Days of Change

Day 341

October 11, 2009
1 Comment

Today is National Coming Out day. No, I have nothing to announce. Today, I thought I would write about gays and politics. The most gay friendly president has been Bill Clinton and even his “dont ask, don’t tell” policy has become unworkable. How does the gay community fit into politics?

I would say that the “gay community” is still a block group in politics. There is no discussion of the “white community” or the “straight community” as a group. What may have changed is how the Republican Party views the gay community. Is that enough to make a difference?

Something I noticed in the aftermath of 9/11 is the level of acceptance of gay couples and the importance of providing partner benefits after the attacks. In those days when America actually took a critical look at the Muslim community instead of the┬áknee jerk reaction of “understanding” it, gays were considered less than animals by those religious leaders. I don’t know if our level of acceptance as a country increased because of that, but the door was opened.

Right now, the line is being drawn at gay marriage. In this case, Republican opposition is more hype than reality. States that Democrats won still overwhelmingly rejected gay marriage votes. The White House and the Congress have yet to pass any meaningful legislation.

The base of the Republican Party is conservative. That base will not produce a gay candidate any time soon. There are hardly any openly gay politicians even in the Democratic Party, either. Now, the Republican Party platform is more “traditional marriage” focused, but that is an aspect of the base that writes it. One of the silly things I’ve seen among Democrats is the loyalty of constituencies who are never rewarded except by words.

I would urge anyone who cares about gay issues to look at the candidates and not their party. If they have the same view (or non-view) consider voting on the other issues. Let them know you voted for them and you can meet them halfway. The Republican Party is a pro-life party, but it has a large number of pro-choice politicians.

In the last week, gay groups have resorted to begging the president for change. He is the same candidate who held the exact same position on gay marriage as John McCain. McCain had shown his ability to reflect the passions of his newest supporters with the choice of Sarah Palin. Is it so hard to believe he would have been a more willing listener on this?

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