Yoo-hoo! Gay Democrats! Republicans now are the party of tolerance and equality and diversity — who'da thunk it?

by CynthiaYockey on June 23, 2009

It might seem counter-intuitive that I’m choosing today to announce to gay and lesbian Democrats that Republicans now have THE party of tolerance, equality and diversity. I am taking quite the shellacking over a piece of mine at Pajamas Media entitled, “My Blissful Gay Marriage.” Around noon or so, Eastern Time, it was dropping down the story column. Then I checked back around 4 pm and it had so many comments, along with the anti-gay-marriage piece it was paired with, that both were promoted above the fold again. (!)

I read the first 30 or so comments, which were mostly negative, and posted a comment linking my post here that has photos from the full span of my relationship with my late life partner. Then I decided to let the commenters work things out amongst themselves until tomorrow. But also, it was more nastiness and cruelty than I could stand after being up most of the night fixing some technical snafus here that had to be corrected before this story was published since they involved the photos of Margaret and me. (However, I am amused that comment-wise, I’m winning by about two-to-one, although that seems to be because more people want to, um, set me straight, as it were, than want to congratulate the other guy for his timeless wit and wisdom)

So, anyway, you’d think I’d be all in my foxhole, or depressed, or angry.

Actually, I feel elated and blissful.

What has me so elated is the Big Picture. While there are very vocal and hurtful people on the Right who insist that homosexuals should be second-class citizens and they propagate assorted libels and/or feel entitled to have the state enforce the tenets of their religion, I know that there ALSO are big shots on the Right — the biggest is Dick Cheney, but there are more — who do support equality for homosexuals, including marriage equality. The Big Picture is that we are having this discussion on the Right AND that pro-equality conservative and Republican homosexuals, including me, are included in the discussion.

On the Left, from the Democrats and liberals, I would get a whole lot of, “We support you, but not in any practical way, because our black and Latin constituencies hate you and want you dead and will leave us if we do anything in support of your equality. Maybe some day, some far off, ever-receding day — but right now, shut up, give us all your money and here’s our list of work you can do to advance the interests of people who are indifferent or hateful toward you. Because we have you trapped. Where else are you going to go? TO THE REPUBLICANS? BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!”

Well, my dear angry lesbian and gay Democrats, you have my personal invitation to come on over to the Republican Party and fiscal conservatism. We homosexuals are so accustomed to having to create our own jobs and make our own way, we are the natural constituents of fiscal conservatism, anyway. And, as I pointed out in another post, Republicans understand marriage. We only have one thing to persuade them of — that our equality should be recognized by law. With Democrats, we have to sell them on marriage, first, and our equality second — but by then they’ve forgotten all about why marriage is so important, so it’s an exercise in futility. Read more here.

Another thing — conservatives and Republicans respect individualism — which, it so happens, we homosexuals have in abundance. The Republican party is your true home! Obama and the Democrats are just using and abusing you. Ditch them! Ditch them now! And come toward the light!

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  • Ad rem

    Another touching and articulate post. The fact that you’re able to bare your soul with such candor only goes to show the love and support you’ve been shown by those close to you. To have loved and been loved is perhaps the most precious gift we can ben given in life, and knowing this is what gives you that inner peace ….or bliss.

    Please try to understand why I think some of the “social” conservatives are having a difficult time getting their heads around the gay marriage issue. The media is constantly presenting us with the likes of “Perez Hilton” as the voice for gay rights. Or how about that gay couple in West L.A. who hung a mannequin depicting Sarah Palin for Halloween? Gay activists do irreparable damage to their own cause by “outing” those who have made contributions to Prop. 8 . All these aggressive behaviors fly in the face of fair-play to most conservatives, and I’m sure the media is only too happy to fuel this divide.

    • Ad rem,

      Thank you for your kind praise. What I love and respect about social conservatives is their love of God and desire to do right. That’s our common ground.

      A couple of months ago I took two gay conservatives to task in my post, “You no playa da game, you no maka da rules,” and I realized that I had an extremely rare experience of such a long, happy marriage in the face of so much adversity. I have a lot to say about marriage that applies to any couple, frankly. But, as I was trying to feel and see the point of view of the opponents of gay marriage to figure out what would help them understand our quest for marriage equality, I realized I had to start telling my story.

