Waymon Hudson

The Traitorous Pink Elephant in the Room

Filed By Waymon Hudson | January 22, 2008 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: conservative politics, GOP, Log Cabin Republicans

PhotobucketLog Cabin Republicans.

It’s a segment of our community that I just don’t understand. They seem to be crawling back out of their hiding spots now that Bush is leaving office. But should they?

I have seen many “I heart Rudy” shirts, heard many “I like Live-and-Let-Live Romney” comments, and sat through many “Why Ron Paul’s my guy” speeches.

But it still makes no sense to me…

Let me first qualify by saying, I understand that no front-running Democratic candidate fully supports our rights. I also know that the Dems have not been stellar at defending us or standing up for us in the past. But I do think that it is easier to educate a friendly, if sometimes uncomfortable, crowd than an openly hostile one.

But Republicans? Their party platform has attacks on our community written into it. They sponsor the anti-gay, benefit-stripping, “marriage protection” amendments against us just to get votes. They consistently use us as a wedge: demonizing and degrading us to gain more power.

I have heard many a LCR say things like, “being gay isn’t all I am”, “I vote with my wallet”, or “I’m changing the party from the inside out.”

Well let’s look at how that’s going for them…


Being gay isn’t all I am

This one almost works for me. I understand voting on other issues, like the war, poverty, health insurance, Medicare reform etc. And while I happen to personally think that the Democrats are better in these areas, I respect differences of opinions.

Where this argument falls apart for me is the fact that to reach any of these other issues, certain basic rights and needs to be taken care of first. What good is voting for health insurance reform if I’m fired from my job for being gay and don’t have insurance in the first place. How can I vote on poverty issues when in some places I can be denied housing for my sexual orientation or gender identity? How can I vote on issues like Medicare if I’m too worried about being the victim of anti-LGBT violence?

The Republican Party is staunchly against giving our community even the most basic of rights. So while I understand that being “gay” may not be all someone is, the GOP is still saying a part of you doesn’t matter. They identify you solely by that single part of you (even though that is what you say you don’t want), discriminate against you, and then you support them?

Mind-boggling.


I vote with my wallet

This one kills me. When LGBT’s say they “vote with their wallet”, it just means that they have money and don’t want to part with it. They would rather be complicit in condemning their community, and themselves, to subhuman status just to keep their money (although with a looming recession, I’m not sure the Republicans are the best keepers of our money).

I understand that we all want to keep our hard earned money, but at the cost of very basic human and civil rights?

They are right on one point. They are voting with their wallets. They are giving money to a party that hates them. Where do LCR’s think their money goes to when they give to the GOP? Do they somehow think that there is a separate “don’t use this gay money on anti-gay legislation and campaigning” fund?

Not likely.


I’m changing the party from the inside out

This one is almost sad. To think that the Republican Party has gotten anything but MORE virulently anti-LGBT is delusional. The LCR’s are just a cash cow for a vast anti-gay political machine. What significant movement has the GOP made in terms of LGBT issues?

None.

At least the Democrats are having debates and conversations about LGBT issues, even if they are not where we want them to be. That’s a party we can educate and change from within.


If these Log Cabin Republicans want to truly change the party, they should try taking their money and voting elsewhere. That might have more of an effect than anything they are doing now.

So wake up! Secure some basic rights and dignity for yourself before your beloved “big tent” party once again uses you to do some tricks, make some money, and then discards you to the bone yards.


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Waymon Hudson wrote:

"I also know that the Dems have not been stellar at defending us or standing up for us in the past."

Calling people who hold differing ideologies "Traitors" illustrates your inability to be accepting and tolerant, rather ironic actually.

This is in fact the same card Neo-Cons use when referring to individuals who are against the war in Iraq.

Moreover,you refer to "us" as if we are one big gay monolithic group, and this is where I personally find fault with your ideology.

For this "traitor", individual rights trump any form of "people group", "collectivist" rights granted by government.

So go right ahead and allow yourself to be diluted into a "people group". Those of us "traitors" who prefer our individuality over being lost amongst the sheep, will keep voting for politicians, (regardless of "party") based on those who campaign for less government interference which means more liberty for all individuals.

I have to ask where you got the graphic. That really cracked me up. :)

Yeah, but you're not a Log Cabin Republican, Allison. You're a Libertarian/Independent. I, personally, don't think there's anything wrong with voting Republican for the right candidate (former Indy City-County Councilor Scott Keller, for example, who's campaign I managed), but I'd never support the "party." Then again, I don't donate to the Democratic party either for the same reasons - no progress on our community. I donate to individual candidates that I think can make a change for the better.

