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Why some conservatives are making their gay fellows welcome*

In his must-read piece (if you want to understand how some Christian conservatives are dealing with openly gay Republicans), on Why Right Wing News Is Sponsoring Homocon, John Hawkins gets at the attitude of an increasingly number of social conservatives, tolerance, if not welcoming, of gay Republicans despite their qualms about homosexual behavior.

His piece merits your time as well as your serious consideration.  One reason I blog at RWN, that I have chosen to be openly gay in conservative circles is that I wish to challenge some of the stereotypes (and prejudices) that still exist on the right about gay people.  That many conservatives are willing to engage a gay man suggests they are not as narrow-minded or hateful as some  on the left might suggest.  And that they listen suggests that, given time and good arguments, they might come to change their minds

That they see our commitment to conservative ideas often causes them to reconsider their attitudes toward gay people, no longer seeing the gay community as a monolith.  To that end, John writes,

Now unlike the Log Cabin RepublicansGOProud, is a genuinely conservative group. Yes, most of the members probably agree with the Log Cabin Republicans on gay issues. However, they genuinely believe that gay conservatives should have an agenda that goes way beyond their sexual orientation

In his conclusion, he adds:

. . . no matter what your race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation may be, you should be welcomed into the Republican Party and the conservative movement. If there are people who don’t agree with that, if there are people who think a gay conservative or a gay Republican is a contradiction of terms, then we’re just never going to see eye-to-eye.

Let me repeat:  read the whole thing.  This is not to say that I agree with everything he says, but he makes a very important contribution to the conversation on including gay conservatives in the GOP.

——

*. . . in the conservative movement — and on right-of-center websites.

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25 Comments

  1. I hope to be successful in clearing up miscnceptions about conservatives, and gays:
    The Bible teaches that God loves ALL sinners, but hates the sin! It also teaches NOT to judge unless one wants to be judged on the same basis! Additionally, ALL of us fall short!
    Therefore, the misconception that conservatives hate gays is not only a lie, but also used as a tool to divide.

    Comment by Inge — August 23, 2010 @ 6:02 am - August 23, 2010

  2. Tolerance from the right is a good step in the right direction. Nothing would make me happier.

    @Inge: It is rather offensive to act like homosexuality is a sin, just because you have an ancient book that says it is.

    I’d like to reiterate, that tolerance is good, but I think it falls short of what Americans are capable of. Especially the “you’re a sinner but I don’t hate you for it” condescension that Inge just expressed.

    Comment by Steven Olsen — August 23, 2010 @ 9:24 am - August 23, 2010

  3. Being gay is not a sin, and gay sex within a lifelong, monogamous, publicly accountable relationship is not a sin. I’m glad my church, the ELCA Lutheran (and soon the Episcopal), preaches the Gospel and not some man-made, homophobic list of rules which does not come from Scripture.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — August 23, 2010 @ 10:11 am - August 23, 2010

  4. Steven,

    I don’t think it’s ‘wrong’ at all. It is quite possible to “hate the sin but love the sinner”. I mean my friend smokes. I hate her smoking, and try to encourage her to stop, but I don’t hate her. I knew a couple in the D/s lifestyle both of whom were married to other people who didn’t know. I liked them both, respected them both, and made it VERY clear, I disagreed with their behaviour on this topic and hoped they’d be able to reconcile it.

    We all sin, and all fall short of perfection. My vice is food (well and cute Asian women, but that’s a lust in my heart). I don’t claim to be perfect, and I do try to change. The same can hold for someone who feels that homosexuality is a sin.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 23, 2010 @ 10:26 am - August 23, 2010

  5. Heh, heh. Elizabeth Hasselbeck now supports SSM. Boy, is LaBarbera’s group PO’d. 😀
    http://americansfortruth.com/news/the-views-elizabeth-hasselback-joins-pro-gay-marriage-sellouts.html

    Comment by Jim Michaud — August 23, 2010 @ 11:07 am - August 23, 2010

  6. I do find it funny how that write up makes it sound like supporting SSM and supporting Prop 8 are contradictory viewpoints.

    I think the writer needs to understand that while those of faith should choose to live their lives by the tenants of their faith, and while those tenants should guide their voting choices, their faith isn’t going to cover everyone, no matter how much they complain.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 23, 2010 @ 11:17 am - August 23, 2010

  7. I never had a problem with a gay man or lesbian being a conservative Republican or even a liberal Democrat. This proves that gay and lesbian Americans are as mundane and diverse as anyone else. That is the kind of message American really needs. Let’s move on from skin color or gender, what have you — We are all Americans no matter how diverse.

    I read the whole article from author John of RightWingNews. I completely agree with John’s statement:

    Still, there’s a world of difference between saying, “This is the Republican Party’s position on this issue” and saying, “This is the Republican Party’s position on this issue and to be a Republican, you have to agree with it.” A political party that holds the former position can be both principled and have a big tent, while a political party that holds the latter position is doomed to purge heretics on one issue after the other until it dies an ignominious death.”

