Perhaps the greatest difference between Log Cabin national, as it was from my initial involvement in 1995 through the leadership of Patrick Guerriero in the middle part of the first decade of the current century and GOProud is that it often seemed the former organization was always apologizing for being Republican — as if that partisan affiliation were something to be ashamed about — while the latter group has showed a real pride in being conservative.
They get that we don’t need change what it means to be conservative to show that one can be both conservative and gay. They understand what true conservatives have long understood, there is no inherent contradictions between being conservative and gay. At least since the rise of the modern right, with the nomination of Barry Goldwater as the GOP’s standard bearer in 1964, through the nomination and election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 to the Contract with America in 1994 and the growth of grassroots protest against big government (AKA the Tea Party) in the past year, American conservatism is based on the idea (and ideal) of freedom.
And this we see most clearly expressed in the black “Freedom is Fabulous” t-shirts lithe young men wore while guiding guests to the elevator at yesterday’s GOProud gathering in the Big Apple featuring Ann Coulter. In his coverage of the event, Ben Smith of Politico observes that, “The gay right is thriving at a moment that the mainstream gay rights movement faces a profound crisis.”
Maybe it’s the times, but maybe it’s that we have gay conservatives showing their pride in conservative ideas — and daring to say as much.