked the gay wedding question, and got different responses.

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[W]e might conclude that Christians should have no problem attending a gay wedding, even if they do not agree with it. Jesus in his pastoral engagements hardly ever judged. Surely as God’s salt and light, we are called to go among unbelievers, live with them, and pray for them through their joys and sorrows in hopes of witnessing for Christ.

But there’s another perspective: Marriage is a God-given ordinance that speaks to more than just the love between two people. Biblical teaching on marriage shows us that the union of a man and woman is the icon of the union of Christ and his church. The Book of Revelation envisions the great wedding feast at the end of time, the union of the Bridegroom and his bride.

So doing marriage incorrectly is an act of idolatry. It’s a rejection of both the ordinance God has given and the meaning of that ordinance. Since the gender of the participants in marriage is important, mixing those sexes up destroys the point marriage was meant to represent. How can a Christian be involved in such a thing?

There were times when Jesus clearly and publicly identified sinful behavior for what it was—overturning the tables of the money changers in the temple, for example. Perhaps the most Christlike thing to do is to politely decline the wedding invite and explain why. Say “no”—but do not end the conversation there.

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[B]y attending a same-sex wedding, I tacitly endorse this particular union and also endorse the notion that two women (or men) actually can get married. I cannot in good conscience go, because I cannot endorse same-sex marriage (SSM).

I love and live by the ethics of Jesus. Would Jesus be in attendance? He was a friend of tax collectors and sinners because that was how he could connect. Though unconditional, his love was not static. Beginning with acceptance, he moved into challenge, as seen with Zacchaeus. Would Jesus have shown solidarity by collecting the odd bit of revenue? I don’t think so. Jesus separated the person of Zacchaeus from his iniquitous business practice in order to redeem both.

I cannot in good conscience attend a same-sex wedding precisely because I love my gay friends and want their best. I believe all sin damages. My sin damages me as their sin damages them. How can I celebrate what I believe harms them? I would respect their friendship but would pray they realize that marriage is not what they are after or what they actually want. I would look for opportunities to point them to a better way. As Christian mystic Simone Weil once noted, “All sins are attempts to fill voids.” My friends’ marriage is an example.

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I would sit down with my [gay] friend and tell them this:

Here’s what I think. We are born male and female, and marriage is the union of husband to wife that celebrates the necessity of the two genders’ coming together to make the future happen. I know you don’t think that. I know the law no longer thinks that. But I have staked my life on this truth.

The problem for me in celebrating your gay wedding, as much as I love you, is that I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt not only to commit yourself to a relationship that keeps you from God’s plan but, worse, I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt to hold the man you love to a vow that he will avoid God’s plan. To vow oneself to sin is one thing, to try to hold someone you love to it — that’s not something I can celebrate.

And I would be party to the idea that two men can make a marriage, which I do not believe.

On your happy day you should be surrounded by people who can honor your vow and help you keep it. I can’t do that.

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The notion that someone has staked their life on marriage staying male-female is frankly bizarre. To single out same-sex couples for being disqualifying unable “to make the future happen,” and untenably mired in sin—in a world with tens of millions of multiply-married people, many of whom re-couple after child-rearing age; while younger same-sex couples eagerly adopt otherwise unwanted children—is to demonstrate that some Christian conservatives are elevating homosexuality far above other sins, most of which involve actual discord and harm rather than a joyous union of two loving people. Gallagher’s literal intolerance of gay marriage can quickly become an argument in its favor.

As Jonathan Rauch put it, in a 2013 Reason piece on free speech I keep quoting (and will do so again in my editor’s note of the forthcoming issue of the magazine), one big reason that public opinion about government policy related to homosexuality has changed so far and so fast is that trail-blazing activists “saw Jerry Falwell and Anita Bryant not as threats to hide from but as opportunities to be seized: opportunities to rally gays, educate straights, and draw sharp moral comparisons. “Is that what you think this country is all about? Really?”

“To appeal to a country’s conscience, you need an antagonist.”

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