Other Gay Conservative Groups? Really?

Cool!

I got linked to GayPatriot today, and it was a bit of a surreal experience: all sorts of statements supporting homosexuals, but advancing the conservative agenda – even an alternative to Pride called Homocon.  Now, when we say in our title that our blog is conservative, we mean, largely, religiously conservative.  Victor is politically to the right, and Eiluned is to the left, but both agree on more than they disagree.

I, the atheist-agnostic-white-straight-male, am quite fiscally and socially liberal and a lot of what I read on GayPatriot (really, Patriot? Because only conservatives are patriotic?  But I digress…) I found horrifying, wrong-headed, and at times, mildly offensive.  Ann Coulter, one of the most loathsome writers I’ve ever read, is going to SPEAK at HOMOCON!  Admittedly, she’s taking a beating for it, but still: what is happening to the world?

Gay Activist? Maybe not, but still...

But you know what my overall response is?

This is awesome.

It’s about time the Liberals lost their stranglehold on gay rights, and gay conservative organizations became prominent. It’s an indication that homosexuality and homosexual acts,  only decriminalized in Canada in 1969, finally decriminalized by the US Supreme Court in 2003, and still punishable by death in many countries (Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, to name a few) are finally being accepted even by mainstream Republicans.  Is this bad for the Democrats?  Yes; it robs them of a useful demographic.  Is it bad, potentially, for the cause of gay marriage?  Probably, as these gay Republicans are arguing more for civil union than marriage.  Is it bad for liberalism as a movement? As it steals liberalism’s issues, it may drive progressives to be more and more extreme; and that’s a good thing.  Progress must always push the envelope, and conservatives must resist the change.

There is nothing inherently wrong with either conservatism or liberalism.  They are both vital drives: one is the desire to try new things and explore, and the other is the fear of what damage such exploration might inflict; the need to hold onto what we have already accomplished vs the imperative to change.  Both are valid.  It’s a dialectic… the two forces must clash, and a synthesis forms from the struggle.  Gay Republicans are part of that synthesis, and are a sign that times are changing. I may be wrong, but I doubt Anne Coulter would have spoken at a gay rally fifteen years ago, or even ten, or five.  Things are improving, and this shift on the part of the right is a perfect example.  Eventually, gay rights will have the same status as feminism… still an important struggle, still a real concern, still laughed at and ignored by those who are uninterested, but at least the largest part of the work will be done.

-Your Blogmaster, the Righteous Pagan

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Published in: on August 21, 2010 at 1:25 am  Comments (7)  
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  1. My dear Righteous Pagan,

    ( … how I do enjoy saying that …)

    On the whole I agree with you. My impression is that things on the political Right are, in general, improving. For example: at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington this past year, the crowd actually booed one Ryan Sorba off the stage for his homophobic remarks (here). This is especially notable at a moment when the popular conservative movement has (on health care, on Islam) lost its collective sanity.

    The rapidity with which general public opinion has shifted decisively in our favor, and amongst the young most of all, is astonishing. I am amazed when I speak to, or hear tell of, high-schoolers and even middle-schoolers, who are “out” to their friends and family, and accepted. Given that trend, I cannot imagine, let’s say thirty years hence, that the status of homosexuals will still be very controversial in secular politics. (I only wish I could say the same of ecclesiastial politics …)

    The positive shift of opinion on the Right specifically is still more in evidence in the United Kingdom (which country’s political and social arrangements American conservatives used to admire, or claimed to admire). James Forsyth of The Spectator published the following notable piece of advice to the American Right in The Washington Post, in May of last year (here).

    Best,
    Victor

  2. I am excited about different voices arising in the BLT/GQ community. Maybe even a Gay Orthodox group will happen.

    Ann wouldn’t speak to the Log Cabin Republicans – perhaps not even today. Homocon seems to be a bit further to the right than that older, more established, more mainstream group. The existence of Homocon is only proof that the far right ideology is infiltrating communities traditionally opposed to it. As long as the American Right continues to cater to the religious far-right, I fear Homocon will just be another Health Care Bashing, Islamophobic event… but with pink triangles worn as America’s new Velvet Fascism is preached. Dialectic isn’t half as important as our families or friends standing up and saying “treat my relative equally.”