      Regarding the negative behavior after the passage of Prop. 8, I thought that groups like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign should have seen that coming and had a plan to channel people’s hurt and anger. But I also thought that the gay conservatives who scolded the demonstrators did everyone an enormous disservice. In future posts I will explain the pain and anguish homosexuals felt. I also will explain how not having marriage equality devastates the lives of homosexuals. I felt the passage of Prop. 8 was a form of murder and I will explain why in future posts.

      I’ll also be talking about the bliss. Stay tuned.

      Cynthia

  • I have no animosity towards gays and lesbians, I do have some questions about how well gay marriage will work, when it comes to pass. Perhaps it is the cynic in me that comes with a career of pushing a county cruiser up and down the roads of a rural county on the edge of a major metro area.

    I actually expect far less trouble out of lesbian marriage than male gays. I do not know whence the volatility of gay relationships comes from, is it because they’re gay or because they are men? I don’t know, nor is it my particular problem, I only know of the violence that happens so often.

    Some of the ugliest murders I’ve seen comes from these relationships as well as a heck of a lot of plain, ordinary fistfights. I do know that it is not the habit of we L.E.Os to, um, count the beds when we end up at a house where two guys (or far less often, gals) are fighting. We may “know” but we don’t ask. For that ordinary fight is no domstic violence in most places if it’s a relationship. Since a domestic violence rap on a person’s record is just about professional suicide these days we try to avoid that, when possible.

    I don’t know, I do know that our whole family court system is just about overwhelmed now. I don’t know where we are going to get the tax revenue to add a bigger strain.

    Please note that I do not say no, I merely ask how.
    .-= Peter´s last blog ..Weenie Diplomacy, No Wonder I Love Fausta =-.

    • Peter,

      Thanks for asking about the how. One of the reasons I realized I had to write about my gay marriage was to help people understand how it works and can get a picture in their heads of it.

      I’ll write about this more, but the ability to marry is one of the best tools any society has for socializing its members to be sober and productive and stable. That’s because marriage provides the framework for building a life with another person — this is a powerful dream to be allowed to have. I think most people, from the time they are small children, have a dream of marrying and live their lives to realize that dream in innumerable ways, from taking care of their appearance, learning social skills, joining groups and getting a good education to planning a career and imagining what it will be like to have their dream spouse and dream house. “What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve” is destroyed as a tool for relationship success for homosexuals because we can’t get married, so quite a lot of gays don’t shape their behavior toward that goal the way straight people do. I think marriage equality for gays and lesbians is going to result in significant increases in productivity and reductions in negative indicators that will get more pronounced as the number of homosexuals who grow up with true marriage equality increases.

      Cynthia

  • Another thing — conservatives and Republicans respect individualism — which, it so happens, we homosexuals have in abundance. The Republican party is your true home!

    I am so down with you, and I am so happy I found this site. I’m not a lesbian- well, maybe a tiny bit like 15%, but I’m an intellectual. You are right on. Respect for individualism is key, and in order to do that small government is key. The Republicans are the natural place for the LGBT community because LGBT’s usually tend to be fairly resistant to “groupthink.” The bottom line with the Republicans is hands-off, but also the Republicans need to get that message across. They’ve alienated a lot of people with their emphasis on lifestyle. We need to focus on bottom line national security and economy, and we need to show people that Republicans are actually hands off personal life. In that vein, I think that the conversation on abortion and gay marriage (I’m personally pro on both), should be changed to “take it out of the courts, put it into the hands of the people,” decided legislatively, not judicially.

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  • A totally unrelated question (sorry, couldn’t find your e-mail): What can you tell us above your banner image? Who is that supposed to be?

    Thanks,

    Uli

    • Ulises,

      The banner image is a famous mosaic of Sappho, the Greek poet from Lesbos. Some of her poems are love poems expressing love and desire for women, so the word “lesbian” is really a poetic allusion to her. I believe the mosaic was discovered as Pompeii was unearthed. I felt she was the perfect symbol for me and this blog.

      Cynthia

  • I am still far from convinced that the GOP is the party that will bring equality to the LGBT community. Given the allegiance between conservative religious organizations and the GOP, it seems very unlikely that supporting the Republicans is in the long-term interests of the homosexual community.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think it is great to see more diversity in the GOP, and applaud attempts to promote equality in all parties, but I just can’t see how tolerance, equality and diversity fit into the GOP plan. The platform just doesn’t fit the rhetoric here.

