Recently I have been thinking about how conflicting being a Republican and being openly gay must be in America in 2010. Let’s face it The GOP have done nothing for gay rights and have set the movement back considerably. I would be the first to say that you cannot agree with every single fundament of your parties agenda but surely it must conflict you to your very core to follow a party that doesn’t support your basic right to love and to be who you are.
Gay friends of mine who are vehemently Republican would have supported Bush to the hilt even with his administration's position on gay marriage and gay rights. My challenges to these discriminatory policies where tagged as being unpatriotic. Surely we cannot be expected to blindly agree with every decision and policy for fear of being deemed unpatriotic? The line has to be drawn somewhere or surely we will forever be waiting for the right time for change.
Reasoning is always lacking for policies that discriminate against homosexuals and if I hear one more person say “it tears at the fabric of society” I will literally scream. What is this societal fabric they talk of anyway and how come the things that tear at it are part of the selective ideology of haters? Surely America is big enough to encompass everybody so why can’t we all have the same level of equality that is our right?
Log cabin Republicans stand up for the idea that all Americans deserve to be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation and say that they are sympathetic to gay rights issues. This is probably due to a large proportion of its membership being gay and seeking to effect change from within although they do not seem to be that effective judging by current GOP policies. Whilst I applaud their efforts the phrase “banging ones head against a brick wall” springs to mind.
The log cabin Republicans endorsement of Senator John McCain was clearly an unwise choice given his standing on #DADT. McCain said he thought the military leaders had the answers to this until they told him it was time to change the policy. Apparently he didn't mean THOSE Military leaders with current expertise an experience he meant the retirees and general flag officers from the old school. Respectfully how will we ever effect change if we insist on living in the past? If we stand still we surely move backwards!
McCain say’s he is pro gay marriage as it should be ALLOWED but not legal! This to date has to be the most elitist statement I have ever heard. His wife Cindy and daughter Meghan however came out in support of gay marriage this year posing for pictures with the NOH8 campaign. Meghan said in her Twitter stream that she thought “more Republicans need to start taking a stand for equality." Go Meghan McCain except she still shops at Target even thought they donated to Tom Emmer’s campaign and she will be allowing them to sell her book. This all seems very contradictory to me as an artist who will not allow them to sell my music as a protest. Was the NOH8 pic just to get the gays on side Meghan?
Some Republican ideology on gay rights issues has to be left firmly on the doorstep of the church. Even if you are a Christian it is important to remember that the greatest commandment of Jesus was to love one another and hatred just does not fit into that spectrum. The Christian right has a lot to answer for and the separation of church and state is essential as otherwise we would end up with a system that is guided more by religiosity rather than democracy. Our forefathers came here to escape religious oppression and if religious organizations out there whilst entitled to there opinions want to have a role in running our country then they should pay taxes.
Certain gay republican websites out there have taken to bashing Obama once again. I know everyone has their own agenda for change and although I am still Pro-Obama I also wish he would pull his finger out and do the things he promised the gays when he was campaigning for the presidential seat. Having said that I am sure dismantling eight years of ignorance and inequality is no mean fete and certain issues on equality need to be federal decisions and not left to state legislature.
I know there are some very gay friendly Republican Senators out there and I am sure some of those who are pro gay equality will not admit to it for fear of being unpopular with the party, the leaders or the voters. Policy and opinion trickles down from the top and if the leaders of a party don’t promote equal opportunities for all then how can we expect change to be effected. To date I have heard no tangible reasoning for not changing discriminatory policies only rhetoric.
With Ken Mehlman’s recent disclosure that he is gay I wonder where was his voice of reason throughout the Bush years? This man could have been an amazing tool for change when Karl Rove was pushing for same sex marriage bans all over the union. Some are saying his coming out was helpful for the ending of prop8 but I am sure it was just coincidental and for Ken it was clearly too little to late. As a staunchly anti gay rights legislator this man goes to the top of my republican Hypocrisy list with Meghan McCain coming in as a close second.
Sadly I am convinced that the phrase Gay Republican is an oxymoron and that clearly the best thing Gay Republicans can do if they want their rights and opinions to be represented adequately is not to vote Republican. As I previously stated you cannot agree with everything your party says or believes but when they cannot support your basic rights as a human being how can you continue to support them?
Change is not something we should just hope and pray for we have to exercise constitutional rights and use the systems at hand to affect it. I know some people will say they are fundamentally Republican but that doesn’t change your sexuality or your right to equality. When older Republicans stop hanging on to the past and excusing discrimination with exquisite phraseology America will be a better place.
Peace and Luv, Xan x
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Xander Gibb has written for many publications and writes with an unapologetic response to the world around.