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Evangelical leader tells conservative Republicans to end gay marriage fight

Helen Brearley (L) and Teresa Millward kiss during their wedding ceremony at Halifax Register Office, the day gay marriage becomes legal on March 29, 2014 in Halifax, United Kingdom.
Helen Brearley (L) and Teresa Millward kiss during their wedding ceremony at Halifax Register Office, the day gay marriage becomes legal on March 29, 2014 in Halifax, United Kingdom.
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

According to the Washington Examiner, Russell Moore, 42, president of the Ethics & Religious Freedom Requisition of the Southern Baptist Assembly, has signaled to Republicans that they have irrevocably lost on stopping marriage equality.

Moore is a renowned evangelical leader on the right, so it is significant for someone of his stature to suggest to fellow conservatives that they should throw in the towel on any further attempts to deny gay families equal legal protection.

Talking at a meeting of news personalities gathered by the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Moore, heretofore a solid supporter of the conventional Republican position on marriage rights, was asked what his perfect presidential contender might say in regards to same gender marriage unions.

"I would want a presidential candidate who understands the public good of marriage," Moore replied, raising eyebrows. He went on, "and one who is not hostile to evangelical concerns, and who is going to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience."

Moore delineated that the right wing should worry less about preventing gay marriage, and more about protecting the religious beliefs of its objectors. Moore said guarantees that Catholic child placement offices remain permitted to place kids just in heterosexual homes exemplify his new stance.

Absent from Moore's response was his once-inflexible necessity that a Republican presidential hopeful offer a virulent rejoinder to supporters of the freedom to marry. To reiterate the position, Moore noted at a different point in his comments that conservative Christians are "starting to understand that American society is moving to same-sex marriage."

Moore asserted:

"We have been saying, 'Look, same-sex marriage is inevitable in American culture. It doesn't mean we should stop talking about it...it means we need to start preparing our churches for a new generation."

There is no way to interpret Moore's declarations as anything but yet another sign of growing consensus among conservatives that same-sex marriage will soon be a reality in all fifty American states. However, having failed in their attempts to prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying, Americans who once wanted to restrict marriage due to a few Biblical passages should be left alone by the rest of the nation, according to Moore.

Moore claims to not agree with those young Republicans who recommend a full throated support of gays and who say, in his words, "'Let's simply abandon the question of marriage altogether and simply deal with religious liberty issues'."

However, Moore left little uncertainty that he believes conservatives should refocus their attention on protecting their own religious lives and less forcing their Biblical interpretations onto liberal Christians and other gay allies.