Continued from page 1

The stance puts them at odds with the National Organization for Marriage, which says that Republicans should be fighting to defend traditional marriage on both the state and national level.

It also puts them out of step with the party’s 2012 platform, which called for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. The 2012 Republican presidential field — with the exception of Ron Paul, Sen. Paul’s father, and Jon Huntsman — supported a federal marriage amendment.

After the election, the party released a report that said Republicans must to do a better job of showing gay Americans that they care about them, too.

“Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the party is a place they want to be,” the RNC report said.

The report angered social conservatives, who got the national party to reaffirm its commitment to a constitutional amendment at a meeting this spring.

Mr. Cuccinelli, though, took a pass on weighing in on the issue, despite being one of four Virginia lawmakers in 2004 to sign a resolution that said “the only sure way to protect marriage is by a federal constitutional amendment.” Instead, he said, he is focused on defending the same-sex marriage amendment that Virginia voters approved in 2006.

“I’m running for governor, and I think Virginia’s decision should be respected within the court system,” Mr. Cuccinelli said.