Tom Ridge, the first US Secretary of Homeland Security, said this week that the Republican is hurting itself with some of its socially conservative views – including the anti-gay ones.
Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania who was a part of George W. Bush's cabinet from 2003-05, has endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
Now a businessman, consultant and philanthropist, Ridge warns that positions against gay marriage and gays in the military are becoming less popular with voters.
'I think, as a party, we sometimes come across as very judgmental and very self-righteous, and that doesn’t play well to a lot of people,' Ridge told the Wall Street Journal. 'Not just on political grounds, but in terms of the culture. We accept diversity in many different ways, and we need to be more clear about that and careful to express that.'
He points out that more and more voters are familiar with gay people which results in them being less judgmental.
'I think that’s the right way to be,' Ridge said. 'Younger Americans on both sides of the aisle are saying, ‘Live and let live.’'
But Ridge did not go so far as to endorse gay marriage on a
'It’s one of those situations where I’d leave it up to the state,' he said.