[EDITOR'S NOTE:] The following guest post is from Chris Douglas, a noted Indiana republican LGBT activist. Chris is following up on his last guest post, "To my friends in the LGBT community: Elrod vs Carson."
In response to the post below a thoughtful challenge appeared under the pen name of Tyrion on Tyrion's Blog. The points Tyrion makes are of a respectful nature and deserve a respectful response of my own, for they are not points I fail to consider in calling attention to Jon Eldrod's candidacy.
Elrod's responses to a survey by Indiana Equality [PDF warning] are meritorious for his willingness publicly to commit to very important positions, groundbreaking not only for any recent Republican congressional candidate in Indiana, but demonstrating a greater concern for the Constitutional Guarantees to religious freedom and the equal protection of the laws than many Democratic Hoosier officeholders. He favors extending nondiscrimination protection to include sexual orientation and gender identity; measures to discourage crimes of hate targeting classes of citizens, including glbt citizens; the legal recognition of same sex relationships; and a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Those areas wherein Elrod did not respond represent thoughtful demurral pending more information, rather than an attempt to avoid the questions at hand, let alone opposition to GLBT interests.
Further, Elrod's presence in the Indiana House of Representatives was important for Indiana's glbt community, as is his run now for Congress. To understand this, it is important to understand that successful politics involves bank shots. Having just a few Republicans oppose the marriage amendment, for instance, stripped the amendment of purely partisan division, and allowed nonpartisan corporations, churches and editorial boards to join opposition to the amendment without appearing to favor one party over another. And such Republicans opposition also provides coverage for some pressured Democrats to oppose the amendment. Lastly, it should not be lost upon the us that in departing the Indiana House for Congress, Elrod is almost certainly turning his seat back over to the Democrats, a fact that has earned him criticism among conservative supporters of the House Republican Caucus.
Also, progress for the GLBT community in Indiana and nationally requires a change in dynamics within and between the Republican and Democratic Parties, a change which an Elrod incumbency would serve to engender and a Carson incumbency would not, no matter Andre Carson's merits. Support for comprehensive nondiscrimination and domestic partnership policies in corporate America has made it easier for supporters of legislation to press our case among cautious politicians. In order truly to see progress we need to see support grow in the Republican Party as well, for without the political cover that growing Republican support provides, moderate and conservative Democrats will remain too cautious in their districts to risk votes for measures that would otherwise be deemed "too liberal."
Finally, while I join other analysts, including even the conservative Wall Street Journal, in assessing that the odds of the Democrats retaining Congress in November at better than 90%, I observe that should that the threat of loss truly return in some way deleterious to the interests of the GLBT, the community will have ample opportunity to reassess our interests in the fall.