Tackling Gay Republicans in a New Prop 8 Video Series

January 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm 69 comments

Looks like a fun series. I’m especially interested in keeping tabs on GOProud.

More Prop 8 coverage and analysis to come tomorrow. -Adam

By Matt Baume

Know any gay Republicans? You might want to check in with them this week to make sure they’re okay. After all, their own party just threw them under a bus.

As the Prop 8 Trial Tracker community knows, there’s tons of stuff happening with marriage equality in California, in America, and around the world. That’s why I’ve been writing weekly recaps of the top stories for the last year over at Stop8.org.

And now I’m launching a new feature: weekly video recaps, in which I’ll talk about the week’s news and also provide an “action item” for folks who want to get involved and lend a hand.

The big news-maker of last week was Michael Steele, chair of the Republican National Committee, who basically made made googly eyes and lovingly batted his eyelashes at the National Organization for Marriage in a recent videochat. Steele supports NOM’s work, he told them, and he’s not alone: he’s running for re-election soon, and all of his fellow candidates oppose marriage equality as well.

In this week’s video, I called for viewers to press the candidates to talk about marriage equality at a debate on Monday. And that’s just what happened: each candidate was asked about marriage equality, and they are now all on the record as opposing civil rights for gays.

Obviously, that’s not exactly wonderful news, but it’s important to make it clear where they stand. Know your enemy and all that.

Now, the pressure is on gay Republican groups like GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans to respond to Monday’s debate (GOProud has been campaigning for “anyone but Steele,” but every available “anyone” is just as bad as far as civil rights are concerned).

They’re in the belly of the anti-gay beast: can they turn the party around from the inside?

Entry filed under: Videos.

LIVE on P8TT: You got Prop 8 questions, we got answers. NOM produces (part of) its long-awaited 2009 tax returns

69 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm


    • 2. RebeccaRGB  |  January 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

  • 3. Mandi  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm


  • 4. Rhie  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm


  • 5. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    They can’t! That is the problem, GOProud and LCR cannot change the RepubliCANT party from the inside. There are too many in there who are Tea Partiers!

    • 6. tim  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      “RepubliCANT”? What are you 12 years old?

      • 7. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 5, 2011 at 7:32 am

        I rise to my friend Richard’s defense. This one term of his may strike you as immature name-calling, but Richard is a tireless advocate for equality. Watch his “It get better” video and you’ll have no doubt.

        • 8. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:08 am

          Why pick on 12-year olds? Ignorance occurs at all ages…… My just now 13 year old is remarkably wise and accepting.

      • 9. James Sweet  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:57 am

        Jeez, that’s pretty moderate. I prefer the slander “Rethuglican” myself…

        I will stop with the childish name-calling when you can point out one thing the GOP has right. And don’t say “small government” or “economic policy”, because I will laugh at you so hard, you might almost forget that Republican leadership has by far overseen the largest increases in gov’t spending and intrusion into private lives in the past several decades.

        If we were talking a choice between a legitimate conservative party on one hand that really truly wanted to limit the size of government in order to safeguard freedoms, and a legitimate progressive party on the other hand that was willing to increase the size of government, possibly sacrificing some prosperity or even maybe some freedoms in order to achieve a more effective welfare state, then okay, there’d be room for debate. I’d still side with the progressives, but I’d stop with the name-calling.

        But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about, on one hand, a totally milquetoast middle of the road party that would be called conservative in the rest of the civilized world, vs. a party of faux-populist demagogues pandering simultaneously to theocrats, paranoids, and the deeply misinformed, while not-so-secretly propping up a short-sighted plutocratic agenda. There is no debate here.

        And as long as that’s the case, “Rethuglicans” it is.

        • 10. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 11:37 am

          The problem with name calling is that people have a way of living up to your expectations of them.

          Republicans are good at stressing individual responsibilities, but we often couch these in greed. Democrats excel at stressing our shared responsibilities, but couch them in resentments of the successful.

          One thing I would say Republicans got right was medicare prescription drug benefits- they recognized a shared responsibility. Democrats recognized individual responsibility needed to be respected through welfare reform.

