Steve Schmidt, Senator John McCain's 2008 senior campaign strategist, claims that the GOP's anti-gay stance puts it at a competitive disadvantage.

During an appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher quoted a New York Times Magazine story on the technology divide between Democrats and Republicans.

“It's difficult to make the case to go work for a political party that wants to discriminate against their friend who happens to be gay,” Schmidt responded. “So, we have an enormous problem because of some of our issues in the Republican Party that are so out of step whether it is in regard to women, with regard to gays, anti-immigration rhetoric. It makes it difficult to attract the best and brightest.”

Schmidt, who first publicly endorsed gay marriage in 2009, is one of the more than 100 prominent Republicans signing a Supreme Court brief in support of a suit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

(Related: Meg Whitman, Jon Huntsman join other Republicans in support of gay marriage.)