How Donald Trump is teaching Republicans a way to embrace gay rights

Many have commented on Trump’s reluctance to engage with the concerns of social conservatives. He’d rather talk about immigrants or terrorism than Planned Parenthood or gay marriage. In part this is because he has a record of permissive views on abortion and gay rights. Though he has tried to walk back some of his statements recently, his liberal reputation on social issues endures. Many thought it would pose a fatal weakness with the evangelical wing of the GOP. Yet, when his rivals tried to attack this flank during primary season, none of their arguments seemed to stick.

Some interpret Trump’s ascent as a sign that the traditional culture wars have reached their conclusion. On LGBT issues, at least, it seems the end may really be in sight. In recent months, Trump has essentially been offering a blueprint for how the GOP could eventually woo gay Americans — which is useful, because a startling new poll shows that Republicans may have to adapt much faster than they thought.

We have long known that gay rights are more of a generational issue than a partisan one. A 2014 poll showed that majority — 61 percent — of Republican millennials support same-sex marriage.

But last week, a report from the Black Youth Project and the AP-NORC Center turned up a surprising finding. Not only do millennials overwhelmingly favor LGBT rights, but they have dramatically increased their support just in the past two years.