Whenever we are linked on left-wing blogs, the comments generated by those who follow those links provide a window into the ignorance of all too many on the left (particularly the gay left) to the changing reality of the contemporary GOP. They make assumptions about the welcome we find on the right which could be easily dispelled if they just scanned our archives.
Commenting to a recent post, one reader repeated just such a refrain, “I don’t think republican conservatism is honestly open to gays.”
Hardly. Indeed, we — and many readers of this blog — have found a more ready welcome as openly gay Americans in conservative circles than we have as openly conservative gays in gay and lesbian circles.
Since this blog’s inception over five years ago, we, a blog which openly defines itself as gay, have been linked (always favorably as far as I can tell) by (nearly*) every major mainstream conservative blog. Bruce and I have met a good number of right-of-center bloggers and have always received favorable treatment. The McCain campaign even invited both of us to blog at the Republican National Convention last summer.
And yet all to many left-wingers (including some who should know better) act if the GOP hasn’t changed since 1992. To be sure, their ignorance of and prejudice against the Republican Party is not limited toward its attitude toward gays. The assumptions they make about Republican intolerance (of gays) is emblematic of how they see conservatives in general and Republicans in particular, defining us not by our reality, but by their prejudices. Their narrative trumps the facts.
To be sure, it was not always this way for gay Republicans. A handful state parties in the 1990s, particularly that in Texas, did attempt to exclude gay people. But, with improving social attitudes toward gays, the GOP has become more welcoming (though, in some places, it may be more correct to say less inhospitable). Last month, commenting on past statements both candidates for Virginia Governor had made on gay issues, Michael Barone cites those very changing attitudes to suggest that neither man is anti-gay:
A fairer interpretation, I think, is that both Deeds and McDonnell have changed their opinions on gay rights issues over the years, as indeed have a majority of the American people, and that neither man has any animus against gay people.
Exactly. As the American people, including many Republicans, have changed their attitude on gays, all too many readers of left-of-center blogs, particularly those who find their way over to this right-of-center one, hold a vision of the GOP firmly rooted in the past.
*I added this modifier as I edited the sentence because there may exist blogs which others identify as mainstream which I have yet to discover.