POLITICS
03/24/2013 02:16 pm ET | Updated Mar 24, 2013

Karl Rove On Gay Marriage: 'I Could' See A GOP Candidate Supporting It In 2016 (VIDEO)

Count Republican strategist Karl Rove among the folks who see a possible GOP evolution on gay marriage.

In an appearance on Sunday's edition of ABC's "This Week," Rove was asked by host George Stephanopoulos whether he could "imagine" the next GOP presidential candidate saying they are flat out for gay marriage.

"I could," Rove said.

Some Republican strategists are not convinced change will happen that quickly. John Weaver, manager of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's 2012 presidential run, told HuffPost last week that four years from now is too soon.

"Will we have a candidate who gets there?," Weaver asked. "Yes. Will it be in 2016? No."

On the flip side, one Republican voice believes the marker has already been crossed. Stu Stevens, a senior adviser for 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, told HuffPost Monday that Dick Cheney's role as George W. Bush's running mate fulfilled "that moment." Cheney's daughter Mary is a lesbian.

"I mean, for heaven's sake, Cheney was on stage at the RNC Convention with Heather and Mary, and on the front page of The New York Times, Heather was referred to as Mary Cheney's 'friend,'" Stevens said. "It's not just about the Republican Party, it's about the culture."

The GOP's position on gay marriage rose to the forefront of March's political conversation when Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) revealed that he reversed his stance on same-sex marriage. Portman's son, Will, is gay -- a personal relationship that propelled the senator to change his view.

"It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that's of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have -- to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years," Portman told Ohio newspapers.

Other Republicans have vowed their beliefs will not change. In an interview last Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reinforced that he believes marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

"I can't imagine that position would ever change," Boehner said.

On Thursday, retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) mirrored Boehner's perspective, telling Politico "I'm not gay. So I'm not going to marry one."

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