The opinion piece below is copied from Right Wisconsin, a conservative online news blog.  The author is Rick Esenberg, a Marquette University law professor and conservative.

I know this will be tough medicine for many conservatives, but it needs to be said:  Republicans need to let it go when it comes to the gay marriage issue.   Our current position is a loser politically, an embarrassment socially, and a raving hypocrisy morally.

Let me explain:

It is a loser politically.  I hate to break it to you folks, but this issue is lost.   The tide of history has turned, courts are overturning gay marriage bans left and right   Poll after poll shows that voters’ attitudes on this issue have changed.   The Wisconsin constitutional amendment defining marriage as a man woman agreement would almost surely fail today.  For Republicans to dig in on this issue is an exercise in self-destructive futility.  It is the political equivalent of fortifying the Maginot Line rather that acknowledging that the technology of the war we are waging has fundamentally changed and rendered our formerly impregnable bulwark obsolete.  In its day, gay marriage was a potent wedge issue that worked well to the advantage of the GOP.  Today that political calculus has flipped. Whether we agree with it or not and whether we like it or not, voter attitudes have changed profoundly with regard to homosexuality.  That is true across all sectors but it especially true among our young people.  Acceptance, tolerance, accommodation…whatever you want to call it is the norm among our under 30 set when it comes to homosexual individuals.  Homosexuality inspires neither fear nor loathing in this generation. A Republican Party that clings doggedly to an old anti-gay orthodoxy on the issue most certainly inspires both to this growing demographic. That is a political risk that cannot be ignored.

It is an embarrassment socially.  When the GOP claims that opposition to gay marriage is a way to defend and affirm the importance of marriage in our society, it embarrasses itself.   How is anyone expected to believe that Republicans actually oppose gay marriage because we have such a high regard for traditional marriage as a building block of society?   Really?  Would that be the party of the once divorced Ronald Reagan or the twice divorced Newt Gingrich?  Or maybe the party of Mark Sanford "hiking the Appalachian trail" with his Argentinian mistress?   Marriage may indeed be the foundation of a civil society, but the GOP is hardly a credible messenger for that message.  No matter what anyone thinks of gay marriage, it is hard to imagine that gay unions will do a worse job in terms of fidelity and stability than our heterosexual marriages have done of late.  The institution of marriage has been cheapened almost beyond recognition in today’s society.   It has been more a disposable ticket to a preferred tax status than a lifelong commitment to love, honor, and cherish.   In an era of no fault divorce, where nearly all marriages are treated as marriages of convenience – when they are no longer convenient we dissolve them – arguing that gay marriage will somehow weaken the institution is absurd to the point of farce.

Finally, it is morally hypocritical.   Being anti-homosexual in the name of Judeo-Christian morality or "traditional family values" is the ultimate example of obsessing over the speck in your brother’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own eye. 
Some people may want to argue over the "sinfulness" of homosexuality based on the Judeo-Christian tradition and scriptures.  But it impossible to argue where those same traditions and scriptures stand on the sinfulness of heterosexual sex outside of the bounds of marriage.   For every Biblical proof text you want to assert in opposition to homosexuality, I will give you 20 in clear unequivocal opposition to adultery or fornication.

Yet, here we are living comfortably in a sex-drenched culture where it is nearly impossible at any hour of the day or night to turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or go to the movies without being slapped in the face with unapologetic extramarital sex.  Heterosexual sex before marriage is hailed as a rite of passage.  Adulterous affairs within heterosexual marriages are portrayed as spicy adventures in true love.  Casual heterosexual sex with multiple partners is celebrated and laughed at throughout our pop culture.  And yet somehow we want to argue that homosexuality is a sanctionable threat to our society’s moral fiber?

Do not think for a minute that I am preaching an amoral anything goes relativism.  I am merely pointing out that if anyone in the GOP really wants to create a more "moral" society they’d better pack a lunch because there is a lot of immorality out there – sexual and otherwise – to deal with before we go singling out homosexuals.  In fact, I’m reasonably confident most gay couples would be willing to take the gamble if you told them, "Once we clean up society’s act values-wise on greed, adultery, hate, jealousy, and lying, we’re going to politely ask you to cease and desist with the gay marriage thing, OK?"

Simply put: the gay marriage issue is not a hill worth dying on for the GOP – and make no mistake we will die on it if we choose to make our fight on this ground.  Like it or not, the times and attitudes have changed.   From a political standpoint the GOP is on the losing side of this argument and continuing to cling to our current position threatens to drag down our ability to win on other critically important issues.   

It’s time to let it go.