    It will be good when gay rights reaches the level of feminism… But we’re settling for middle class normalcy in a WASPy world: not quite what Stonewall was all about. Denying the rights of others so that we can have our own is just exactly the problem we’re fighting. Becoming part of the oppressors is not a win for us. Just ask the Roman Empire how it conquered those pesky Christians.

    We’re may get to the day when we’ll have to say to our liberal friends and former supporters, yes, I am gay, but not *that* kid of gay.

    I was very hopeful in the early 80s when I heard of high schoolers being out to their families with no trouble. Ronald Reagan was in office being himself, and gays seemed to makeing huge strides. I remember a meeting I chaired of the Gay/Lesbian Union at NYU where a bunch of students less than 4 years younger than me totally could not relate to painful coming out stories, loss of friends, etc. In the 20 years since, the status has changed a lot – some good. Some bad. We’ll see what happens next.

    But I hope we remember that no one is free when others are oppressed.

  3. Dear Huw,

    You write: “Dialectic isn’t half as important as our families or friends standing up and saying ‘treat my relative equally.'”

    There is an obvious and deeply felt sense in which that is true. One should never act unjustly. Period. One should never perpetuate, or collude in the perpetuation of, injustice. Period. “Be therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. v. 48).

    A thought, however. The devil is always in the details, and what perfect justice requires in a given circumstance is rarely so clear (either for us considered as individuals, or as public officials). One of my favorite examples is President Franklin Roosevelt’s now-incomprehensible opposition to the federal anti-lynching bill. He thought … perhaps rightly? … that the common good, at that time and in that place, required solid Southern support for the New Deal, which he was not prepared to risk by supporting the anti-lynching bill. (The NAACP says this about the matter.) And yet, would it not be an error to refuse to acknowledge Franklin Roosevelt as a great, progressive president? By the same token, I would today prefer to have a moderate in political office, who was willing, say, to grant us civil unions, rather than stand by the one, sadly unelectable, candidate, who promised us full marriage equality (or whatever else we desired), and wind up with nothing.

    History tends to moves slowly and in some fundamental way mysteriously. The really remarkable fact, from a Christian perspective, is that the Gospel, in all its purity, and despite its confessedly impure evangelizers, continues to be preached and believed.

    Best,
    Victor

  4. Dear Victor –

    Don’t get me wrong: Giant strides are nice… yet there’s nothing wrong with smaller steps on the race set before us. The problem arises with half-steps, for half-steps lead to infinity. Again, I’ll wait. But I have more hope in the eschaton than in any real justice arising from the political system in the USA as it currently functions; more hope, even, in the EOC coming round to the liberal position in these matters.

    It’s the Gospel that will do it. Not so much the politics.

    Huw

  5. Well, I obviously disagree about the Gospel bringing about the change, but I take your point. It obviously would be better if all were free from oppression, and if the conservative movement in America (and other countries) stopped pandering to the more vicious, reactionary, and xenophobic elements of society. I would never argue the contrary, and I imagine I will spend my whole life fighting for that ideal.

    But, when looking at Gay rights in particular, I think that LGTBQ people having the option to join all parts of the political spectrum is, on the whole, a good thing for them and for society. It is GOOD not having to vote based on one issue, and it’s an indication of increasing acceptance and freedom. I may decry the CHOICE of those who choose to go to Homocon, but I think it’s fantastic that they have the choice.

    -Righteous Pagan

  6. It’s good to have more of a voice… yes. It’s sad what will be said with it. Not sure how to divide the case though. Perhaps, given our human ability to mess things up, it’s always a case of the lesser of two evils. Maybe there is a greater good out of a larger voice.

    Huw

  7. Now that the lovely Ann’s spoken at Homocon and discharged her usual round of homophobia, what do you think? This liberal remains unconvinced that gay conservative organizations are any source of help or even dialogue to the issue, other than the odd proclamation “Look how brave we are, inviting Ann Coulter!” The fact remains that liberal voters tend to support gay rights and conservative voters tend to be suspicious of the gay community, if not downright hostile.
    I agree that Gay Republicans could be part of an eventual synthesis. I simply don’t see any *real* influence from such a community in politics at this point.


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