    People have so many things and ideas that they believe in. My strong viewpoint on homosexuality is that (1) it is not a sin to me — Two consenting adults, who happen to be the same gender, in the privacy of their own bedrooms doesn’t offend me; I just don’t think about other people’s sex lives as long as its safe and consensual and (2) I am not a biologist or psychologist so don’t ask me “is homosexuality a choice?” Based on my personal conversations with many gay men and lesbians, they state their homosexuality is natural to them; they are simply inclined to be psychologically attracted to the same gender/sex. Are you a heterosexual person? You can also examine your own psychological intentions.

    If you are any religious faith, and even Islam, then I have no problem with you having a civil and respectful dialogue about homosexuality or same-sex relationships. Freedom of religion BUT also freedom of speech — I believe that God won’t judge you for questioning your particular beliefs, like on homosexuality. A few people are religious fundamentalists and I urge such people to question their own beliefs, given there is time and good-will. This is how we change minds and hearts.

    Comment by Totakikay — August 23, 2010 @ 12:58 pm - August 23, 2010

  8. It is funny to see how gaycons and straightcons need to remind themselves that the GOP is supposed to be an open and welcoming. If one is open and welcoming one need not remind himself to be so.

    Comment by JS — August 23, 2010 @ 2:14 pm - August 23, 2010

  9. It’s funny how JS likes to delve into non-sequetors.

    But hey JS is all about the Party of Tolerance isn’t he?

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 23, 2010 @ 2:31 pm - August 23, 2010

  10. Or let’s not forget the Democrats supporting the troops. Well when they’re not supporting Hamas.

    but hey, if you want to be open and welcome to people who want to kill you, knock yourself out. Me? I’ll prefer to kill them first.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 23, 2010 @ 2:45 pm - August 23, 2010

  11. I vote my pocketbook, not my sexual orientation.

    Comment by Roberto — August 23, 2010 @ 2:50 pm - August 23, 2010

  12. GREAT piece from John Hawkins. Dan, thanks for the link!

    Many bits caught my eye. I’ll single out just this one:

    The moment a person becomes convinced that you hate him or at least judge him harshly for something he has no control over, you’ve lost your chance to influence him.

    It caught my eye because it addresses a small, but ongoing dilemma of mine wrt a few people on this blog, mostly leftists, whom I see saying exceptionally stupid things. I don’t hate them. But you could probably say I judge them. Does that mean I forfeit all chance of influencing them? Or, did I never have any chance of influencing to begin with? Is their stupidity, like their sexual orientation, something they have no control over? Etc. 😉

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 23, 2010 @ 3:34 pm - August 23, 2010

  13. “(1) it is not a sin to me — Two consenting adults, who happen to be the same gender, in the privacy of their own bedrooms doesn’t offend me; I just don’t think about other people’s sex lives as long as its safe and consensual ”

    That’s not the definition of SIN. Sin is a religious term. We should use the word “sin” in the context of the first post where the Bible was referenced. You did not. You took it out of context.

    Here is one definition in the context of religion ” an act, thought, or way of behaving that goes against the law or teachings of a religion”.

    I suppose you used the alternative defintion “something that offends a moral or ethical principle,” but you have to reference the moral principle in the Bible as this is the context.

    Anyways, the 2 consenting adults thing is equally ridiculous in the context of sin. Consent is by marriage, not of any other type.

    Once we get this out of the way, Yes, I agree tolerance of gays is a good thing. There should be more tolerance as long as we agree with certain conservative principles like Federalism with regards to gay marriage.

    Comment by anon325323 — August 23, 2010 @ 4:03 pm - August 23, 2010

  14. “But hey JS is all about the Party of Tolerance isn’t he?”

    What is funnier is that in your delusional mind you think I support such party. LOL.

    Comment by JS — August 23, 2010 @ 4:42 pm - August 23, 2010

  15. I completely disagree with Steven and Ashpenaz.

    Steven, you have the right to feel offended, but I am offended that rather than listening to, Inge, you emotionally react in a demeaning way to her thoughtful post that is without judgement of how I live my life.

    Ashpenaz, your approach is divisive, immature, and helps no one. If you want to make your claims, please feel free to tell us how much more enlightened you are than others, but prove your enlightenment with textual and evidentiary support.

    I am gay, have read the Bible multiple times and from what I have gathered, all sexual sin outside of the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman would be fornication. Thus, pre-marital sex, same-sex relations, and adultery are fornication and equal in sexual sin. My opinion.

    Comment by Holly — August 23, 2010 @ 9:27 pm - August 23, 2010

  16. “I am gay, have read the Bible multiple times and from what I have gathered, all sexual sin outside of the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman would be fornication. Thus, pre-marital sex, same-sex relations, and adultery are fornication and equal in sexual sin. My opinion.” Wow! A gay person who actually acknowledges that the Bible declares homosexual sex a sin. I think I’m going to faint.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — August 23, 2010 @ 11:16 pm - August 23, 2010

  17. Hey, Seane-Anna, get ready for more fainting. I too believe the Bible calls homosexual sex sin. I’m also pro-choice, but believe that abortion is the taking of a human life. Whoa, Nelly! But the Bible shouldn’t dictate civic life in this country. Do we hang St. Paul’s hair-cutting specifications on barbershop doors? Do we shut down the Red Lobster restaurant chain due to biblical injunctions against eating lobster? Actually, Red Lobster sucks. Come up here to Maine if you want good lobster.

