New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote an interesting article today, “A Growing Trend: Young, Liberal, and Open to Big Government,” liberal student Stand On Gay Marriage Killing GOP With Emerging Youth Votethat is very bad news for the hopelessly out-of-touch GOP. Her article showed that even in Montana, younger, educated voters are repelled by the Republican Party’s stand on social issues, particularly marriage equality.

Here in Missoula, young people who voted for Mr. Obama last year said in interviews that they would be open to voting Republican, particularly if a candidate supports same-sex marriage. Young Republicans, too, hope their party will shift on that issue.

“The social issues are hard,” said Ashley Nerbovig, a 19-year-old who backed Mr. Romney. “It’s not realistic that you can be against gay marriage and abortion.”

Unfortunately, the modern Republican Party has been hijacked by religious zealots whose primary interest in politics is using the GOP as a club against LGBT people. The only way this will change is if the Religious Right is expelled and sent back to their caves. This is what happened after the humiliation of the Scopes Monkey Trial over the teaching of evolution in Tennessee. It needs to happen again if the Republican Party has any hope of returning to the type of fiscal sanity and social awareness that would attract mainstream voters.

** Photo by Tony Demin for The New York Times