Jimmy LaSalvia, the executive director of gay GOP group GOProud, up shifted his support for gay marriage on Thursday, two days after President Barack Obama won a second term.

Wins for marriage equality in four states on Tuesday backed up polling which had shown support rising above 50 percent over the past 18 months.

GOProud was the first gay conservative group to endorse the presidential ambitions of Mitt Romney, who is opposed to recognizing gay and lesbian couples with either civil unions or marriage.

In previous interviews, LaSalvia and other GOProud members have downplayed gay rights, in particular the right to marry.

During a CNN appearance, Piers Morgan asked LaSalvia: “How can you really support a ticket which is so resolutely opposed not just to gay marriage but to most gay rights?”

“Right. I know, but look, here's the deal,” LaSalvia explained. “The answer is you gotta have a date before you get married. Everyone knows you can't get a date without a job. … Gay Americans are living in the Obama economy and that's the reality that all voters are facing when they go into the voting booth.”

Despite keeping the issue at arms length during the campaign, LaSalvia said in a The Wall Street Journal interview that the issue was critical to the GOP if it wants to attract new voters, in particular young people and women.

“Singer Kelly Clarkson, a single woman who was asked while she was on her tour who she was voting for. She said well I'm a Republican at heart but I'll probably vote for Obama because I have a lot of gay friends. And so I think that [marriage equality] is an issue that everyone is considering. And especially because everyone has gay friends and family,” LaSalvia said. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

(Related: Kelly Clarkson backs Obama; doesn't like Mitt Romney's anti-gay marriage stance.)