It is all but impossible to attend a gay confab without the leaders touting their commitment to diversity, singing paeans to the ideal of diversity or apologizing for not being diverse enough. And sure enough, at most such confabs, you’ll see that there are representatives from a great variety of gay interest groups, from transgender activists to spokespeople of associations of any number of ethnic groups.
One group which you almost never see represented is Republicans even as GOP candidates continue to win a greater share of the gay vote.
And given how Republicans have overwhelming opposed state recognition of same-sex marriage, you’d think that gay activists would want to target this demographic as a source of support for their initiatives. After all, if it was the failure of their outreach efforts which caused voters to approve Prop 8 last fall, they failed most spectacularly among Republicans.
Indeed, the Golden State’s leading gay activist group, Equality California, routinely touts its commitment to diversity with its Executive Director Geoff Kors boasting yesterday that “18 [recently-hired] field organizers that reflect the diversity of California.” Actually, they don’t. In a state where 34.3% of registered voters identify as Republicans, representatives of the EqCA could not identify a single Republican among those new hires. If they were truly committed to diversity, they would have made sure to include Republicans among their supposedly diverse cadre of field organizers,
In response to my query about the number of Republicans in this number, Jay Davis, EqCA “Online Community Director” wrote,
We don’t have an exact number of our field organizers who are Republicans. We don’t ask about political affiliation when we hire. I can say, having met all of our organizers, that they represent a number of different points of view.
While they say their field organizers reflect the diversity of the state, they also say they’re not interested in political diversity.
Look, they’re the ones who tout how diverse they are. They raised the issue, but that they didn’t concern themselves with political diversity shows just what a sham their commitment to diversity is.
And who will hold them to account? The mainstream media is barely aware that gay Republicans actually exist. And the gay groups are used to getting a pass from Log Cabin whose leadership for all long was more eager to appease the gay leadership than challenge their prejudices.
There is, to be sure, much to commend in the efforts Equality California has made to canvass voters and listen to different voices in the gay community. It’s too bad they refuse to include Republican voices in the diversity of opinion they consider.