  • David — personally, I think the Republicans are falling apart right now because they are giving lip service to fiscal responsibility and spending too much time talking about social issues… and most conservatives and libertarian types who would so rather vote for a good republican candidate just can’t stand them right now.

    The republicans have to make a choice right now, whether to follow their stupid social nonsense, or come back to where everyone else is. Let us make businesses, make decisions and keep our money.

    Personally, I think the federal government has no right to regulate marriage. It should be merely enforced as a contract, which the relavent parties draw up for themselves. Not just for people who are gay, but think about how bizarre it is that your marriage contract can actually be retroactively changed, just by a new law, judicial activism, or even merely changing states!

    People should write their own, or use a standard one (open source? :D) and have the government stop getting in everyone’s business.

  • Whippet16

    I’m straight and a life long Democrat until recently but I can tell you from seeing the Democratic 2 step my whole life, that the only difference the 2 parties have on the issue is that Republicans will not use gays, lie to their face to get their money and their vote and then string them along until it’s re-election time when they repeat the same cycle.

    Democratic politicians don’t want gays to have equal rights either but the only way to get their money and their vote is to give it lip service. At least in my state, the Democrats in office have always had an unspoken agreement never to put thier collegues on the spot by introducing gay legislation they would actually have to take a stand on. One recent freshman that didn’t know the game did just that. You never saw such a mad scramble from Democrats in office to shut it down. I don’t know what eventually become of it but their is no legislation. It’s a near 100% Democrat office holder state and has been for decades

    For me, the prop 8 thuggery and the prejean thing is what lost you my support. The addition of most of the gay community keeping quiet while it all went on just cemented it. Quite ironic that gays want strangers to support them but they were not willing to do the same for others while they were being ripped to shreds. Until the majority shuts down the minority of the Perez Hilton/Prop 8 thug mentality, and becomes the louder voice that people see and remember, you won’t get back alot of supporters like me.

    • Whippet16,

      Your vengefulness over the Prop 8 protests and Carrie Prejean being put on the spot with a legitimate question and her dishonest reply — I believe the reports that her mother is a lesbian are true — is cruel beyond description. Marriage equality would save lesbian and gay lives by providing the legal tools couples need to build their lives together. Because it deprives same-sex couples of marriage equality, Prop 8 is murderous, and intentionally so. When people intentionally and maliciously succeed in damaging a group they hate, it is not very surprising that some members of that group would lash out. I really think gay and lesbian conservatives were staggeringly remiss in not giving social conservatives the experiences of the people they hurt and the emotional impact of their malice and the lives that will be damaged or lost by snatching marriage equality away.

      Also: I spent a few minutes in the same room with Carrie Prejean at the NOM press conference in D.C. She cannot keep her story straight from one sentence to the next. I think everyone who supports her is going to regret it. Also — the story that her mother is a lesbian is a very credible one. In addition, you really need to take seriously why her modeling agency fired her and why the Miss California USA organization fired her with Donald Trump’s blessing. And you need to be aware that Ms. Prejean’s attorney also is general counsel for the National Organization for Marriage. That strikes me as a conflict of interest. It also suggests the possibility that he engineered the circumstances that led to Prejean’s dismissal because her martyr act was/is an extremely productive cash cow for NOM.

      You are just not considering the lifetimes of agony that gays and lesbians have experienced due to being second-class citizens and denied marriage equality. Think about it — I am the descendent of colonists and have an ancestor who served under Washington through the cruel winter at Valley Forge. Yet every single illegal alien has more civil rights than I do because I am a lesbian. Lesbians and gays were so cruelly hurt by Prop 8 that the size and scope of the hurt and loss of life it will cause far outweigh the protests. Carrie Prejean gleefully threw salt in that wound as Miss California — a smarter, kinder young woman would have had a diplomatic answer to the question — then stomped it in wearing stiletto heels.

      Please make more of an effort to understand to scope of the hurt and the loss of life and damage that will result from Prop 8/Carrie Prejean before you judge lesbians and gays so severely and seek to punish us with permanent second-class citizenship. I predict you will be more proud of yourself in the long run, and do more good in the world, with the more compassionate and forgiving view that homosexuals deserve equality, including marriage equality, in the United States of America.

      Cynthia

  • Michelle

    Cynthia, this fiscally conservative Republican t-girl thinks you are a beautiful person who put so much into a loving relationship and clearly got more back. I agree completely with your thesis and with the other loving comments here.

