The following comes from a March 27 story on

Conservatives watching this week’s gay marriage arguments at the Supreme Court are wondering if it will happen again: Unelected justices ignoring the will of legislatures and high-handedly imposing their own wishes on one of society’s most divisive moral issues.

In political circles in Washington and elsewhere, a good number of these conservatives will also make a surprising confession: They are strongly rooting for that outcome exactly.

In a mostly hidden subtext of the gay marriage debate, a lot of Republicans would be thrilled with the most far-reaching court decision possible. This is the only way, they reckon, to take the issue out of an electoral arena in which it is increasingly bringing them little but grief.

A mid-March Washington Post/ABC News poll underscored the extent to which the GOP is at odds with the public on gay marriage: Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they support gay marriage, and 64 percent said that the issue of gay marriage should be “decided for all states on the basis of the U.S. Constitution.”

But the Republican Party and its evangelical core have not moved with the rest of the country, tying the GOP — for now — to a position that’s anathema to the majority of younger, more educated and politically independent voters; precisely the voters the party needs to begin clearing out the wreckage of two consecutive presidential defeats.

The only obvious way to square that political circle in the short term is through a sweeping Supreme Court decision — one that strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act and invalidates California’s Proposition 8 law banning same-sex marriage.

That would be a crushing defeat for voters and politicians, predominantly on the right, who believe marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. But to Republican consultants, fearful of ending up on the wrong side of political history, such a ruling would be a liberation.

“It removes the issue from the Democratic playbook of fundraising scare tactics and political demagoguery and breaks their usual messaging dynamic of, ‘You’re a beleaguered minority; let us protect you from the evil GOP — oh, and here’s your absentee ballot,’” said Florida-based Republican consultant Rick Wilson.

Wilson continued: “Democrats won’t be as happy explaining to gay business owners why Obamacare is crushing them; why the regulatory behemoth in D.C. is burying them in red tape; and why the American economy is still faltering. Republicans take an issue out of the federal domain and let states, churches and society handle it, and let’s stick to a message of growth and opportunity for every American.”

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