          • 11. Kathleen  |  January 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm

            Just so you know, people who who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, who used to get their prescriptions through Medi-Cal (CA state’s Medicaid program), got screwed with the Medicare prescription drug program – at least in California. Mind you, these are some of the poorest people, usually living right at poverty level and they now have to pay some for their Rx’s where they never used to have to. So, no, I don’t think the Repubs got it right.

          • 12. James Sweet  |  January 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm

            The problem with name calling is that people have a way of living up to your expectations of them.

            So you’re saying the reason the Republican party is a worthless scam is because some mean old libruhls called them names once? Heh.

            Republicans good at stressing individual responsibilities??? [citation needed], my friend. Certainly Republican pundits are good at paying lip service to individual responsibility. I don’t see how any proposed policies of the modern GOP do anything to effectively emphasize individual responsibility.

            I mean, I suppose Republican opposition to healthcare reform has been pretty good at holding cancer victims responsible for, you know, getting cancer. “Those fucking cancer victims, trying to leech off the system, when the rest of us avoided the temptation of getting cancer… Sure, all the cool kids are getting cancer, but cancer treatments are expensive — by making sure people who choose to get cancer without insurance are immediately bankrupted, we’re making sure that only those who can afford it choose to indulge in the luxury of cancer. These scummy libruhls, they all want to get cancer and not have to pay for it. Good fine Republican citizens, we save up for our cancer, and only get the disease once we’ve amassed enough wealth to pay for it.”

          • 13. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

            Rather than discuss a strategy for fixing it, lets just degenerate into acrimony, because maybe the poor can pay for their medical treatment with our hostility.

            Its easy to settle for narrow definitions of bigotry as homophobia, racism, sexism, etc. but when you refuse someone who is trying to make common cause with you just because you don’t like their style, because they belong to the wrong group, because they’re approaching the same goals from a different place, then you have become what you beheld.

          • 14. fiona64  |  January 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm

            Please show me one time that the Teabirchers and/or Republicans have tried to “make common cause” with GLBT people and their straight allies.

            I triple-dog-dare you.

            /”A Christmas Story” reference

  • 15. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Nice to see you here, Matt!

    • 16. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:02 am

      ditto! I appreciate the way you present your insights Matt : )

  • 17. Ronnie  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Yay…I posted your video early, Matt, but thanks for posting a thread dedicated to it…I love how you point out how anti-gay Steele is while he says he is not anti-gay….awesome…..keep up the good work…..<3…Ronnie

  • 18. tim  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Meh. Its the head of the RNC who’s primary job is to talk a lot and raise money. I find I’m not caring too much about it. As for turning the party around – they’ve had some successes and I would give the Log Cabin Republicans a lot of the credit for the DADT recall.

    • 19. mattymatt  |  January 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      It’s true, Log Cabin Republicans do deserve credit for keeping up the pressure on DADT.

      As far as the RNC chair’s importance — yes, he’s largely a fundraiser, not a policy-setter. But money talks, and a party that is financially beholden to anti-gay groups is more likely to toe their line.

      • 20. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 6:52 am

        I’ve attended Gay Pride in Utah for past three years with hubby…. The Log Cabin R have a booth and there is usually much heckling at their attempts to engage passersby. However, I did notice this past year the crowds engaged with them more civilly instead of shouting matches…as their involvement in repeal of DADT was discussed….

        • 21. Kathleen  |  January 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

          My respect for LCR has grown immensely, as I see that they were serious about their case against DADT. I still don’t ‘get’ how someone wants to be a member of a party that stands squarely for denying one’s own civil rights, but I respect the work LCR has done on DADT.

    • 22. Kathlene O'Loughlin  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:18 am

      Just when I started to respect LCR for their role in repeal, they had to go and cut off their nose to spite their face and endorse the opponent of our fiercest veteran ally in congress Patrick Murphy. Patrick lost. Thanks a lot, LCR.

  • 23. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    As an aside, this was post number 600 I just subscribed to here at P8TT.