    Much of the usual discussion about gay partnership/marriage inevitably gets into nomenclature and that is where people get hung up. The problem is that both sides entrench and refuse to give a little ground where a little bit of looking for common ground could get both sides what they want.

    I have no problem with respecting the centuries of Judeo-Christian tradition and reserving to the church the use of the term marriage. I wouldn’t care to force my beliefs on people who don’t share them which is one thing that separates me from the liberals. They have no hesitation in forcing their beliefs (more likely, unbeliefs) on everyone else and ridiculing those who don’t submit.

    On the other hand, you and many friends of mine illustrate why committed civil unions need to be supported and institutionalized. I think when two people are in love and make the commitment to a lifelong relationship, it should be celebrated and their rights as partners should be established in law.

    I think you have rightly identified the Republican Party as the one with the bigger tent. I hope the party continues to expand that tent. It could make some of the holier-than-thou types apoplectic to discover that the founder of the party, Abraham Lincoln, carried on a very intimate relationship with Joshua Speed in Springfield, Illinois, sharing his bed for four years. So maybe the tent is just expanding back to where it began!

  • sugarfoot

    Cynthia, I am a new reader and I really appreciate your insight, wisdom, and passion. I am not in favor of same sex marriages just because I worry about the unintended consquences for our society. Marriage is an institution that is almost as old as humanity and it has served mankind very well. In my opinion, so many of the problems in our society have come about with breakdown of the traditional family unit. My resistance is as simple as that.

    I suppose I am a conflicted conservative because I want to preserve all of the institutions that strenghen our society and our future generations but I also do not want any person to be treated “less than” because they are in the minority. You have given me alot to think about and I thank you for that.

    • Sugarfoot,

      I appreciate your kind remarks and willingness to read a differing point of view. I am astounded and overjoyed to find how much more common this is on the Right than on the Left. It shows a generosity of heart, mind and soul.

      Regarding marriage equality — the only change we want to make is the choice of spouse. That’s it. Nothing else. If religions do not want to perform marriages for same-sex couples, or allow same-sex marriages to be performed on property they own, we are fine with that as a group. If there are some random clowns who do try for that, they do not have the general gay community’s support, but no group has control over the behavior of everyone in it.

      Also, regarding religions and marriage, one of the very first things that happened after the gay rights movement was born 40 years this month was the founding of the Metropolitan Community Church by an evangelical Christian minister named Troy Perry. In other words, creating a place where lesbians and gays could be treated equally before God and worship was at the top of the “to do” list. There are now Metropolitan Community Churches all over the U.S. We don’t have to take things other people own. When we need something, we create it. We are self-reliant and resourceful and accustomed to doing for ourselves and our own.

      Marriage as an institution changes with the times. Let’s set aside the fact that the form of marriage most common in the Old Testament was polygamy. My father and both his brothers were born before his mother, my grandmother, could vote. She was effectively her husband’s property. In the 1960’s, women could not obtain credit cards without their husband’s permission. I remember being taunted and baited by men in the 1970’s for advocating for equality for women. Equality for women didn’t really take hold until the 1980’s and it has changed the institution of marriage and made it better. I really do not see how changing the choice of spouse and nothing else will harm marriage as an institution. Marriage does so much to motivate people to do their best, to work toward long-term goals and to cushion the blows of sickness and hard times that it just seems to me that the more couples a society has that are married, the better.

      I do hope you will come back and feel comfortable about sharing your thoughts, even when we disagree.

      Cynthia

  • Cynthia, I sure hope you are right, since gay marriage is coming whether I want it or not. You expect good things, my experience leads me to expect the bad. Of course, that’s not just gay marriage that I expect bad things.

    When I was a boy in small town America we had lifelong bachelors sharing houses and farms as well as lifelong spinsters doing the same. No one snuck in inspecting sleeping arrangememts. The adults may have had their suspicians, if they did nobody told us kids about it.

    I probably ought to not write about things that, even now, I don’t fully understand. After all, nobody ever called us LEOs out because their lives were just perfect. I do think that society was better off when folks kept a lot more quiet about how they felt and we paid more attention to what they did. But what do I know? I’m just a bald fat guy in the country wondering why politicians can’t seem to control keeping their zippers up. I never had that trouble. Of course I never had the kind of money they do. Oh, and my wife has her own .38 as well as access to my service rovolver.
    .-= Peter´s last blog ..A Politician Can’t Keep His Zipper Up, Imagine That. =-.

