As same-sex marriage becomes more publicly accepted, perhaps it will not be as odious to evangelical Christians as it once was. (There is a reason why some gay rights activists don’t want the Supreme Court to decree that same-sex marriage be a Constitutional right — they worry that a lot of otherwise sympathetic voters will sense an overreach and retrench. The preferred outcome: Invalidate DOMA and overturn Prop 8 in California on a technicality. But I digress.)
Fundamentally, the Republican presidential primaries are not controlled by social liberals or social libertarians. They’re controlled by evangelicals. The activist energy in the party, the energy that talk radio feeds on and then regurgitates for cud, is decidedly not ready to flip the switch on gay issues. (Rush? Mark Levin? Hannity?) The party platform won’t be written by devotees on Jon Huntsman. The GOP cannot win the presidency without evangelicals voting heavily. There is no magic coalition for Republicans right now that does not place social conservatives at its core. That may change as the electoral cohort shifts, but we’re a few presidential cycles away from that now.