    • 24. JonT  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      Congrats! This was 448 for me – still got some ways to go I guess :)

  • 25. JonT  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Nice, thanks!

    To be honest, I have always found it difficult to understand gay people that vote republican. Same with black people, hispanic people, muslim people, etc – pretty much anyone who is not: straight, christian, wealthy, and white.

    The republican party of today is not the republican party of yesteryear. Today, it is dominated by wealthy corporate and religious interests whose sole purpose seems to be to maintain the power and wealth of their respective bases. That’s not what America is supposed to be about — and yet, here we are.

    It is a very narrow segment of American society that benefits from republican policies, yet those demographics that are harmed by those policies continue to be persuaded to vote republican. Propaganda works. Even when provably incorrect, it still works. How do you solve that problem?

    I can almost agree with some republican views, but their steadfast opposition to social change, and their addiction to religion simply turns me off. I cannot ever see myself voting republican on anything while those conditions remain. And I do not understand how those (say… some misguided gay people) continue to support them.

    My opinion only, and I mean no disrespect or insult to republicans that participate here.

    • 26. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      I concur.

      • 27. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

        except the part about almost agreeing with some Republican views. :)

        • 28. JonT  |  January 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm

          Well, allow me to elaborate a little:

          1) Personal responsibility.

          I generally agree with this concept. If I commit a crime, spend all my money on cocaine and hookers, hurt other people, etc — I deserve what I get.

          The problem is that this doesn’t seem to apply to the likes of Abramoff, Tom Delay, Gingrich, etc. Their’s is a very ‘selective’ interpretation of ‘personal responsibility’.

          If you are lying (or killing) for the ‘Lord’, for example, then it’s all okay.

          I think it is wrong for homeless people to freeze to death in the streets, regardless of how they got there. I think it is wrong to allow the elderly to freeze to death in their (possibly foreclosed) homes. I think it is wrong for *anyone* to be deprived of medical care when they need it.

          2) Religion.

          I do not believe in any religion. I believe it to be mythology created by people millennia ago to explain the universe as they could understand it at the time.

          By the same token, I do not claim to know the absolute truth of the universe, and would never try to impose my views on others.

          Yet they do claim absolute knowledge/truth, and not only do they claim this, they presume to impose it on everyone else. I oppose this.

          3) Spending.

          I am for helping others up when they fall. Most of us have probably been there at some time. I lived in group homes/foster homes through most of my childhood – and if the ‘state’ hadn’t paid for it, then what?

          I would have been living in the streets at 6 years old.

          This seems to be the kind of spending republicans want to curtail. Same with social security, pell grants, medicare, etc.

          Me? I think not getting into a stupid-ass war in Iraq would have been a good idea. Spending $800 billion a year on defense, is fucking stupid, IMO. That’s more than twice what we spent before 9-11.

          And what do we have to show for it? Are we safer? Is Osama Bin Laden in prison, or dead? Is ‘terrorism’ dead?

          No? Then what we have to show for it is the enrichment of Haliburton, et.al, and a big fuck you to everyone else.

          As a neighbor once told me: “It’s a rich man’s war!”

          4) Education.

          Education is paramount to the future of human civilization IMO.

          On the liberal side, teacher unions tend to ensure that bad teachers still keep their jobs.

          Bad teachers should be fired, without having to go through a lengthy and expensive legal process.

          Good teachers should be paid well. I shudder when I see some basketball player being paid more in one year, than what the average teacher will ever see in a lifetime. Our priorities in this regard, as a nation, are fucked.

          On the conservative side, public education in general is bad (since it’s dominated by unions, and doesn’t promote religion), and instead, tax payer funds should be made available in the form of ‘vouchers’ — which can be used to pay religious schools, thereby circumventing the establishment clause in the US Constitution.

          And, incidentally, promoting religious mythology to children, when it is most effective.


          Democrats: Tax and spend on social/educational programs. Sometimes ineffectually.

          Republicans: Borrow and spend on War and Corporate Welfare. Always ineffectually.

          That’s what I mean when I say I can almost agree with some republican positions. Almost. Like so many things in life, the promise is often better than the reality.

