Michael Crawford

Is the GOP Anti-Gay?

Filed By Michael Crawford | August 30, 2007 8:41 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay rights, LGBT, lgbt rights, politics, Republicans

In a post yesterday called Republicans, Gays And Larry Craig: Is The GOP Anti-Gay? Marc Ambinder makes the following statement:

It's absurd to label every politician or person who opposes gay marriage and gays in the military as anti-gay. Many aren't. That doesn't mean they're pro-gay -- it's just that for them the issue of homosexuality is not important.

They may not be homophobic, but they are definitely heterosexist. They may not hate the sinner, but they definitely think that their "lack of the sin" makes them superior to gay and lesbian people and therefore deserving of special rights that gay Americans are denied including the 1,200 federal rights and responsibilities associated with marriage.

If homosexuality truly was not important to some politicians as Marc asserts, then they would not be so adamant in their opposition to giving same-sex couples the option to marry. They would not be opposed because, well, it just would not be important enough for them to get worked up about. They would not have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, the Federal Marriage Amendment or continuously spout rhetoric about marriage being between a man and a woman and anything else will cause the crumbling of Western civilization.

Marc then goes on to acknowledge that a large part of the Republican base is anti-gay:

But Ruffini must also recognize: a large and influential segment of the Republican Party's activist base is anti-gay. Not anti-gay rights -- though, of course, they're "anti" that too -- but anti-gay, meaning that that homosexuality itself is the problem; that the gay rights movement represents the apex of libertinism; that homosexuality is dangerous; that it is anti-Biblical; that it deserves the shame of the culture and not the sanction of the government.

And to say that:

A large segment of the Democratic base approves of, tolerates, and favors government recognition of homosexuality.

I have been in many settings with many gay people and not once have I heard anyone say that what we are after is government recognition of homosexuality. Not once. What I have heard expressed, if not articulated in just this way, is that we do not want the government to promote or provide special consideration or treatment to heterosexuals while denying equal treatment under the law to LGBT Americans.

To me that is the crux of the reason why the LGBT civil rights movement exists. Many in power in the Republican Party oppose equal treatment for LGBT Americans and support what can only be construed as special rights for heterosexual Americans. For that reason, I believe its fair to say that the GOP, despite a few exceptions, is anti-gay.


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I have to disagree with you Michael. When we advocate for marriage, employment, or other rights, we're doing exactly that, asking for government recognition of homosexuality and transgenderism.

In order for the government to credibly promote and pass laws protecting sexual and gender minorities from discrimination, we're also asking that we be acknowledged and formally recognized in our country's laws and by the government charged with administering them.

Gays and lesbians are long since over that hurdle, but in the last election Kerry and the DNC refused to even acknowledge that transgender people exist as a valid minority. Kerry went on record as opposed to our rights in the HRC Presidential questionnaire and the DNC refused to include us in their mission statement.

Of course, a big part of the problem is that certain segments of our activist community have played into and even facilitated that kind of attitude. I wonder, for example, if it would have been so easy for Kerry to pretend that transpeople don't exist or to publicly support a statewide same-sex marriage ban in Mass. if HRC hadn't given him a 100% rating despite both of those positions.

Of course the GOP is anti-gay. It helps them energize support among their base. It doesn't really matter if the individuals within the Party really hate gay people, they're as willing to play on that hatred among voters in order to gain support for their candidates, just as Kerry and the DNC both were last time around. We've at least gotten past that for the most part with the Democrats, but clearly there's still a lot of work to be done in this area.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | August 30, 2007 2:41 PM

Rebecca,

I don't consider LGBT people being treated equally under the law to heterosexuals as government recognition of homosexuality and transgenderism. I consider that being treated like every other American.

For me, the phrase "government recognition" is akin to government approval which I really don't care about. I just care that we are treated equally.

I agree that we have lots of work to do to make the Democrats better on LGBT issues. We also have to figure out ways of moving the GOP forward on our issues. In our current two party system, we need to take our votes where we can get them There are some Republican who are fair-minded, admittedly very few, just as there are Democrats who are as anti-gay as Larry Craig.

Michael Bedwell | August 30, 2007 4:15 PM

Like a chicken suddenly surrounded by a den of foxes, one knows he’s in trouble the moment two Republicans dig their fangs into explaining The Real World for Chickens.

What? Marc Ambinder a Republican? How dare me! He's a "journalist" and they never put their thumb on the scale in favor of any party. Alas, that's exactly what Ambinder has been accused of doing in relation to, for example, Giuliani, as well as being understandably trashed for defending smears of Edwards over the expensive haircut while attacking media mentions of Romney's wearing makeup. More generally, Ambinder has been condemned for replaying the same type of ad hominem coverage in this election that the press, arm-in-arm with the Repugs, tried to drown Gore in during the 2000 election. For documented details of the latter, see Eric Alterman's chilling, "WHAT Liberal Media?"

