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On Joining Forces with Social Conservatives
When Necessary to Preserve Our Liberty

A reader e-mailed me a link a post which quoted a comment from another blog which really got at why I, as a gay man, can feel comfortable in a political coalition with social conservatives who would rather I (and those like me) not act on my natural inclination for intimacy and romantic affection with another man.

Repeating commentshe made on another site about moderates attempting to dismiss religious conservatives within the Republican Party, Bill_Dalasio offers:

my main concern in politics is maintaining my freedom. And, in practical, definable terms, the daily threats to my liberty are not being pushed by religious conservatives. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve told me I’m breaking the law if I light up in a bar. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve forbidden me from buying food made with trans fats. It wasn’t religious conservatives who pushed speech codes on our college campuses and dictate hate crimes laws. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve made it a bureaucratic journey to buy a gun to protect my home and family. It isn’t religious conservatives I see trying to revive the fairness doctrine to specifically silence their political opposition. It wasn’t religious conservatives to gave us “campaign finance reform”. It isn’t the religious conservatives who have told me that I have to separate my trash, even to the point of removing individual trashcans in my office building.

Put bluntly, I can’t help but feel I’m being sold a bill of goods here. Progressives, with the full consent of moderates,…chip away consistently and unabashedly at my freedom. All the while, telling me how scared I should be of the religious conservative bogeyman hiding under the bed. Do I think there’s some religious conservatives who go over the top? Sure. But, marginalizing the religious conservatives en masse is a surefire way to empower just those religious conservatives who do go over the top. Moreover, I’m getting a little more than tired of being told to be scared about the threat to my liberty posed by my allies by people whose own behavior tells me they want nothing more than to restrict my freedom.

Emphasis added.

The issue, my friends, is freedom. This guy gets it.

Let me repeat, I, as a gay man, have no problem working in a political coalition with social conservatives so long as they don’t force me to promote legislation restricting freedom nor demand I enter some kind of ministry to “cure” me of my longings for affection with my own gender. Leave these people alone to practice their faith as they believe Scripture dictates. And leave me alone to interpret the same Scripture (or at least the first two-thirds thereof) in my own way.

And leave those who don’t hold to that Scripture free as well to live their lives as they see fit.

The issue is freedom. And in this age of increasing government control, we need focus on defending it.

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74 Comments

  1. Evidence, yes; complete proof, no.

    Duh.

    Comment by Righteous Bubba — November 27, 2008 @ 12:45 am - November 27, 2008

  2. Thank you for this post, GPW. I appreciate the clarity with which you see America and the Republican Party. As an evil, socon, Christianist theocrat I welcome your help in returning America to a ‘new birth of freedom’ as I believe Reagan called it. I also admire your calm patience in dealing with the willfully paranoid.

    I do remember one gay guy telling me Bush was building concentration camps. Naturally, I laughed. Naturally, I brought this up after the election, and him not on a cattle car or anything. Naturally, he ignored me.

    I hope you sway many others into realizing that if you like liberty, thank a Baptist is not an unreasonable sentiment. If the socons succeed in their attempt, with aid from noble allies like GPW, in retaking their party from the Beltway Boys, we shall see an expansion of freedom. And hopefully, we can see an upsurge of courtesy after the Left is squelched.

    Comment by Tennwriter — November 27, 2008 @ 1:06 am - November 27, 2008

  3. I don’t recall anywhere in the Constitution that gives the right to marriage to just any combination of people. I also don’t recall that it gives the right to anyone to adopt children. If my gay conservative friends here wish to change society’s opinion, that’s entirely their right. However, it is silly to insist that it is somehow an inherent “right”. I could assert all sorts of things which I personally want, but that doesn’t make them “rights”. Seems to me that’s what the left does constantly, such as asserting a right to home ownership, a right to free health care, a right to never be offended, etc.

    Is it possible to not be offended by people who do not wish to use the same word, “marriage” to mean two entirely different states? I would love to have honest disagreement without having the other party insist I would lynch them if I had my way. And considering that I have friends and family members who are gay, I would indeed prefer that they make vows to each other and live in a committed way, with legal contracts, civil unions, whatever. Does my not wishing to use the word “marriage” for that make me an intolerant person?

    Most of you here understand what I’m saying. This is a plea to stop assuming the worst of people with a different attitude. It is the demand for marriage and parenthood to be changed radically in nature which is in this nation so far a government intrusion, especially when coming from the federal court system. Resisting the imposition of this newly-invented “right” does not constitute an attempt to institute some new sort of government control.