          Just a short list — and this is definitely not directed at you Kathleen, even though it’s a response to your post. Guess, I should put away the wine now. (or Whine, as the case may be).


          • 29. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 7:17 am

            I appreciate reading your comments/perspectives JonT : )

          • 30. James Sweet  |  January 5, 2011 at 9:06 am

            See, this is what I’m talking about in my other comments in this thread slamming the GOP. The modern Republican party is NOT a legitimate conservative counterbalance.

            JonT talks about personal responsibility and such, and although I don’t see anything in that particular post that I disagree with per se, I can tell from some of his tone that there are probably issues we would disagree on — I tend to be pretty far on the liberal side. And that’s okay. There is a need for reasoned debate, and that is impossible without some disagreement.

            But JonT also aptly details how the modern GOP fails to live up to any legitimate fiscally conservative ideals. Eschewing the Republican Party is not about being liberal; it’s about being non-crazy.

          • 31. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

            LOL!! @ “it’s about being non-crazy”

          • 32. Kathleen  |  January 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

            I know this isn’t directed at me, JonT. And even if it were, you know I love you, right? … nerd brother of mine. :)

  • 33. Bill Smalley  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm


  • 34. Melissa  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Back in the 90’s, I had some friends who were gay and considered themselves Republican. I say “were” because then W. became president, and then after that Prop 8 happened, and by then, just about all of them were voting Democratic, even if they aren’t registered as democrats.

    Many of the friends who I mention grew up in pretty small states (WY, MT, ND, etc.) where people are more conservative. Many of them would have considered themselves “fiscally conservative” and “socially libaral”, but in the end, I think it seemed hard to belong to a party that treated them as second-class citizens.

    I don’t always agree with everything the democrats do or say, but I can’t imagine belonging to a party where the chairman and many (most?) of the elected officials are fundamentally opposed to my civil rights.

  • 35. TomTallis  |  January 4, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    If GOProud isn’t a Rovian front group I’ll eat Matt’s shorts. Oh, wait…

  • 36. Joel  |  January 5, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I seem to remember a comment by someone in this cyber-community about registering Republican and voting for the least likely candidate to win in the primaries, and then vote a straight (well, not “straight”) democratic ticket in the general election. I’m seriously considering this!

    • 37. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      There’s a hole in that theory: The least likely Republican to win a Republican primary is often the most likely Republican to win a general election (this cuts both ways).

      Vote honestly and with integrity, it is a solemn duty.

  • 38. Sagesse  |  January 5, 2011 at 4:46 am

    It’s hard for me to understand, as an observer from north of the border, whether the republicans elected in November… in say, NH… were given a mandate to fix the broken economy, or to roll back LGBT (and women’s) civil rights with a vengeance, or both. Most people are not single issue voters.

    • 39. Kathleen  |  January 5, 2011 at 10:15 am

      My read is that the mandate was about the economy. But, unfortunately, the people who voters put in office to accomplish that carry with them a lot of social conservative baggage. So, while the election wasn’t about pushing a conservative social agenda, the result may be.

      • 40. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

        Most Tea party activists shun social issues altogether in favor of crazy conspiracies relating to the Federal Reserve, Obama’s birth certificate, etc.

  • 41. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 6:28 am

    political talk and holiday ramblings…

    Confession: Until 2007 I voted mostly Republican….along with pretty much EVERYONE in my family and ancestors. I recently declared to all that I’m a registered Democrat…in many ways this confession seems more startling than when I “came out”.

    I had delightful dinner last week @ a Thai restaurant with my Chilean Hubby, 2 Mormon sisters, a niece and her Peruvian Husband and their absolutely adorable 2 year old son. We have been trying to get together for 3 years, ever since I met my hubby. Current political (domestic and International) issues were amicably discussed. My sisters related that they still vote Republican, mostly because of “the abortion thing…” My hubby brought up the point what is worse, aborting babies/fetus or killing our children/brothers/sisters et al through hate, discrimination and non-acceptance? What about war, death penalty, how can conservatives justify those, yet condemn abortion? I don’t know if my sisters understood but it really hit home to me as “the abortion thing” is what kept me voting Republican until recently.