    Comment by Jim Michaud — August 24, 2010 @ 12:57 am - August 24, 2010

  18. ILoveCapitalism,

    I agree with you in that it is hard to influence others when they shutdown from being approachable. If they have a perceived notion of hatred or discrimination, their perception is equivalent in their mind to an experience of hatred or discrimination. I find in those times that I also shutdown and at times judge their perceptions because they are unwilling to look beyond them to see who I am as an individual rather than castigating me as “one of many.”

    Seane-Anna,

    It is my opinion and I am open to others, but while I was attending a private Christian school in college, we all had to minor in the Bible and most of my time was spent looking at translations of the original Greek text of the Bible. Where the Christian community fails, in my opinion, is that they do not confront all sexaul sin equally and cherry-pick what is easy. If they want to be relevant, they must address all sexual sin with as much fervor as they do homosexuality.

    Comment by Holly — August 24, 2010 @ 3:47 am - August 24, 2010

  19. Holly,

    Amusingly enough, I talked with a Rabbi years ago, about an article he wrote. He indicated that yes, the Torah is silent on lesbian sexuality. Apparently most of the basis of condemning female/female relationships comes from an admonishment in the Talmud to not ‘act as the people of Egypt’. (I’ll let any Jewish readers correct me, it was a long time ago)

    I let my mom know that, as long as she didn’t start dating Egyptian women, she was free and clear. She wasn’t as amused as I was.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 24, 2010 @ 6:55 am - August 24, 2010

  20. preaches the Gospel and not some man-made, homophobic list of rules which does not come from Scripture.

    Unfortunately, there are various interpretations with people coming on both sides of the issue. Heck, there is an amendment of the Constitution consisting of one sentence in which there are diametrically opposite interpretations.

    As Holly and Jim point out, there are other examples of sin in the Bible that people have blown off a long time ago. So whether the Bible says, or God allegedly says homosexuality is a sin, I really don’t know, and frankly don’t care anymore (we’re never going to find out what God really thinks about homosexuality, if, in fact, He really does care). But I am amused that persons like Seane-Anna, with her own deviant lifestyle, are hung up on it.

    Comment by Pat — August 24, 2010 @ 7:16 am - August 24, 2010

  21. Live_wire,

    I do not believe one can deduce that because it is not emplicitly stated that lesbian relationships are wrong, that one could reason that if a gay male relationship is wrong, I doubt there would be a double-standard for women. The Bible is heavily male dominant in its writings, so this would be of no surprise to me. Granted, I have never heard anyone mention what you just did, so I will have to research it myself. You are also only speaking of the Torah, the Old Testament, and I’m also working with the New Testament, which has multiple mentionings of fornication. I will research your statement for my own sick personal pleasure.

    Comment by Holly — August 24, 2010 @ 7:21 am - August 24, 2010

  22. Pat,

    I just want to make a clarification to your statement: I never mentioned that there are other sins that people blow off, granted they do, but I was not speaking to justify one’s abdication of responsibility. Merely that sometimes it is easier to conflate anothers sins so as to abate or temper their own guilt.

    Comment by Holly — August 24, 2010 @ 7:34 am - August 24, 2010

  23. Oh, I know that the texts are open to interpretation. I just found the reply interesting when I’d asked why his article specifically called out male/male parings and not female/female parings.

    Obligatory straight male sexist comment. “See, girl on girl is so hot.. even the Divine doesn’t mind it. ;-)”

    Scientific based comment. Since a lot of the prohibitions made sense for a bronze age nomadic tribe it may have been overlooked as standard male/male fornication can cause more damage than female/female, for little or no reward.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 24, 2010 @ 8:23 am - August 24, 2010

  24. Ahh…comment number two. Yes, I think most of my straight male friends have thrown that line in my direction, except that they make it a point that it is only okay with two hot girls. =)

    As to your third statement, possibly. It would make sense seeing that the men were to be leaders and in a sense, be an image for society to see on what is moral and immoral behavior. A debate to be had…

    Getting back to the original posting, GoProud is very much an ally, as are gay conservatives in general who share the conservative ideology on economics, policy initiatives, immigration, constitutional adherence, small government, etc. On social issues, conservative gays are as ideologically diverse a community as any other group. This site is a perfect example.

    Comment by Holly — August 24, 2010 @ 8:59 am - August 24, 2010

  25. I never mentioned that there are other sins that people blow off

    Holly, my apologies. I stand corrected.

    Comment by Pat — August 24, 2010 @ 9:57 am - August 24, 2010

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