Now hack writer Ambinder gets in bed with paid Repug shill Patrick Ruffini who "served as webmaster for Bush-Cheney ‘04" among other crimes against humanity.

He's a little more honest about it all than Ruffini but:

1. "It's absurd to label every politician or person who opposes gay marriage and gays in the military as anti-gay." Uh, no it's not. They're not opposed to marriage; they're not opposed to the military. Ipso facto it’s the gays they're opposed to = anti!

2. Believing "homosexuality is not important" is the same as saying "homosexuals" are not important. What's that word for that again? Oh, yes: dehumanization.

3. The same applies to: "Gay marriage and gays in the military are policy questions, not personal ones."

4. "I think all of us should be offended by the notion that upholding the ideal of family values... makes one a gay-baiter" Why, sure, Massa, we all know LGBTs have no families so can have no values associated with same. We live our entire lives as solitary units in giant plastic capsules much like those panty hose come in. We never even came from families like the Ambinders and the Ruffinis but were created in Petri dishes on a distant planet by asexual beings.

5. "It would be logically absurd (again) to call the Republican Party itself 'anti-gay' because a large part of its base is." We're not calling them anti-gay just because of that but because the OFFICIAL position of the ENTIRE Republican Party is stated in their 2004 platform:

"We strongly support President Bush's call for a Constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage, and we believe that neither federal nor state judges nor bureaucrats should force states to recognize OTHER LIVING ARRANGEMENTS AS EQUIVALENT TO MARRIAGE. We believe, and the social science confirms, that the well-being of children is best accomplished in the environment of the home, nurtured by their mother and father anchored by the bonds of marriage. We further believe that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage.

... The REPUBLICAN House of Representatives has responded to this challenge by passing H.R. 3313, a bill to WITHDRAW JURISDICTION FROM THE FEDERAL COURTS OVER THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT. We urge Congress to use its Article III power to enact this into law, so that activist federal judges cannot force 49 other states to approve and recognize Massachusetts' attempt to redefine marriage."

while the 2004 Democratic platform read:

"We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families. . . . We repudiate President Bush’s divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a "Federal Marriage Amendment."

The Repugnants also officially declared that, "We affirm traditional military culture, and we affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

Their 2000 platform essentially screamed the same kind of bigotted nonsense, plus,

"We do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law." Read "no job protection; no housing protection; no hate crime protection; no fill-in-the-blank. They added,

"We support the First Amendment right of freedom of association and stand united with private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America. ....We support restoration of sound priorities in the making of personnel policies, and candid analysis of the consequences of unprecedented social changes in the military." Read: NO FAGS ALLOWED!

6. Ruffini: "What I object to is the Left’s campaign to seizing the instrumentality of government to redefine the institution of marriage, thereby imposing it on the rest of society." Gee, that sounds SOOOOO familiar. But, nooooo, he's not antigay.

After all their words and mine, I suddenly realized that the best way to respond to the nonsense coming out of both their mouths is:

Don't piss on my leg and try to convince me it's raining.

Um, yeah, this dude's an idiot, the GOP is anti-gay. You hear them saying over and over that they don't hate gay people, they just want us to change somehow, and if that's not possible, to just somehow stop existing. Whatever.

I do have to agree with Rebecca here that we are in fact after government recognition of homosexuality. DP's, Civil unions, and gay marriage all require that the government acknowledge the existence of same-sex, conjugal relationships. I mean, we do currently have the same rights on paper - i.e. the right to marry someone of the opposite sex - it's just that that doesn't work the same in the context of heterosexuality as it does in the context of homosexuality. So like the gov't is recognizing heterosexuality right now (OK, only one type of heterosexuality), and we are asking them to equally, and equally limitedly, recognize homosexuality. Like, if homosexuality didn't exist, would there anyone asking for same-sex marriage?

And you're right, though, queer people don't often talk about this. But at the heart of what straight marriage is, it's about government approval of certain relationships. That's why people in those sorts of relationships get tax benefits and a better chance at health care and other stuff.

4. "I think all of us should be offended by the notion that upholding the ideal of family values... makes one a gay-baiter" Why, sure, Massa, we all know LGBTs have no families so can have no values associated with same. We live our entire lives as solitary units in giant plastic capsules much like those panty hose come in. We never even came from families like the Ambinders and the Ruffinis but were created in Petri dishes on a distant planet by asexual beings.

This is the one that really pisses me off when I hear right-wingers spout it off. Their "family values" never seems to include my family. So, in reality, they're in favor of "heterosexual family values" and not the all-inclusive values they like to tout. I always want to ask "What about my family?!?"