Washington, DC - Today Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry announced a new campaign manager and 20 new members of its leadership committee, including three of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's daughters, seasoned veterans of Republican presidential and Senate campaigns, television commentators, authors, and communications strategists. The new members will be welcomed by current members Meghan McCain, Margaret Hoover, and more at a reception in Washington, DC, on March 18.
Tyler Deaton is the new Campaign Manager of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. Deaton, a managing director of b-fresh consulting llc, works as a lobbyist and political consultant in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 2011-2012, Deaton led the successful legislative effort to protect the freedom to marry in New Hampshire, marking the first time that a majority of Republicans voted in favor of the freedom to marry.
"The rapid growth of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry reflects the increasing number of Republicans, libertarians, and right-of-center Americans who are completing their own journeys on marriage for same-sex couples," Deaton said. "When conservatives learn why marriage matters to gay people, they realize that they share the same values as anyone else: committing themselves to each other, making a lifetime vow of love, and protecting their families. The freedom to marry is not a Democratic or Republican value; it's an American value that we all can and should support."
New leadership members include Abby, Liddy, and Mary Anne Huntsman, who are daughters of former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman. Jon Huntsman announced his support for the freedom to marry in February, while the women have been long-term supporters of marriage. Some of the other notable names include:
- S.E. Cupp, conservative author, MSNBC host, columnist at the New York Daily News and contributing editor at Townhall Magazine
- Liz Mair, founder and president of Mair Strategies LLC and the online communications director for the 2008 Republican National Committee
- Eduardo J. Lopez-Reyes, national vice chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus
- Will Cain, a media entrepreneur, small business owner and television commentator
- Nathan Parsons, Director of Operations for Allegiance Strategies
- Shannon Kiely-Heider, a government relations director for Cummins, Inc.
- James Owens, president of Oregon Log Cabin Republicans
A complete list of the new leadership members with their pictures and biographies can be found here: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/young-conservatives-leadership-committee.
Meghan McCain, Margaret Hoover, Abby Huntsman, Liddy Huntsman, and Mary Anne Huntsman are confirmed to join more than 15 other Young Conservatives at a reception on Monday, March 18, from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at Lincoln Restaurant in Washington, DC. Journalists interested in attending can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I am thrilled to be part of such a diverse, talented group of conservatives who believe in doing the right thing," said Abby Huntsman, host and producer for HuffPo Live and political commentator. "Freedom means freedom for everyone, and this includes the freedom to marry the person you love. Marriage for same-sex couples strengthens families and strengthens America, and it's time for conservatives to help make it a reality."
Roughly half of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee members live in the Washington, DC, metro area, while the other half hail from various states including New York and New Hampshire, which have the freedom to marry; Illinois, Minnesota, and Oregon, which are working to win the freedom to marry; and Utah, which has no relationship recognition for same-sex couples. About half are male and half female, while half are straight and half are gay. They range in age from 20 to 40 years old. About 80% identify as Republican, while others identify as independent, libertarian, or otherwise conservative. Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry launched in July 2012.