The GOP's Evolution On LGBT Rights Has To Be 'Measured In Inches, Not In Feet'

05/20/2015 09:09 am ET | Updated May 20, 2015

As demographics shift and younger Americans start to form party attachments, we're moving into a future where a politician's opposition to something like marriage equality is increasingly becoming a deal-breaker for voters. With the Democratic Party now more or less fully "evolved" on the issue, to use President Barack Obama's famous term, how long before the Republicans fully join them? When might we see a GOP presidential nominee who's fully in favor of gay marriage, or ending LGBT workplace discrimination? Our most recent "Drinking & Talking" panel tried to answer these questions.

The Huffington Post's own Jen Bendery joined three members of the gay community -- former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Victory Fund CEO Aisha Moodie-Mills, and Robert Traynham, a former press secretary for likely GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum -- for a wide-ranging discussion on how far the LGBT community has come over the years, hosted by HuffPost's Sam Stein.

As Traynham admits, GOP progress on the issue is something that can currently only be measured in "inches, not feet." Still there are signs aplenty of a shift to come: New York Republicans agitating for gay marriage in their state legislature, a tone change at the Conservative Political Action Conference -- even Santorum himself is sounding less bellicose than he once did.

Needless to say, Frank was, well...unimpressed.

For the full "Drinking & Talking discussion, as well as links to other highlights, click here.

["Drinking and Talking" is produced by Ibrahim Balkhy, Christine Conetta, Brad Shannon and Adriana Usero.]

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