    • Peter,

      Yes, I really do think marriage equality and equality in general for homosexuals will improve the moral fiber of the country and support the institution of marriage.

      As we have seen in the last couple of weeks, the threats to marriage are the ordinary ones of the human experience: immaturity, infidelity, laziness (leading to a failure to support one’s family), lying, drugs, alcohol, cruelty, selfishness and so on. I suspect that starting 20 or 30 years ago, preachers found they couldn’t preach against these sins without emptying their churches. But they can still talk about sex when they condemn homosexuals, so I believe they use us simultaneously for the titillation value, the self-righteousness high and as scapegoats for sins that are not ours.

      Thanks for making me smile with your remark about your wife’s means of enforcing your virtue. 😉

      Cynthia

  • Matt H

    “When [we] tell the opponents of gay marriage that they’re stereotyping all gays and lesbians and then label everyone on their side, , as “haters,” we lose. And when that stops being just a self-defeating political tactic and we actually start to believe that anyone who doesn’t meet us 100% of the way on this issue really is a “hater,” we lose again.”
    http://www.gaypatriot.net/2009/06/12/not-wanting-haters-to-triumph-in-gay-marriage-battles/

    Thanks to the gaypatriot fort exposing this issue. Now let me tell my story and then tie it back in with this.

    For the first 22 years of my life I was against gay marriage. It wasn’t until having a gay friend in college and having a gay family member come out that some of my assumptions and ideas were challenged. Its not like I ever hated homosexuals or thought they were disgusting people, but I realized that my opposition to gay marriage was just left over… Read More “aquired ideas” from my education in private school for 10+ years.

    The first time someone asked me what I thought about gay marriage (freshmen yr college) I responded that I was against it. Well being called a “homophobe and bigot” was a real shock to me and predictably pushed me further against gay marriage. This situtation was repeated over and over again.

    It wasn’t until my cousin and I sat down and talked right after our abuelo died that I really sat down and gave it some very deep thought. What sold me this…before I could even tell my cousin what my thoughts were on his coming out he said,””No matter what you decide know that I love you and I will always be there for you.” It took a couple of months, but my cousin was patient as we talked often. It was my conservative principles, ironically enough, that pushed me over the edge. Why shouldn’t people be able to visit a loved one in the hospital (spousal right) even if they are of the same sex? Why not be able to leave you money/pension to whoever you want?

    GayPatriots assertions are very true. If even one of those gay activists had taken the time early in my life to question my ideas in a, for lack of a better word at 6:30 am, loving way then I would have been on their side about 4 years earlier.

    Here is a quote from a poster on GayPatriot….
    “Gays had my support on this topic but they have lost it. Honestly, I didn’t care if gays married or not. Life is too short for me to worry about what 2 strangers do in their bedroom so I supported it. After seeing the Prop 8 thuggery, threats, badgering and violence when they didn’t get their way, and the Prejean thing-forget it. ”

    So here is a note to the gay community. Instead of labeling everyone opposed to gay rights and marriage as “bigots” “homophobes” etc….next time try the approach that my cousin had and that GayPatriot advocates. Calling people bigots and homophobes just fruther sets people against your cause. I would make a gaurantee that if gay activists stopped doing this, then support for gay marriage would sky rocket among the American public.

    To sum it all up…..GayPatriot says this,” But, to repeal Prop 8, it is necessary to win hearts and minds of people with attitudes different from those of the “cultural élite.” To that end, it is imperative that advocates of gay marriage move beyond the hate.”

    Lastly, I would vigorously challenge you that whippet16 is being vengeful. The gay community calls for tolerance and respect. But some respond to people with differing viewpoints or ideas with vile attacks and name calling. Which turns many people who would have been sympathetic off.

    Cynthia, you have to stop defending the Prop 8 and Carrie Prejean nastiness. I completely sympathize, seeing what my cousin and his partner go through. I know the Prop 8 decision was hurtful, but that is not an excuse to defend the vitriolic attacks that resulted afterwards. The end result of those attacks is to further cement the other side against gay marriage and turn undecided people against it. Your basically saying its a violation of everything the gay community stand for but its ok, becuase Prop 8 was really hurtful to us. Same thing with Carrie Prejean, whatever her true background or motives. It was in excusable what happened to that girl for simply saying she was against gay marriage. Again, more people turned against the gay community and their cause.

    Nonetheless, keep preaching it sister. The conservative side is the place to be to have this discussion!

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