It’s not easy being a traditionalist conservative. First, you assert that your views about gays and women are timeless truths. Then, you change them.

According to the Pew Research Center’s March 22 survey on trends in political values and core attitudes, 1987-2007, the average Republican is now more tolerant of gays and of women in what the pollsters call “non-traditional” roles than the average Democrat was in 1987. This trend is particularly amusing when it comes to religious edicts. “In 1987, 73% of white evangelical Protestants agreed that school boards should have the right to fire homosexual teachers. Today, just 42% do so. And in 1987, 60% of white evangelicals believed that AIDS might be a punishment for immoral sexual behavior; today just 38% believe this.”

Of course, popular opinion isn’t self-executing, especially when the true believers are better organized.

Full report (PDF). (Naturally, the MSM are more interested in short-term party identification, but there’s plenty of wonky goodness to go around.)