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Republican ex-Congressman Tom Davis: Gay marriage opposition ‘not a comfortable place to be’ for GOP in the long run

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
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Rep. Barney Frank, left, talks with former Rep. Tom Davis in 2010. (Alex Brandon/AP)

One day after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, Tom Davis, Republican ex-Congressman from Virginia, said that while the GOP's opposition to gay marriage may not hurt them now, it's "not a comfortable place" for the party in the long run.

"Long term it's probably not a comfortable place to be," Davis said during a roundtable meeting with reporters Thursday when asked whether Republican opposition to gay marriage could hurt the party. "It's a generational issue."

Davis, the president of a coalition of moderate lawmakers called the Republican Main Street Partnership, declined to comment on his own views about gay marriage, but conceded that if members of his party hope to remain electable to future generations of voters, the party platform may need to change.

"Demographically," he said, "I think Republicans have to, you know, take a look at what issues are going to appeal."

A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that support for gay marriage has grown substantially in recent years, especially among young people.

That shift within the party isn't likely to come anytime soon. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reaffirmed his opposition to gay marriage during a press conference Wednesday, and he supports a constitutional amendment that would outlaw state-sanctioned marriage between same-sex couples.

"I have the same view on marriage that I had when I was governor," Romney said. "I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. I have the same view I've had since, well, running for office."

During the meeting, Davis also commented on vice presidential speculation, voicing early support for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"For the record I'm a Bob McDonnell man," Davis said. "He's been a good governor, and he's a good steward of the state."

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