Which means I prefer my individuality over being lost amongst the sheeple too - but I don't think Waymon's post is really aimed at us so much as the blind party supporters.

"less government interference which means more liberty for all individuals."

Really? How is that GOP "less government" working for you? I think we have less individual freedoms today under the current administration (wire-tapping, no trial imprisonments, etc) than we ever dreamed of under a Democratic President.

And I'm all for being an independent voter. But giving your money and support to a group that attacks who you are is really confusing to me. Like I said, your money doesn't go into a "don't use for anti-gay baiting" account. It all goes to the same political machine that is set on attacking the LGBT community.

While we aren’t a monolithic community, there are certain basic human rights that the GOP wants to deny us. I can’t get behind that.

Bil-

I couldn't have said it better.

And I love the graphic too. :)

chandler in hollywood | January 22, 2008 10:47 AM

I think that Gay Republican is a separate sexual identity. It need not be explained, just acknowledged and ignored. Just as the Republican Party does.

Chandler-

I agree.

Maybe we should use the same plan Mike Huckabee wants to use on people with HIV/AIDS and quarantine all LCRs so they don't spread...

Childish drivel.

Do you earnestly think that by taking on this smug tone you will win over any gay Republicans?

I must admit, though, the image posted was pretty cute.

Um, I don't know if I'd say that LCR is really a cash cow for the GOP. Last I heard they were having trouble keeping their lights on....

I actually once dated a gay McCain supporter (I know!). He used that "Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I vote on one issue" line, and attributed it to Mary Cheney. I about lost it - I couldn't stop laughing. It was about the stupidest thing I had ever heard.

Are there gays who vote Democrat just because of gay marriage? Um, no, "other issues" are important to everyone, including Democratic leaning gays. To me, it's just that our experiences with being on the outside make us more sensitive to the way hierarchy limits potential, in general. Thus more likely to be on the left.

Oh, and Allison did have a point - LCR definitely represents not too many gay Republicans. Most gay Republicans I've known have been much scarier.

interesting post - I find that the gay GOP'ers I know are simply much more socially conservative and do not have a good understanding of their privilege nor of the intersections between reproductive rights, issues of poverty, etc within out OWN community

and the elephant looks very much like a toy from one of my favorite stores, see http://www.kidrobot.com/

Lucrece-

Why are my opinions and less valid and "childish drivel"? I happen to think people that give money and proudly declare support for a group that attacks me and my family are wrong (ex: the GOP is funding the “marriage protection” amendment here in Florida, which would strip domestic partnership rights from couples). It's that simple.

Cathy-

Yes! You win the prize! It is a super cute toy. It just seemed to fit so well (pink elephant, missile launcher, skull on the stomach...)!


Like I said, I can almost buy the "I don't vote on just one issue" argument. Almost. I vote on many issues that are important to me, not just "gay" ones.

The difference is when I vote for, say a Democrat that may not believe in full marriage equality, I’m not voting for a platform that is looking to ROLL-BACK my rights, like the GOP’s platform is. There is room for discussion and education with the Dems (and in some individual candidates, like Bil mentioned, GOP or otherwise). The GOP as a party, however, is all about using our community as a wedge and an “issue” to get more votes.

I just can't seem to get a satisfying answer on why anyone would proudly support a party that is so virulently anti-gay (and anti-women… and anti-ethnic… and anti-….).

Waymon- The way you just expressed yourself would've been appreciated if it had not been followed by the condescending "amen"'s in this comment thread. If what you're trying to do with this post is try to "show them the light", then you should be aware that what you created with one hand in the original post you destroy with the other hand as a result of that persisting "us vs. them" mentality. We're already a rather small sector of the population; we do not need further division. Besides, the excuses of "hurting my family/friends" you have used to scold the LCR come off ironically as self-righteous as those from the far right.

I understand how frustrating it can be to deal with some GOP gays. Kevin's latest article over at Citizen Chris, for example, is rather irritating in the manner in which it keeps labeling Giuliani and McCain as likely to not obstruct LGBT policy-making and being pro-gay. Nevertheless, it would be best to coax them through debate than to take on an accusatory tone and saying "Ya'll repressed homos better straighten up and join our side, because right now you're destroying my family, friends, and my life!". You'll just push them further away and confirm their prejudices that we're a bunch of partisan radicals with no real interest in gay issues, despite the fact that these very same individuals might be currently engaging in the same behavior.