    I used to fear the abortion topic, but one of MANY benefits of participating at the P8TT is learn from educated persons with a liberal(aka realistic) perspectives instead of the those who are socialized through religious dogma. Abortion has been discussed here and I’m grateful to those open-minded women who have shared why they would not choose child birth or elect to have an abortion. Can I really be so arrogant to think I know what is best for those who choose abortion? The answer is a huge NO!

    There were many details of our meeting that were precious to me, one item that stands out is my older-by-two-years sister who is a hospital administrator who holds a Master’s of Nursing degree. While fishing for a present that I might like(funny how she thinks I might like different things now that I’m “gay”), asked a gay colleague what his best Christmas present was, he replied for the first time in 20 years his mom bought his partner a present and finally accepted them as a couple. My sister didn’t give me specifically anything, but brought my partner four gifts to our dinner.

    • 42. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:24 am

      btw – I’ve been waiting to have “courageous conversations” with family, since sisters seem accepting, planning to send them copies of Bible Tells Me So, Prayers For Bobby and 8: The Mormon Proposition. Any other good recommendations to share with accepting family members?

      FYI “Prayers For Bobby” finally avail on DVD and through Netflix….previously could only get through iTunes.

      • 43. isa  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

        Fish Out of Water addresses the Bible verses used to condemn gay people, and I thought was pretty approachable.

        • 44. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:41 am

          I’ll check it out. thanks!

          • 45. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

            added to netflix Q!

            Trailer looks good : ) tx again! I’ve never heard about this one:

          • 46. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  January 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm

            Not video, but you could always give them Carol Lynn’s books.

            Sheryl, Mormon Mother

      • 47. Kathlene O'Loughlin  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:20 am


    • 48. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  January 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Interesting, the abortion issue is one that has always kept me voting democratic. As I young child, I overheard several conversations between my mom and one aunt about thinking that their sister’s death was self-abortion (before the days of legal abortion). That has formed my opinion that abortion should be legal and available to all. Whether I would ever have chosen to have one, I don’t know.

      Sweet that your sister bought presents for your husband.

      Funny, when I first read “2 Mormon sisters,” I thought you meant missionaries and wondered why you’d been trying to get together with them.

      Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 49. Ronnie  |  January 5, 2011 at 7:21 am


    NOM is really getting on my last nerve with their feeble attempts to compare themselves to the NAACP, who in FACT support Marriage Equality & LGBT Rights……in FACT the NAACP filed an amicus brief in support of Equality & the repeal of Prop H8, opposing the ban on same-gender marriage, in the Prop 8 Trial……


    NOM, get over yourself…..<3…Ronnie

    • 50. Ed  |  January 5, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Don’t you get it??? Poor NOM is the victim here. I know this is true, cause that’s what Maggie said. So lets cut NOM some slack….

      (Just so we are clear, that was sarcasm LOL)

  • 51. Rose  |  January 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

    “After all, their own party just threw them under a bus.”

    …and the Democrats have treated us that much better?

    • 52. James Sweet  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:49 am

      In a word: Yes.

      Don’t get me wrong, the Democratic Party has performed shamefully in regards to gay rights, as they have on a number of other issues. They keep rushing for the center, naively thinking that will win them so battles, when all it does is push the center more to the right. Idiots and wimps, all.

      But compared to the GOP? Yes, yes they have.

      • 53. Kathleen  |  January 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

        And I agree.

        • 54. anonygrl  |  January 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

          Yes. Even when the results are not as good as we hope for, at least the Democrats are moving in the right direction.

          • 55. Mouse  |  January 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

            And as we’ve seen from Ted Olson fighting for our rights in this Prop 8 trial, conservatives are moving in the right direction, too. The Republican party is no longer the conservative voice in a reasoned debate, but a haven for crazies.

