Monday, April 19, 2010

The GOP and Its Gay Future

I just read a Towleroad post showing that the Chairman of Duke University's College Republicans was removed from his post after he was discovered to be a gay man. Naturally, there are two sides to this story. The folks within the organization are saying that sexual orientation had nothing to do with the ouster, while the former Chair says that it is precisely the case.

Now, I have no idea what really went down in NC. Yet, I do know that it is completely plausible that this young man was removed simply because of his sexual orientation. The reality is that current iteration of the GOP is downright hostile to GLBT concerns of any and every stripe.

The one saving grace for the GOP in terms of GLBT issues has been the party's young members. Like their generational counterparts, they generally could care less about sexual orientation, particularly if they aren't terribly religious. Meghan McCain is an excellent example of where the GOP can head on gay rights issues over the long haul, and I think that it is a good direction.

I admit that I respect the tenacity of gay Republicans, because they are fighting in the face of a party determined not to budge on GLBT issues. Meanwhile, the Democrats are far from perfect on GLBT issues, and the bizarre fracas with Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and the completely mixed signals on ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," are emblematic of that lack of perfection. But as long as the Christianist right holds sway within the Republican party, then incidents like that at Duke will likely continue.

Gay Republicans are doing difficult, and often thankless, work by trying to move the GOP on its rigidly negative GLBT positions. Though I don't agree with Republicans on most policies, I do respect gay Republicans for trying on GLBT issues. And if that young man at Duke firmly believes GOP principles, then he needs to make sure to work with people like Meghan McCain and other GLBT allies within the GOP to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again.


The $3000 Dress said...

geez what does everyone want? we've got a 1/2 black president, baby steps, baybee steps!

hscfree said...


Scott said...

I wanted to learn more so I Googled "gay Republicans" but it was frustrating. I need to get a better pop-up blocker or something, cuz my browser kept getting redirected to "similar sites."

I got sent to "Jews for Hitler" and "Chickens for Perdue" and "Terrorists for Peace."

It was weird.

hscfree said...

@Scott: I can only imagine. I think I am looking at them in the broader context of other groups trying to effect seemingly impossible change. I damn sure wouldn't do it, but I am not going to fault someone pushing for something he/she truly believes. I am also quite sure that there are more closet Republicans in the gay community than we know. It's perhaps just untenable for the majority of that lot to cast a vote (particularly at the national level) for the GOP. I mean there is an openly gay dude running for the Lt. Gov of MA this time around on the GOP ticket.

Rhen said...

I'll let you know what I think about the MA Lt. Governor race when we see how Tisei does in the polls.

While I appreciate Megan McHain and have hope that people like her are the voice of the future of the GOP, I still have fundamental problems with GOP policies, leaving aside their issues on LGBTQs. Equality would be a great first step, but until they change their stances on social policies, I'll still continue to cheer on Barney Frank.