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Gays, the GOP and 2012 Election (Part One)

On Thursday, Tina Korbe helped lay the ground work for  series of posts as I have been planning on gays, the GOP and the current presidential election.  In a post where she took issue with former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean’s mean-spirited anti-Republican rant, which I excerpted and linked here, she articulated a preference for the Republican appeal to the “whole person” over the Democrats’ pandering to the differences which divide us.

And so it is, in some ways, for gay Republicans.  We may not like that our party has yet to embrace even state recognition of same-sex civil unions, but we are put off by the Democrats’ patronizing approach.  We recognize that there are larger issues at stake than same-sex unions, particularly a president unwilling to address a federal debt than has increased by a greater amount in the past three years and two months than it had in the preceding eight.

Now, expect to hear increasingly harsh rhetoric attacking the GOP not just for the Democrat-declared war on women, but also for its hostility to people like us who differ from the societal norm.  Democrats aren’t doing this just to keep gays voting Democratic, but they’re also seeking to appeal to straight suburban voters who have gay friends — or who are just uncomfortable with anti-gay rhetoric; such suburban voters may not be pro-gay per se, but do tend to be anti-anti-gay.

I endorsed Jon Huntsman for President in part because of his, as I put it three months ago, “solid statement on civil unions” in the ABC News /Yahoo!/WMUR-TV New Hampshire Republican primary debate.  Although he thought marriage should be “saved for one man and one woman,” he also advocated “reciprocal beneficiary rights [as] part of civil unions”, encouraging states “to talk about this.”

His answer was much better than that of Mitt Romney, now the likely Republican nominee.  Still, that former Massachusetts governor did offer a most decent reply which, for the purpose of this post and my intended series, I quote in full.  He recognizes the capacity of gay people to form loving and lasting couples and even parent children.  He shows no animus against people like us.  He, like the man he seeks to replace, just believes marriage to be a union between individuals of different sexes.

In response to Diane Sawyer’s question how he would respond to a gay couple sitting down in his living room and asking about the right “to form loving, committed, long-term relationships”, he began by praising couples:

Well, the answer is, is that’s a wonderful thing to do, and that there’s every right for people in this country to form long- term committed relationships with one another. That doesn’t mean that they have to call it marriage or they have to receive the — the approval of the state and a marriage license and so forth for that to occur.

There can be domestic partnership benefits or — or a contractual relationship between two people, which would include, as — as Speaker Gingrich indicated, hospital visitation rights and the like. We can decide what kinds of benefits we might associate with people who form those kind of relationships, state by state.

But — but to say that — that marriage is something other than the relationship between a man — a man and a woman, I think, is a mistake. And the reason for that is not that we want to discriminate against people or to suggest that — that gay couples are not just as loving and can’t also raise children well.

But it’s instead a recognition that, for society as a whole, that the nation presumably will — would be better off if — if children are raised in a setting where there’s a male and a female. And there are many cases where there’s not possible: divorce, death, single parents, gay parents, and so forth.

But — but for a society to say we want to encourage, through the benefits that we associate with marriage, people to form partnerships between men and women and then raise children, which we think will — that will be the ideal setting for them to be raised.

Yes, I’ve quoted this before, but not yet in its entirety.  Read his words carefully and consider them.  They may not be exactly what we want to hear from our party’s standard bearer, but they are nonetheless not hateful.  Mitt Romney does at least recognize and appreciate the capacity for two individuals of the same sex to form loving — and lasting — relationships.

And that recognition is a step, a big one, in the right direction  — even if it doesn’t take him as far as we’d like him to travel.

NB: Interesting post that came up when I googled to see if standard bearer required a hyphen.  (I didn’t think it did, but not all writers agree.)



  1. I listened the Howard Dean’s rant. Both the far left and far right have their talking points and spin. They are unable to say anything but a few certain bullet points. Notice when the fringes are asked questions; they don’t reply to this pertinent point, instead nauseatingly saying ABC and won’t deviate from it. That’s why Meet the Press, Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation have nothing noteworthy to hear. It’s all BS.

    For Dean’s comment about the GOP being racist, anti-gay, ageist, sexist, it just makes me want to puke. If you have nothing original to blurt out, shut the f**k up.

    Comment by davinci — April 7, 2012 @ 7:33 pm - April 7, 2012

  2. Funny how, AP, chose this weekend to do a story about “gay activists” and Cardinal Dolan. I think the Cardinal’s reply to the activists is very revealing as to what probably took place but that AP chose not to print.

    “Dear Mr. Siciliano,

    Your letter of March 20, 2012, together with enclosure has been received.

