A Gay Republican Responds to Corn

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Gay Republican Responds to Corn

Dennis Sanders, a gay Republican at the blog NeoMugwump, bristles at the column that written recently by liberal commentator David Corn. In his Foleygate-related column, Corn had asked:

... what about those GOPers who are gay and who serve a party that is anti-gay? Are they hypocrites, opportunists, or just confused individuals?
Sanders offers this response to Corn:
I am an out gay Republican man who lives with his partner in a house in North Minneapolis .... I'm a pastor and I don't hide my sexuality.

.... As a part of Log Cabin (Republicans), I've worked on campaigns of those candidates who are "fair-minded" and support gay rights. Along with others, I've spoken out against Republican politicians who support policies that hurt gay Americans.
Given the context of Corn's column, it seems to me that he was referring to gay people who work on Capitol Hill for Republican members of Congress. Sanders doesn't work on the Hill, and he doesn't work for venomous homophobes like Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. For those reasons, I don't think Corn was referring to people like Sanders.

Nevertheless, when Sanders says he has "spoken out against Republican politicians who support policies that hurt gay Americans," my question is this: how many GOP politicians does that leave out? Three percent? Four percent?

How many Republican members of Congress, for example, support both equal marriage rights for same-sex couples and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)? That would have to be a very short list. And opposing either of these certainly constitutes "policies that hurt gay Americans."

Sanders engages in finesse when he writes:
The question always comes, how can you support a party that doesn't like you? .... Since this question usually comes from Democrats, let's turn that question around: do you support the Democrats because they like you?

I would think most gay Democrats support their party for many reasons ranging from social programs to the environment to national security. Neither I nor any of my gay Republican friends support Republicans who are anti-gay.
That may be true, but I'm skeptical. There are relatively few Republican politicians who aren't anti-gay or who aren't willing to support GOP peers who are quite anti-gay.

Any gay Republican who works for the likes of Senators Santorum, Brownback, Allen, Chambliss or Inhofe is clearly guilty of "support[ing] Republicans who are anti-gay."

When the Senate considered the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) -- who supported the amendment -- actually said, "I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one."

Either Vitter is lying or he has a foolish sense of priorities. Nine months after Katrina, with tens of thousands of Louisianans living in trailers and many communities filled with debris, and Vitter calls gay marriage the most important issue? Amazing.

No, I don't support Democratic candidates "because they like [me]." I tend to support Dems because most of them support granting me individual rights that most Republicans would deny me. There are lots of people out there in society whom I don't like. But I try my best to show each of them a basic level of respect and believe that they deserve equal rights.

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