I refuse to vote Republican, and it's because I'm more than just T. It's because GOP economic policies
have gone a long way towards eliminating the middle class altogether. It is because the GOP starts wars. It is because the GOP is the party that decided that the working poor should pay a much higher percentage of their income than the wealthy. It's because the GOP is the tool of the Religious Reich. It's because GOP policies make no sense to any reasonable person.
And it is because the GOP represents corporate America, including subsidizing with tax credits the moving of jobs overseas.

Nobody should vote for the GOP right now. Their opposition to GLBT is icing on the cake. None of their candidates are acceptable.

By the way, I was raised a Republican, in a Republican household, before the Republicans became the party of imbalanced tax codes, humongous deficit spending, and warmongering.
They left me.

chandler in lasvegas | January 22, 2008 4:15 PM

I am very grateful that most Grublicans are closeted. That way they save themselves and us mutual embarrassment.

Lucrece-

I'm sorry you don’t seem to like me agreeing with people’s comments (I’m guess that's what the reference to the "amens" is about), but if they say something that I agree with, I'm going to let them know, just I like I would if I didn't agree with them.

And the "hurting my family/friends" isn't an excuse. It is reality. The GOP funded "marriage protection" amendment here in Florida would roll back domestic partnership rights in the state, just like similar measures have in other states. I, and many other couples I know, use those benefits to get insurance through our significant others. So that would have a very real and devastating impact on me and my family. No excuses, just cold, hard fact.

And if the past eight years of GOP reign haven't made people move over from the Log Cabin Republicans, I highly doubt my blog post will. This is just my view and reaction to a lot of the reasoning I hear from LCRs I meet. I never called anyone "repressed" or anything else, I just put forth my arguments to their logic.

I am glad to hear that you at least like my graphic, though. :)

I have always been surprised how “progressive” people do not always practice what they preach.

In college, I had 2 diversity classes and was even a graduate assistant for another one. One of the main points of these classes is to teach people not to make assumptions about individuals based on their (or society’s) stereotypes of that person’s culture, gender, religion, etc.

This site and bloggers claim they are progressive and they value diverse opinions. I think the idea of this article is valid and worthy of discussion but by the word choices, examples and stereotyping mentioned, it seems the purpose of this article is not for a discussion, but to see who is best about name calling and putting people down.

I have also had some training in civil disobedience. They were based on the work done by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of the points in the training is that name calling and putting people down is a form of violence. Name calling says you think the other person is less than human. Not only is it morally wrong, it undermines the truth of the message and hinders the ability of that person to hear or understand the truth of the message.

Another point of the training, which I think fits to this discussion topic, is that if we are on the side of truth, the other person is not our enemy but another person who has been deceived and needs to know the truth. If we decide the other person is not worth trying to see the truth, then we are saying they are worthless and that is a form of violence. I think the Republican Party is needed if we ever want full equality. Although I disagree with many (most) members of the party, it doesn’t mean that I am willing to give up on them yet. If others have given up, that is fine, but that does not mean that I have too or that I am less than human for trying.

In Central Indiana, because of the people you mentioned in your article, we had a Republican city councilor who was one of the two original sponsors of Indianapolis’ Human Rights Ordinance which includes sexual orientation and gender identity. This councilor gets more people to the Lambda Legal Benefit than any other group or individual. This councilor raises more money for Indiana Equality than any other politician.

In Central Indiana, because of the people you mentioned in your article, the 7th Congressional District, will have a forum on LGBT issues with both the Republican Candidate and the Democratic Candidate (and probably the Libertarian Candidate). In this case the Republican Candidate has been outspoken against Indiana’s “marriage” amendment, is a sponsor of a current hate crimes bill, and has helped raise money for Indiana Equality. It has been interesting to now hear a lesbian say “Women’s issues are more important than LGBT issues” and a transperson say “War issues are more important that LGBT issues”.

To me, the battle is for full equality for LGBT people. To achieve full equality will require at least some Republicans to understand that as well—and that is my focus. If you want to use your efforts and energy to put me down or call me names that is your choice but it sure seems like there are many other places where that effort and energy could be used that could benefit us all.

David-

I never said anyone was less than human or called anyone names. I simply laid out my thoughts and opinions on why I think giving support and money to a group (the GOP as a party, not individual candidates) that uses anti-gay legislation as weapons against our community is wrong.

