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. (more…)