After a very pleasant lunch with an old friend from College Republicans, I’m taking a brief break to do some blogging in a Borders in downtown Atlanta. Given my bibliophilia, I’m amazed that I have gone this long without spending more than a few minutes on this journey in a bookstore (and then only in a small speciality shop at the Jung Institute in New York).
That old friend was none another that Ralph Reed, former leader of the Christian Coalition. I’ve always liked Ralph. When I was a College Republican (CR) state chairman, he was a most able executive director, keeping the lines of communication open between the national office and various state federations.
If ever we needed something done in Washington, we just needed to call Ralph and it would get done. He was a superior organizer, getting information out to the states and offering good counsel to CR officers. And he was a fun person to be around — even when he was sober.
Well, today, we had a wide-ranging conversation, sharing war stories and discussing Republican prospects for the current electoral cycle (among other things). Oh, and, I came out to Ralph. I say this almost as an afterthought because it didn’t change his regard for me — or affect the tenor of our conversation.
Ralph remains opposed to state recognition of same-sex marriage, but not to the participation of gay people in the GOP. Still, he’s a nice guy, a great storyteller with a puckish sense of humor (even if he has long since given up drinking).
Another illustration of the greater facility we gay conservatives have coming out to our conservative colleagues, even the social conservative ones (than we do coming out as conservative to our gay peers). And a reminder that many opponents of gay marriage base their opposition not on animosity to gay people, but on their religious principles.