- Bryan Rindfuss
- Many young Republicans support same-sex marriage.
David Puentes seems to have impeccable credentials for the type of political activist the Republican Party would want to take under its wings.
The 26-year-old from Round Rock is a first-generation Mexican-American.
He's well educated and embraces conservative politics.
He's also gay. And he just does not get why his party is so off-target on gay marriage.
"My generation is accepting of same-sex marriage and I want my colleagues to be more accepting," he told the San Antonio Current this month. "I needed to get involved to get others to back us and get the party to hear our collective voice."
He's referring to Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, a nonprofit group set on a $1 million public push to change the anti-LGBT national GOP platform on gay marriage.
Group members are fanning across the country to spread their gospel. They included San Antonio among their Texas stops. No easy feat to try to change Texans' minds on this issue, as the Lone Star State continues to be one of a shrinking count of holdouts adamantly opposing same-sex marriage.
Alas, they're a determined bunch — fueled by the notion that they just have to get their Republican brethren to see their errant ways.
"This is a gateway issue," Jerri Ann Henry, 32, in charge of the campaign, told the Current. "If you can't get this one right, you're not human. It's the civil rights movement of our time."
Henry, a Dallas native whose dad is from SA and still has a ranch in Atascosa County, understands that religious conservatives may struggle with the issue.
But they have to accept that times have changed.
"They can deal with God as to what they want to believe," said Henry, "but soon they may have married gay neighbors. Will they not allow their children to play with theirs? We should be loving and accepting."
It seems hard to argue against the Young Conservatives' point that the GOP also stands to gain politically by changing its platform. The party would get many converts, from independents and even some Democrats.
So far, the campaign has achieved some success — 200 Republican community and political leaders have signed on.
SA's Guillermo Nicolas is one of them.
"There's nothing conservative about discrimination," said Nicolas, president of 3N Group, whose father started the Spanish-language TV network that later turned into Univisión.
Other local leading political voices also chimed in, such as outspoken Bexar County Clerk Gerry Rickoff, who has pledged to keep his doors open as long as necessary to marry couples if the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage.
The issue is a no-brainer for the GOP's libertarian wing.
"So when Liberty Republicans hear 'How can you call yourself a Republican and support gay marriage?!' this is doubly puzzling," according to the Bexar County Republican Liberty Caucus. "The correct response should be 'How can you stand against equal application of the law and call yourself a Republican?'