While gay leaders and activists are rending their garments and gnashing their teeth in the wake of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in John Kerry’s Massachusetts, in a fit of pique not seen since Brokeback Mountain failed to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, they’re missing one of the big stories of the race, perhaps the biggest for gay people.
Were these activists not so determined to bind their gay identity to their partisan loyalty, they might have realized that this Republican who once supported a referendum on a state constitutional amendment to enshrine the traditional definition of marriage in the state constitution, pretty much avoided gay issues on the campaign trail.
Indeed, when I did a few google searches to investigate the claims of gay left-wingers that Brown was anti-gay, I could find no evidence he harbored animus against homosexuals and only one time he addressed gay issues in the campaign. And he wasn’t the one who raised the issue. It came up in a meeting with editors of the Boston Herald. He said gay marriage was “settled law” in Massachusetts; “People have moved on.” And so had he.
In his campaign, Scott Brown ignored gay issues to address the economic and national security concerns of his constituents. If Republicans in other left-leaning jurisdictions wish to repeat his feat this fall, they would be wise to take heed. Demonizing gays or harping on gay marriage is not the means to win election.
Focus on the idea, freedom, and the issues, reducing the size of government and providing for the common defense, which unite our party.