  • 56. Ronnie  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:46 am

    “I urge the General Assembly to quickly consider and adopt this legislation. When marriage equality is the law in Rhode Island, we honor our forefathers who risked their lives and fortune in the pursuit of human equality. Rhode Island today must be as welcoming to all as [the state’s founder] Roger Williams intended it to be. Mark my words, these two actions will do more for economic growth in our state than any economic development loan.” ~ Governor Lincoln Chafee…..

    Here is the video from his Inauguration Address…..<3…Ronnie:

    • 57. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Where do I sign up for the party of Lincoln (Chafee)?

  • 58. James Sweet  |  January 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

    They’re in the belly of the anti-gay beast: can they turn the party around from the inside?

    No they cannot.

    Seriously, has anyone been paying attention the Republican party over the past 10-15 years? I’m sorry to say this, but they really don’t have a Point anymore.

    I’m about as liberal as they come, but I do recognize the need for a conservative counterbalance in politics. The modern GOP is NOT IT. (Actually, the more conservative Democrats would do nicely…) The modern GOP is a farce. At the risk of offending a few people, I frankly don’t see how any self-respecting person could self-identify as a Republican in this day and age.

    • 59. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Well, James, I would point out to you that Obama’s Justice Department is STILL fighting the court order striking down DADT, even at this late date. Yet I’m not going to paint you, James Sweet, as an anti-troop homophobe because of something that is happening in your party. When we see each other as members of a group and not as individuals it becomes easy to disrespect each other’s humanity and insinuate a lack of self-respect. Look at where that kind of mentality has led us in the last 10-15 years.

      • 60. James Sweet  |  January 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        Okay, Sam, so you are doing a very common rhetorical ploy where you act as if I committed an ad hominem when I actually haven’t. With the exception of my final sentence, which was carefully hedged by the prefix “I frankly don’t see”, you will notice that every comment I made was in regards to the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the party, not of the individuals within it. Yet you address my comment with phrases (“I’m not going to paint you…”, “see each other…not as individuals”, “disrespect each other’s humanity”, etc.) that imply that I was attacking the individuals rather than the party.

        In that context, you can see that even my final comment was not meant as an ad hominem. To be clear, I recognize that there are intelligent self-respecting people who self-identify as Republican — but I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I make no apologies for my incredulity here either. The modern GOP has got nothing — so when someone who is apparently reasonably well-informed, and is not obviously gunning for some transparent self-interest (oil executives, pastors, etc.) expresses support for the Republican Party, I find myself deeply puzzled.

        As for the Obama DOJ fighting on the Wrong Side in the DADT court battle, that is indeed unfortunate. I recognize that many people feel the executive branch (whether it be of CA or the US) has a duty to seek to uphold even legislation they disagree with, I don’t feel that this obligation is universal. That said, I don’t think one can plausibly use this to argue that the Obama administration is opposed to repeal, given the events of the past few months. This is in contrast to the vast majority of the Republican leadership which clearly opposes repeal (even if they try to equivocate by using lame excuses like “eventually but not now”). Bad example.

        Better examples of something going on in the Democratic Party which I and other Americans ought to be ashamed of are the continuing abuses of executive power by the Obama administration, the refusal to prosecute those who ordered torture, the continued use of isolation and other questionable “torture-like” tactics on detainees (even non-convicted American citizens, such as Bradley Manning), the lack of universal support for same-sex marriage within the Democratic party, the missteps in regards to healthcare reform… should I go on?

        Please, paint the Democratic Party as deeply flawed. I’ll agree with you. But they at least get some things right. I just don’t see any value in the modern GOP. Not even as a conservative counter-balance, because the modern GOP is not conservative except in the sense of being anti-progressive (Pro-tip: that’s a bad thing, unless you hate gays, blacks, women, non-rich, non-Christians, non-Americans, etc.). A party that rabidly calls for questionable and expensive foreign adventures would not have been called “conservative” up until pretty recently. Anti-environment, anti-science, pro-spending…And you say the party’s about “personal responsibility”? Please.

        • 61. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

          Well that’s the thing, you don’t have to “get” Republicans to accept their help on common causes. For instance, I don’t “get” why you would want to strengthen the welfare state when there are 78 million baby boomers who will collect benefits that will exceed per-capita GDP (you guys know about numbers, right?). But we can still work together on gay marriage. Even Dick Cheney is with us on that one. I don’t see how having Republicans who stand up for gay marriage hurts the movement.

