That I happen to know and like and enjoy the company of a number of gay Republicans is rather a cliche at this point in that, “I have lots of [insert minority here] friends!” kind of way. It does, however, happen to have a fairly large kernel of truth, as I actually do know and like real, flesh-and-blood gay Republicans and/or conservatives. Perhaps because I’ve never completely left my upbringing and political roots behind, I have some fairly Republican tendencies of my own -- in a nutshell, some of the aspects of the libertarian and free-market wings of the Republican party. This doesn’t mean I’m a Republican, which is a hard thing to be when, like me, you’re an agnostic-slash-Buddhist, anti-death penalty, pro-drug-legalization proponent of a (mostly) free market system who supports health care reform because it would be a good thing for my business.
Believe me, it makes it hard to be a Democrat, too.
I bring this up because I think having active and open gay Republicans is an important part of advancing equality for LGBT people. Having consistent allies on both sides of the aisle would truly be a good thing.
That’s why it frustrates me to no end that so many gay Republicans -- of both Log Cabin and GOProudstripes -- are focused exclusively on attacking the Democrats. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to complain and kvetch and attack Democrats for cowardly inaction on LGBT issues. But the fact that Democrats have been, shall we say, less than stellar, doesn’t mean that gay Republicans have succeeded in creating a conservative political party that offers a viable alternative for voters who actually care about seeing advancement on LGBT issues.
Every day that Barack Obama declines to personally come to my house and blow Skittles-flavored rainbows up my ass is another day that gay Republicans crow via Twitter feeds, “How do you like your Obama now?!? LOL! #FAIL.”
Seriously, gay Republicans belong to a party that’s undergoing a massive ideological struggle that could easily set the party’s political course on LGBT equality for the next generation, and the biggest thing I’ve seen come out of the gay Republican camp is an attack on Ryan White Care Act funding for AIDS treatment, co-authored by Sen. Tom Coburn, one of the most ludicrously socially conservative Republicans, like, ever, an ideologue who opposes not only gay marriage but gay adoption, a politician whose primary contribution to the advancement of gay equality has been hiring onto his staff a hatchet-man to go after HIV prevention programs that had the temerity to serve gay men and sending spokesmen to tea-bagger conferences to proclaim that straight pornography will turn young boys into queers?
I mean, fucking seriously? Changing a party from within doesn’t mean providing apologia and cover to curry favor with the party’s most notorious social conservatives. Just as I anxiously wait for Obama to deliver on his promises, I’m also eager to see gay Republicans deliver some change I can believe in.