There are surely good Republicans that support our community, like the person you mentioned. I have no problem supporting an individual. That's where I think our community needs to reach across the aisle, to individuals who are friendly to our cause.

But the Republican Party has discrimination against our community written into its platform. They have consistently used our community as a wedge to drive out votes, as well as pushed harmful legislation. I just can't understand supporting that.

If you want to keep "working within the party" to make change, feel free. I'm just not sure how well that's working out. All the effort and money you give to the GOP as a party isn't separated into a "use only for gay-friendly causes" fund. It still goes to hurt our community, you and me included. Fighting to strengthen a group that is causing real damage to LGBT people is just something I don’t understand.

You said:

“If you want to use your efforts and energy to put me down or call me names that is your choice but it sure seems like there are many other places where that effort and energy could be used that could benefit us all.”

That is what I would say to you and the efforts you are making with the GOP. Your energy and efforts could help so many more people elsewhere, instead of supporting a group that puts me and our community down.

I've been guilty of demonizing gay Republicans many times. I really don't get it either, Waymon. The Republican party is a shadow of its former self. It's sold out to the highest bidders - corporations and the religious right. Corps bring the $$ and wingnuts bring the votes.

Aligning with a party so far off track from what it claims to be is what I don't understand. I've said many times that the best way to fix the Republican party is to stop supporting it. These "moderates" need to realize the party has been clear that the party doesn't want them.

You cannot help the party (fix it from the inside) if they aren't ready to help themselves. They will not be ready to help themselves until they get their asses handed to them election after election for being out of touch with reality.

These people picked George W. Bush as their top guy twice running. Most people won't admit voting for him now, but he still enjoys enough support as to frighten us sane folks. With a 30+% base to work from, the kooks don't need but another 20% to win elections.

Gay Republicans, including LCR, feed that 20% that keeps legitimizing the kooks and growing their ranks. I have a number of Republican friends (Dave Wene is one I hold dear - so is Scott Keller.) I love them dearly, but every one of them uses one or more of the excuses Waymon listed above as their reason for continuing to support the party.

I just don't get it.

I've said many times that the best way to fix the Republican party is to stop supporting it.

I agree, Jerame.

Removing the money, support, and power from the GOP is the only way to break it free from the clutches of the evangelicals and corporations. Once they start losing, then they might start to change and broaden their base.

"Working from the inside" only strengthens the radical groups in charge, thus strengthening their attacks on the LGBT community.

As a regular Republican reader of this blog this is another reason I find Democrats not realy to my liking.My views are center right on most national issues and I totaly support equal rights for all of and we should be allowed to hold differnt views for I am not a blind sheep I am Bi I am Tans so I must be a Democrat?Hardly there are many aeras the National Democratic party fails me so I wont support them on those issues and they personaly betrayed Trans folks of all kinds just recently so who are the real Tratiors Not GLBT Republicans thats for sure remember 30 odd Republicans voted for that bit of bad legeslation. So look to your own house before yelling Tratior. Btw I do not belong to the Log Cabin Republicans either but I usaly vote Republican and have been a dues paying memember.

This argument always annoys me:

I have always been surprised how “progressive” people do not always practice what they preach.

Right, because Democrats should just roll over and let Republicans control everything, because that would bring about the world that Democrats want to see.... I mean, it wouldn't, but it would be more in-line with what Democrats believe, which is that you just capitulate to everyone as a sign of respect.... Oh, wait, they don't, er, OK!

The only way it can start making sense is if policy means nothing, if somehow concrete reality doesn't exist and politics is an abstract competition between two empty ideologies, instead of a tool to bring about change to improve people's lives.

Oh, wait, I found the reason Republicans make that argument....

One party stabs you in the front, the other the back. It's more easy to defend against frontal attacks.

I look at the GOP lineup of presidential hopefuls, and as a neo-con, I feel like committing hoot gibson. If Huckabee wins nomination, I would do all I can to make sure a Democrat - ANY Democrat - wins.

Trouble is.. Clinton (F)'s a slimeball, Obama's a foreign policy disaster, and Edwards is a Lawyer. But the GOP candidates are as bad or worse. I don't think the US would be too badly damaged by any of the three DNC candidates - it survived Carter after all.

But I'm Australian, and don't get a vote. Right now, I'm thankful. Try to get better candidates next time, OK?

I have come to the feeling that it will be the same, no matter who is elected. Except for the Huckster, he is dangerous. McCain, Clinton, Obama or Romney. I don't things for the GLBT community or the country for the most part, will be that much different.