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Walker, other GOP governors, de-emphasize gay marriage

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Scott Walker is not the only Republican governor toning down his rhetoric against gay marriage. At a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association in Nashville, both Walker and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad both said the G-O-P is better off focusing on economic and fiscal issues. The Associated Press calls it a "dramatic turn" for a party that has long been defined by social conservatism. It appears to stem from a report drafted after the 2012 presidential election, which called on the G-O-P to be more "inclusive and welcoming" -- especially on issues involving the "treatment and rights of gays."

Walker said gay marriage remains an important issue, and he's defending a state constitutional amendment for one-man, one-woman marriage voters approved seven years ago. National and state polls since then show support for gay marriage, but it still goes against the G-O-P's platform.

On Friday the federal appeals court in Chicago combined similar appeals from Wisconsin and Indiana of district court rulings which struck down their respective states' gay marriage bans. Another group of cases is also heading toward the U-S Supreme Court. That includes an appeal of Kentucky's gay marriage ban. That state's governor, Democrat Steve Beshear, is also playing down his rhetoric. He says he just wants the Supreme Court to settle the issue once and for all.