Is it considered an oxymoron in this day and age to support a gay republican running for political office? The question is coming up more and more as time passes, likely a result of our country’s evolution of acceptance of gays, the question becomes even more pertinent to address. Some often find the correlation if they were asked the same question about an African American, Hispanic American or any other racial/ethnic minority. The concept seems odd to even suggest to some but I want to keep an open mind.
This question came about (again) as I was reading about Kevin James, the openly gay candidate running for Los Angeles County Mayor. The article touches on many of the conclusions that I have. One is that LGBT lean more Democratic. That’s probably because the democratic party doesn’t demonize us and try to strip us of our constitutional rights. They don’t spend millions in ads vilifying us or backhandedly support dangerous laws in other countries. Second is that James would appeal to republicans and could be used to further advance a political stronghold. Could this lead to acceptance of LGBT?
We know of Log Cabin Republicans and even more recently more LGBT politicians like House Representative Mike Fleck (R-Pa) that are both gay and republican. But let’s not kid ourselves here. The republican party has drastically changed in the last decade and for at least the past 50 years or so have become an extremely conservative party. It doesn’t help when they endorse candidates that have blatantly been anti-LGBT and anti-equality and don’t openly challenge anti-LGBT stances.
And that’s what brings the biggest reluctance for me. These potential leaders currently support a party in which, as a group, do not support equal rights. We’ve seen a very stubborn non-bargaining side to this era of republican that value where policy is more important than the people those policies are meant to govern. Where someone’s faith (or lack thereof) is seen as an attribute or a hindrance We’ve seen a push for more church in our state of government rather than a more fair and derisive separation.
And Democrats are not perfect either. They’ve been laxed in enforcing policy and demanding respect but Democrats aren’t actively trying to strip American citizens of their rights.
Some feel that it may become a conflict within the LGBT community. Because LGBT has become a buzzword in which anyone that identifies with our group gets our support regardless of their political affiliation, philosophies, ideology, etc.,. In contrast the same can negatively be said about the word republican especially after this election season. So no matter how moderate a republican is many within our community won’t ever support or vote for them.
Thus ideal is much like the notion that African Americans only voted for President Obama because he is an African American. I’ve experienced this many times when someone on twitter or in public assume that was the reason I voted for him and it’s not. His strive for education, fairness, the middle class, foreign policy and support of equal rights is why I support and voted for President Obama.
So I guess that’s my answer. That I support those that support equality above all else, regardless of political affiliation, That treating others fairly and equally with the same rights will always be urgent. All the other aspects like government spending, foreign policy, etc.,. comes next. Reviewing a candidate’s policies should be routine and never assumed because of political affiliation. That’s who gets my vote.