          • 62. Mouse  |  January 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm

            I welcome Republicans who would stand up for gay marriage.

            As a party, however, Republicans have made it clear that marriage between two men or two women will end the world and prevent good Christian heterosexual people from raising children of their own in stable environments… or something, they’re not really clear about what the problem is, just loud and certain that it’s worse than the Apocalypse.

            It’s hard to notice the handful of sane, supportive Republicans over the frothing and ranting of the millions of loud lunatics who soil the party with their membership.

          • 63. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

            Thank you, Mouse.

            I missed the pro-gay marriage plank of the Democratic platform, though. Obama opposes marriage but says his views are “evolving” (into a vertebrate, one hopes).

          • 64. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm

            @ Mouse
            Brilliant Post! Cheers!

          • 65. Mouse  |  January 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm

            The fecklessness of the Democratic party is irrelevant to the evil embraced as a platform of the Republican party.

            The Republican party has taken a stance and declared homosexuals to be The Enemy; as such, it is perplexing that there exist gays who vote Republican. Granted, there are more issues to consider than whether the candidate you vote for wishes to strip away your civil rights, and all of those must be considered to put things properly in perspective, but even still, it’s hard to understand siding with the guy who has you in the sights of his gun.

            Does this automatically make the Democrats saints on a crusade for our rights? No, of course not. There’s a big difference between “Not actively fighting against us” and “Actively fighting for us.” Where the Democrats actually fall between those two could be debated, but is still irrelevant to where Republicans fall, as the Republican party has made it part of their platform to fight against us at every juncture possible.

            You can say that the Democrats fail us as allies. They haven’t been willing to support us 100%, and they’ve missed tons of opportunities to do right by us. Maybe the best you can say is they’re trying to not be our enemy.

            Would I prefer a party that actually stood up and declared itself to be a champion for my rights? Hell yes!

            The Republican party has actually stood up and declared itself to be a champion AGAINST my rights, though. That’s not something I understand how to get past.

            Please don’t mistake being anti-republican as synonymous with pro-democrat.

          • 66. JonT  |  January 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm

            @Sam: ‘I missed the pro-gay marriage plank of the Democratic platform, though.

            Did you miss the anti-gay marriage plank in the republican party platform?

            I didn’t.

          • 67. Kathlene O'Loughlin  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:24 am

            Dick Cheney is a tool and so is Ken Mehlman for that matter. They both came out for marriage equality after it was politically safe to do so, not during the years and years which they were in an actual position to make a difference and change minds.

  • 68. Sam Edwards  |  January 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Matt;
    You’re sounding a little high and mighty (though, to be fair, the opposition makes it easy) when you worry about gay Republicans having to look over their shoulder about their party. I don’t have to look over my shoulder, because I already know that they will gay-bash to raise money. When it stops bringing in money, they will stop.

    But while we’re getting everyone on record, I think its important to note that the President of the United States is also on record as preferring civil unions. His views are said to be evolving… I can’t imagine what its like to be a Democrat, having to look over my shoulder and worry what his views are going to evolve into, exactly. Except, of course, we already know he’ll be for gay marriage once he wins re-election and it is safe for him to do so and of little value to us.

    There are no heros on the national level, except maybe Olympia Snowe who actually shouldered some political risk over DADT (that’s a different trial tracker though). Sure the RNC chair debate is craven, but its equally craven of you to alienate allies without acknowledging that the president is not materially better on this. I think that was rude.

    • 69. Kathlene O'Loughlin  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:26 am

      fiona64 from this post:

      Actually, Obama’s view is more nuanced than that. He made a clear delineation between his personal opinion and what should constitute law.


      Quote: In a letter to San Francisco’s Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, the presumptive presidential nominee said he opposed “the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution” and similar efforts in other states.

      I know that President Obama has not acted on the timeline that many of my GLBT friends and fellow straight allies would like … but don’t let’s misstate his position.



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