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April 23, 2009

In the 2008 presidential election, between 4% and 5% of voters self-identified as gay. Of these, 27% went for John McCain. That works out to 1.4 to 1.8 million gay Republican votes.  There may be some common ground on the issue that most divides GOProud, a new  tax-exempt 527 political organization aiming to be the voice for gay conservatives, from long-standing Republican orthodoxy: gay marriage.  Like most conservative organizations, GOProud is skeptical about using courts to advance social change. They also tend to believe that social issues like this one are best left to the American people acting through their state legislatures. 

Question to the Blogosphere:  In our continuing focus on gay rights in America and an internal search for common ground between conservatives and the gay community, do you think being gay and Republican are compatible?  Are there issues on which the gay community could find common ground with their Republican neighbors?  Is GOProud a sign that partisan groups are being pushed to moderation after decades of polarized politics?  Are stereotypes about what homosexuals believe inhibiting our ability as a country to maturely deal with issues such as health care, education, and marriage?

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  1. April 24, 2009 10:41 am

    There absolutely is room for gay people in the Republican Party. First off, it is an erroneous, yet popular assumption that Republicans are inherently anti-gay. The truth is that there is an incredible diversity within the GOP in terms of positions on gay rights. Most national polls from 2008 revealed that 50% of Republicans supported either gay marriage or civil unions, 80% opposed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, over half of Republicans believed that gays should be able to openly serve in the military, and over half believe that the GOP needed to stop focusing on opposition to gay rights and move on to more important matters—like protection against domestic terrorism and fiscal responsibility. Despite the fact that just as many Republicans support gay rights as oppose them, the left-leaning sensationalist Media in our country focuses primarily on the salient half of Republicans that oppose gay marriage, while largely ignoring the half that are supportive. Younger Republicans are statistically more supportive of gay rights than older ones, and every year the GOP becomes more inclusive, so years from now gay rights will likely be a non-issue within the GOP. Second, many gay people subscribe to values that are quite consistent with most of the GOP’s platform—beliefs in limited government, lower taxes, emphasis on individual liberty and individual responsibility vs. collective responsibility, fiscal accountability & responsibility, states rights, free enterprise, and a strong national defense. True conservatives seek to preserve (or “conserve”) the founding framework of our nation—including the Founding Fathers’ distrust of inflated government power, which often leads to corruption and political persecution, and insistence that the government never encroach upon the basic, inalienable rights of its citizens. The moment an individual who calls himself or herself a “conservative” plots to use the institution of government as a vehicle to legislate one’s personal moral beliefs onto the masses, he/she ceases to be “conservative” and begins to shift leftward towards fascism. True conservatives believe that the government should not interfere with the personal romantic lifestyles of its citizens so long as one’s love life does not violate the basic rights of another human being. Keep in mind that one of the founding platform positions of the Republican Party in the 1800s was, for this reason, abolition of slavery. True conservatives should oppose any effort on the government’s part to violate our founding principles by arbitrarily withholding civil liberties from a subset of its populace based purely on physiological minority status (i.e. sexual orientation). True conservatives abhor the fact that some of our nation’s citizens are forced to financially support a government that withholds from them equal civil rights. So yes—yes, there is room for gay people in the GOP.

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