Republicans rallying behind 'religious liberty'

By STEVE PEOPLES

Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – Leading Republicans are rallying around “religious liberty” at home and abroad as religious activists gather for a weekend conference.

The annual Voters Value Summit begins Friday in Washington with speeches from several prospective presidential candidates. The lineup includes Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Organizers expect participants to unite around what they call President Barack Obama’s attack on religious liberty, instead of focusing on divisive social issues.

The intraparty debate over social issues has broad implications on the GOP’s struggle to improve its brand ahead of the November elections and the 2016 presidential contest. The Republican National Committee released an internal audit last year calling for party leaders to be more “inclusive and welcoming” on social issues.

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