This morning, while surfing the web, I chanced on yet another piece on a left-wing site attacking gay Republicans. This writer, the Huffington Post’s Gene Stone, must have thought himself particularly clever when he came up with the title for his April 2006 post, The Gay Republican: Oxymoron, or Just Moron?. But, all he really did was prove himself to be just another narrow-minded liberal insulting gay Republicans and/or conservatives and without making any effort to understand us. A man who prefers name-calling to thought or research.
Like Charles Kaiser, he just didn’t bother to contact any gay Republicans before writing his piece. Well, maybe he did, he just didn’t quote them in his 700-word diatribe. He makes some pretty sweeping generalizations and some pretty particular accusations such as “state republican (sic) parties have specifically told gay men and women they are not welcome in the party.” Um, Gene, could you please provide those specifics.
About the only piece of actual “evidence” he provides for Republican gay-bashing is that former New York City Mayor was “campaigning for arch-homophobes” as if the candidates in question (then-Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and 2006 Iowa GOP gubernatorial hopeful Jim Nussle) had defined their entire political career by their animosity toward gay people, as if Rudy was campaigning for them precisely because they did not vote the way HRC wanted them to.
So he asks what he terms “the old question:”
Why would any gay man or woman belong to a party that has stated, over and over, as clearly as can be, without equivocation, that he or she is not welcome.
He provides no evidence whatsoever that the party has stated “over and over” in his view has told us we’re not welcome. Nor does he bother to consult any gay man or woman who belong to the party he so unfairly and inaccurately demonizes.
And that’s the point of this post. Those who harbor an animosity toward gay Republicans base their animosity not on the ideas and experiences of actual gay Republicans, but on their narrow view of Republican party.
Stone answers his “old question” by considering his own anti-Republican prejudices. To be sure, he doesn’t call them that. What liberal would admit to prejudice? Â But it seems only such deep prejudice could account for such an inaccurate picture of the GOP.
He believes that a gay person coming out as Republican “is almost the same thing as not coming out at all” and contends that “Gay Republicans can be among the most homophobic of all Americans.” Then, he goes on to say (repeat rather) that that party doesn’t want people like Bruce and me. And I repeat, not once does he provide any evidence to prove his point.
I’ll just offer one piece of contradictory evidence, the McCain campaign’s blogger liaison as well as those at the Republican National Committee (RNC) have reached out to both Bruce and me, including us in conference calls and welcoming our input. And heck, our very e-mail addresses indicate we’re gay. Hardly a sign of saying they don’t want us.
Stone’s post reminds me of a comment recently caught in our spam filter and subsequently approved. Reader Robert Oliver wrote:
Wow, the only thing that is scarier than a Republican is a gay Republican. It’s a good thing that you are such a small minority. It is painfully obvious from the comments about Pride and the fact that you cling to conservatism and the Republican Party that you have some issues with being gay. I imagine that you come from a generation in which you couldn’t come out. Self hate and hiding who you are must bring some sense of comfort and nostalgia to you. I won’t try to take that away. So keep on truckin’ and lovin’ those that hate and despise you!
Like Stone, Oliver doesn’t over one piece of evidence to substantiate his accusations. In my reply, I addressed Oliver and observed:
You say I’m hiding who I am out of a sense of nostalgia, then how did you explain that my co-blogger and myself place our names on the blog and are openly gay in conservative circles?
He betrays his intolerance by misstating facts that would be obvious to anyone who spent five minutes actually reading the blog’ and its masthead. And he attached his comment to a post where I noted that the “notion of [gay] pride was necessary to help erase [the] negative connotations” once associated with the word, “gay.” And the very post made clear I thought that was a good thing. A self-hating gay would give the word a negative connotation.
The point is this. Charles Kaiser, Gene Stone and Robert Oliver do not represent not some isolated phenomenon. All too many liberal pundits, journalists, columnists, even alas all too many of our peers define us gay Republicans based not on their experience with actual gay Republicans, but on their own prejudiced attitudes against Republicans.
They don’t feel it necessary to reference any facts or actual interviews with gay Republicans when they smear us. We need to remain ever vigilant against their intolerance and challenge it whenever we get a chance.
As we do so, not only will we have fun pointing out the intolerance of the supposedly tolerant, but we could even end up changing a few attitudes in the process.