A new US marriage equality campaign has been launched for young people who consider themselves Republican, conservative or libertarian.

The ‘Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry’ initiative was launched by national group Freedom to Marry and aims to highlight the bipartisan nature of marriage equality.

The campaign hopes to attract conservatives under the age of 44 who believe the issue “fulfills basic conservative values of responsibility and community, as well as limited government and individual freedom”.

According to a press release, members “will work to encourage more conservatives to stand up, speak out and support the freedom to marry by joining and adding new perspectives and experiences to the national conversation about marriage. They will work to end laws in the states that bar same-sex couples from marriage, as well as to repeal the so-called Defence of Marriage Act.”

Polls show that support for marriage equality is rising among all voters but younger respondents are more likely to be in favour.

A May ABC News/Washington Post found that while 61 per cent of Republicans oppose marriage equality, 46 per cent of Republicans aged between 18 and 44 say gay couples should be allowed to marry.

Margaret Hoover, a conservative commentator and political strategist who is a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee, said: “Freedom and family are core conservative values.”

She added: “We have a historic opportunity to reaffirm these important values by supporting the fundamental freedom to marry for all Americans. Now is the time for a rising generation of voters and leaders to embrace these virtues and join Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry.”

“The centre of political gravity has shifted for good,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry.

“The freedom to marry is fast becoming a bipartisan value embraced by all Americans who believe that love and commitment deserve support and protection. Freedom to Marry applauds this group of young conservatives for standing up to make the case.”