    For you to make the allegations and insinuations you do in your letter based on my adherence to the clear teachings of the Church is not only unfair and unjust, but inflammatory. Neither I nor anyone in the Church would ever tolerate hatred of or prejudice towards any of the Lord’s children. In the future you ought to be more careful about personally attacking the character of those who espouse beliefs different than your own.

    With prayerful best wishes for a blessed Lent, I am,

    Faithfully in Christ,

    Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan”

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 7, 2012 @ 8:20 pm - April 7, 2012

  3. Aside from ignoring the elephant in the room and the continued trashtalk from the social liberals and the establishment republicans in a Republican primary that is not half over yet……………..

    Gay ‘marriage’ not a right, prohibiting gay adoption not ‘discrimination’: European Court of Human Rights (REJECTION OF THE SOCIAL ACTIVISM OF THE APAs/ABA AND THE SWEDISH MODEL IN THE INTEREST OF CHILDREN)

    From the Republican Party…………………..

    Republicans Quietly Retreat on Gay Marriage

    Should we be surprised by the minority liberal Republican Party and the push for the “Father of Homosexual Marriage”?

    From the Obama administration………………..

    Obama says in the memo:
    “I declared before heads of state gathered at the United nations, ‘no country should deny people their rights because of who they love’ . . . Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action . . . as we in the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorously advance this goal.”

    Comment by rjligier — April 8, 2012 @ 9:19 am - April 8, 2012

  4. Hey there — great thoughts. Romney, I think, is much more evolved then perhaps our current president? Check out this story on New York Gay Republicans I was lucky enough to be featured in. I think it’s time we start standing up for what we believe in.

    Comment by LJ — April 8, 2012 @ 2:56 pm - April 8, 2012

  5. the Gay republicans of New York piece was hilarious.

    what a bunch of sad little ninnies, hoping that hating a black man will make their fathers less resentful about having a gay son.

    you’ll all fail 😀

    Comment by Little_Kiwi — April 8, 2012 @ 5:30 pm - April 8, 2012

  6. Oh Little Krappy is back to project his daddy issues again. What a sad, miserable little dingleberry.

    Comment by TGC — April 8, 2012 @ 5:34 pm - April 8, 2012

  7. 5 – “hoping that hating a black man”

    Of course you can show us where someone on GP is hating a black man or anyone else…………..No?…………..I didn’t think so.

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 8, 2012 @ 6:17 pm - April 8, 2012

  8. I’m confused. In this post B. Daniel claims that gay Republicans know that there are more important issues facing the nation now than legalizing gay marriage. But then he turns around and praises Romney for gushing over gay relationships. It seems that Dan just can’t suppress his social leftism no matter how hard he (sometimes) tries.

    And one more thing. I oppose state recognition of gay marriage but, like Romney, I do believe that gay people can form loving, long-lasting relationships. However, I don’t see how that belief makes me, Romney, or anyone else more “evolved” as a human being. Those who say or imply such a thing are employing the social Left’s strategy of intimidating people into supporting homosexuality by convincing them that they’re hate-filled Neanderthals if they don’t. I thought conservatives, including gay ones, were supposed to be above that sort of thing.

    Guess not.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — April 8, 2012 @ 6:38 pm - April 8, 2012

  9. Seane-Anna still doesn’t recognize sarcasm when she sees it.

    Comment by TGC — April 8, 2012 @ 7:38 pm - April 8, 2012

  10. TGC, are you saying that Dan was being sarcastic when he pat Romney on the back for giving a thumbs up to gay relationships? Now I’m really confused. Or you are.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — April 8, 2012 @ 8:47 pm - April 8, 2012

  11. I never understood why the gay community chose marriage as the defining issue for gays. You would think that after years of being discriminated against by the government that they would want less intervention in their personal lives not more.

    Comment by MV — April 9, 2012 @ 12:16 pm - April 9, 2012

  12. @MV,

    It’s the ‘trap’ that some people on the left *and* the right fall for. They want to use the government to advance their agenda, not ever realizing that by limiting others’ freedom, they conceed the potential to limit their own.

    Comment by The Livewire — April 9, 2012 @ 2:43 pm - April 9, 2012

  13. You have to realize the Democrat platform for the next election is fairly simple.

    1) Say “The Republicans hate poor people, sick people, children, old people, gay people, straight people, students, married people, unemployed people, unions, minorities, women….”
    2) Repeat.

    Comment by Georg Felis — April 9, 2012 @ 6:39 pm - April 9, 2012

  14. Seane-Anna, I thinks it’s a case of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. In other words, on can say issues A, B, C are the most impotant issues, but still dicuss other issues, particularly ones related to this blog. Further, Dan is praising Romney on something you apparently agree with. Also, Dan is supporting someone who did try to end same sex marriage in Massachusetts. So I’m not sure I understand your confusion.

    Comment by Pat — April 9, 2012 @ 11:13 pm - April 9, 2012

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