    As far as gay adoption is concerned, if one wishes to promote this, the best advice I can give is to do everything possible to encourage women with unwanted pregnancies to carry full term and give up the children for adoption. One of the most convicting pieces of information given me some 16 years ago (when I was still pro-choice) was when I learned that the number of people on waiting lists for adopting babies was roughly equal to that of abortions performed each year. The fact is, many couples these days have to go to China, Colombia, etc. to find babies to adopt. If there were an abundance of children in need of parenting, you might find there would be some relaxed restrictions here. As a Christian conservative, I would be very surprised if any of the other Christians I know would prefer a baby to be aborted than to be adopted by a same-sex couple!

    Ignatius, you have now alluded to government misdeeds with respect to drug enforcement. I would be interested in your expounding on this subject, since I have no knowledge here. As a teenager, I worked as a file clerk in a trial law firm. I remember my boss explaining how financial institutions had influenced legislators so that the penalties for things like check-forging, etc. had much stiffer penalties than assault and battery, and other things which physically harm people. There is so much wrong with our criminal justice system, I’ve pretty much written it off as totally ineffective ages ago. In some cities, violent drug dealers are let go without arrest repeatedly because of civil rights leaders who go down to the police station and holler about racism. The poor folks who live in those neighborhoods are then left unprotected to be preyed upon by these criminals despite their desire to raise healthy families. And of course, there was the famous lady with the $4 million award from McDonald’s for an overly hot cup of coffee, the woman in Cleveland who sued the city for $2 million because some city construction workers were peeking at her in the restroom. Please! I may value privacy, but I’m not sure anyone’s privacy is worth this much! What can I say, some people work for money, others just sue.

    Comment by Vivian — November 27, 2008 @ 1:24 am - November 27, 2008

  4. Indeed they are, and LGBT folk are in the crosshairs.

    Is this A Differently Abled Dave? Either way, could you possibly be a more hysterical drama queen? You see, gays are the one demanding everyone else bend to their wishes, not religious conservatives.

    You have plenty of opportunities to investigate the claims some of us make about parts of the extremist right yet you choose not to.

    I dont need to investigate. Unlike you, I actually associate with them. I talk to them and know what they believe and what they want. You invent monsters.

    Its amazing how similar your descriptions of the religious right are to historical and present descriptions of Jews. Throw in something about Christians baking gays in pies, and you’ve got it down pat.

    But I thank you for clarifying history for me.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 27, 2008 @ 6:05 am - November 27, 2008

  5. Filtered, GPW.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 27, 2008 @ 6:11 am - November 27, 2008

  6. “When facing evil it is a better idea to oppose it than to try and bargain with it.”

    Exactly which it is why it is so distressing to read the consistent refusal to even take a look behind the facade of the “christian” right.

    Conspiracies and facades! You’re rolling out the dough.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 27, 2008 @ 6:13 am - November 27, 2008

  7. Shorter GPW: Inconveniencing me is the same as fascism. Denying me basic rights accorded to others because I am gay is American. Time to sit down children and let the adults run things for a while…

    Comment by jjcomet — November 27, 2008 @ 9:46 am - November 27, 2008

  8. “Rusty, we have that freedom. We just don’t get state recognition for our partnerships in most states. It’s why I repeatedly distinguish between a “right” and a benefit when blogging on gay marriage.”

    I always thought the difference between a right and a benefit was that the former was assumed to apply to all people by virtue of citizenship while the latter was something earned, over and above those basic rights. Please tell me what straight people did to enjoy the “benefit” of state recognition for their marriages that gays have failed to do. What have straight folks done to earn the “benefit” of being able to adopt a child?

    And BTW, Wulf – please learn what “freedom of speech” means. If I hear one more person claim that his or her freedom of speech is being abridged by people criticizing their opinions, I think I’m going to scream. How in hell can you discuss civil liberties or rights when you don’t even understand the freakin’ document on which those rights are based?

    Comment by jjcomet — November 27, 2008 @ 9:56 am - November 27, 2008

  9. #36 VtheK those comments were fully explained, deal with it.

    Um… no. You claimed that your explanations were eaten by the Spam filter. When I suggested you repost them to NDT’s blog (where there is no Spam filter), you summarily dropped the subject.

    Comment by V the K — November 27, 2008 @ 10:21 am - November 27, 2008

  10. reading this thread reminds me. “Conservatives think Liberals are misguided. Liberals think Republicans are EVIL.”

    Ovens indeed. Pop quiz, which party wants to meet uncoditionally with world leaders who hang/stone/crush homosexuals? Which party leaders -have-?

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 27, 2008 @ 10:51 am - November 27, 2008

  11. Thanks for the reply ignatius,

    I’d prefer to see the government get out of the social business entirely. I’ve never understood medicaid for example. Lets take revenue in, then give it out to the states to manage their own programs. Why not let the states just handle it all themselves?

