By Robert A. Vella
To many staunchly conservative elders, the idea of a “gay” Republican conjures up blissful images of 1950s Americana – as depicted in popular television shows like Leave it to Beaver – where society was well-ordered and everything was “right” with the world. These folks were quite aware of homosexuality and other “deviant” behaviors, and they were more tolerant of it than most of us today might realize; that is, as long as such behavior was kept secretly in the closet.
However, it did not stay in the closet; and, that’s when the LGBT community – somewhat belatedly – joined the political fight for equality. Although the Democratic Party was a more natural fit for this cause, some preferred the economic and foreign policy ideologies of the GOP. They formed the Log Cabin Republicans political advocacy organization in 1977, and it has proved to be a vocal thorn in the side of social conservatives ever since.
But, LGBT activism within the Republican Party must be like living in a busy crossroads. The main traffic towards laissez faire capitalism is intersected by opposing flows of social mores where one, religious fundamentalism, dominates the other.
The gay Republican turns Groucho Marx’ famous quote on its head. Instead of:
“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”
They seem to be saying:
I want to belong to any club that doesn’t wish to accept me as a member.
Very strange bedfellows, I believe, and a set of moral contradictions which appear irreconcilable. How does, for example, the gay Republican rationalize discrimination against blacks and other ethnic minorities when he himself is the target of discrimination?