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Internet Facilitates Dissemination of Gay Conservative Opinion

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:50 pm - February 18, 2006.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

While I don’t always agree with him, I believe Dale Carpenter currently to be the mostly consistently conservative columnist who writes on gay issues. In his latest piece, on the burgeoning number of conservative gay voices on the Internet, he seems to hold a similar opinion of us, calling our blog “the most reliably conservative gay blog on the Internet.

In his piece, Dale observes how the Internet has facilitated the dissemination of gay conservative viewpoints. As he puts it, “Gay-conservative bloggers and Web sites, of which there are now dozens, are major competitors in this marketplace.” Just over a decade ago, it seemed that all gay people, at least those who spoke out on issues of concern to our community, were critical of mainstream America and at odds with the growing conservative moment in America as well as with the GOP.

That began to change as Andrew Sullivan rose to prominence in early 1990s and with the publication in 1993 of Bruce Bawer’s book, A Place at the Table: the Gay Individual in American Society. A year later when Dale began writing his column, “a narrow ideological band monopolized the gay press. The views expressed in gay periodicals, either explicitly in opinion columns or implicitly in ‘news’ features, ranged from liberal to radical.” At the same time, “Gay publishers and editors acted as gatekeepers of opinion, defining what was acceptable.

The rise of the Internet limited the ability of these gatekeepers to prevent conservative gay opinion from reaching a broader audience. As I wrote a year ago, reviewing Hugh Hewitt’s book, Blog : Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World, in large part because of blogs, the gay conservative “message is no longer blocked by gatekeepers who sneer at our politics and mock our values.

Because of the growing media marketplace, especially the Internet, gay people no longer have to rely upon left-of-center news and opinion sources for information and commentary on issues of concern to us. Those in the gay media (and at some gay organizations) who wish to suppress our ideas, suggesting that their views reflect that of the gay community can no longer get away with the claim that they speak for all gay people. With the growing number of gay conservative bloggers, there are now gay voices publicly standing up to left-leaning gay organizations and gay media. And we’re reaching an ever-increasing audience.

In his piece, Dale lists a number conservative blogs and web-sites, many of which I check regularly. His latest column is thus a great resource for those who want a broader perspective on gay issues, a resource which will help people realize that the media image notwithstanding, gay people’s ideas are as politically diverse as those of straight people.

As with anything Dale writes, I recommend you just read the whole thing!

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest):

Moscow Vetoes Gay Pride Parade

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:28 pm - February 18, 2006.
Filed under: Gay Politics,Gays in Other Lands

Perhaps I have been too harsh on Andrew Sullivan lately. While I have faulted him for appearing to join the angry left in criticizing the president’s every move, he distinguished himself yesterday by taking issue with Russian authorities for caving it to a “mainstream Muslim” leader who threatened to bash marchers “if they dared to walk the streets” as part of a gay pride parade. Moscow authorities will not allow the parade to proceed. (Via Volokh via Instapundit.)

Just over a week ago, I noted how, ever eager to fault the Bush Administration for the slightest infraction (or appeared infraction) against gays, HRC (and other gay groups) are reluctant to criticize anti-gay abuses in anti-American regimes. While I also find (that on those occasions when I read his blog) Andrew seems eager as well to fault the Administration, his post on the Russian march addresses anti-gay attitudes (& policies) of non-Republicans. It’s too bad that the gay establishment is so focused on President Bush that it barely has time to address dangerous anti-gay attitudes from those who are not their domestic ideological adversaries.

And while some of those adversaries do harbor anti-gay sentiments, Eugene Volokh (via Instapundit) offers some statistics which should offer to comfort to American gays. While one poll showed that 43% of Russians (in 2005) thought gays should be incarcerated, only 33% of Americans (in 1998) though gay sex between consenting adults should be illegal. Indeed, Talgat Tadzhuddin, the Mufti who warned that “Russia’s Muslims would stage violent protests if the march went ahead” also “criticized riots over the Mohammed cartoons.” Although this Mufti finds that “harming innocent people is banditry” he feels, according to Volokh, that “flogging homosexuals is just fine.” Even some of the more moderate Muslim leaders abroad are not favorably disposed to gay people.

That Russian authorities would cancel this gay march shows that while things are not yet as good as they can be for gays in the United States (and other Western nations) that we still have it pretty good. We can march freely in cities even in the “reddest” of states. When we make local authorities aware of threats to our parades (and protests), they send in the police, not to close down our gatherings, but to protect our First Amendment rights (of freedom of speech and association).

In his post, Andrew warns that “self-censorship is a slippery slope.” That seems to be not just a warning to authorities in nations not as free as ours, but also to gay groups who often seem unwilling to offend other “oppressed” groups — even those harboring hateful anti-gay sentiments.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest):

ADDENDUM: We saw something similar in China two months ago when police there closed down a gay cultural festival.