    But until that happy day comes, I don’t see the logic in excluding the religious groups just because they’re religious. Let them get off the trough if the strings become too tight, to mix a metaphor.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 27, 2008 @ 12:49 pm - November 27, 2008

  12. Time to sit down children and let the adults run things for a while

    unfortunately, the children, after a prolonged temper tantrum, are taking over.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 27, 2008 @ 5:54 pm - November 27, 2008

  13. Please tell me what straight people did to enjoy the “benefit” of state recognition for their marriages that gays have failed to do.

    They had children together.

    What have straight folks done to earn the “benefit” of being able to adopt a child?

    An adoptive mother and father are the closest available facsimile to a biological mother and father.

    It really shows how actively the left has worked to delude themselves and how deeply their denial runs that they need these simple truths explained to them.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 27, 2008 @ 6:02 pm - November 27, 2008

  14. “They had children together.”

    Why, then, are elderly couples allowed to marry? They won’t be having children together anytime soon.

    Why are couples who have agreed never to have children allowed to marry?

    Comment by unclemike — November 27, 2008 @ 11:42 pm - November 27, 2008

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  17. The World Association for Parents and Children is reporting that single-parent adoption is the fastest-growing trend in the adoption field. WACAP works in five countries (Russia, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan and the United States) that accept single applicants. From those countries, about 15 percent of the children we have placed in the last four years are in single-parent families.

    Please, Adoption is not subject to a male-female household AE.

    Comment by rusty — November 28, 2008 @ 12:07 pm - November 28, 2008

  18. Why, then, are elderly couples allowed to marry? They won’t be having children together anytime soon.

    Why are couples who have agreed never to have children allowed to marry?

    Because not all heterosexual couples are elderly or childless by choice; these situations are the exception, not the rule. However, every same-sex couple, without exception, is incapable of biologically producing their own children, regardless of age or individual fertility status.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 28, 2008 @ 1:01 pm - November 28, 2008

  19. But my question remains–why let the ones who are sterile or incapable of childbirth marry, if marriage’s main benefits are for procreating couples?

    Why let my sterile and childless friends Michael & Katherine marry, while my friends Heather and Renee, who have adopted two children, must remain unmarried? Shouldn’t their children have the benefits of married parents?

    Comment by unclemike — November 28, 2008 @ 4:27 pm - November 28, 2008

  20. Why let my sterile and childless friends Michael & Katherine marry, while my friends Heather and Renee, who have adopted two children, must remain unmarried?

    If you want to ban marriage for sterile couples, go right ahead and propose it. In fact, I challenge gay liberals like unclemike to do that: propose a ban on marriage for all couples incapable of producing children that are biologically theirs.

    Such a ban would starkly illustrate the difference: the vast majority of heterosexual couples would still be able to marry, but not a single gay couple would ever be able to marry. It would put an end to the denial that unclemike and his fellow liberal gays have been practicing.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 28, 2008 @ 6:00 pm - November 28, 2008

  21. Shouldn’t their children have the benefits of married parents?

    Do you support forcing unmarried parents to marry, then? Or are you simply trying to use and exploit children as hostages?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 28, 2008 @ 6:01 pm - November 28, 2008

  22. “I challenge gay liberals like unclemike….” Why do you assume I am a gay liberal? Are only gay liberals interested in seeing their friends married?

    I’m not exploiting their children at all. I’m asking this question because it relates to my experience of their lives: in order to protect themselves, their children, their lives, they have had to (at a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars) hire lawyers, draw up contracts, rights of survivorship, etc.–all things that would be unnecessary with one legal marriage.

    And not all states recognize what they have done, anyway. If one were to get into an accident in another state, the other might not be able to visit her in the hospital. That’s unfair.

    I don’t support forcing anyone to do anything. I support fairness and equality. I support anybody who wants to marry another consenting adult and build a life with him or her. That’s all.

    Comment by unclemike — November 28, 2008 @ 7:43 pm - November 28, 2008

  23. “I challenge gay liberals like unclemike….” Why do you assume I am a gay liberal? Are only gay liberals interested in seeing their friends married?

    Don’t dodge the challenge. If you want to ban marriage for any couple that can’t procreate, go right ahead and do it. After all, if gay couples are identical to heterosexual couples, that wouldn’t affect them at all, now would it?

    I’m not exploiting their children at all. I’m asking this question because it relates to my experience of their lives: in order to protect themselves, their children, their lives, they have had to (at a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars) hire lawyers, draw up contracts, rights of survivorship, etc.–all things that would be unnecessary with one legal marriage.

    More precisely, unnecessary had they been able to produce their own biological children. You seem to be under the delusion that marriage automatically eliminates all the legal procedures around adoption.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 29, 2008 @ 2:43 am - November 29, 2008

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