News & Politics

In Hypocrisy We Trust: LGBT Americans and the Republican Party

gay republicansA friend of mine used to fume when he encountered gay Republicans or read about them in the news. “They’re like the Jews who supported Hitler,” he explains.

While nobody is rounding up gays and killing them (well, not in the U.S. anyway), the comparison has more than a speck of truth to it.

After all, in 2004 President Bush emphatically stated during his re-election campaign that gay marriage would ruin America and he and his party would ensure—if elected—that such a thing would never come to pass. And this cynical, hate-fueled approach helped him win re-election.

In fact, the Republican Party refuses to acknowledge gays and won’t acknowledge its gay members, the Log Cabin Republicans. And of all the many values and platform items the party has entertained over the years, not one includes equal rights for gays or anything close to it. It has, however, contained a ban against gay marriage for many years now.

And yet, there are gay Republicans. And some Republicans who may be gay, but perhaps can’t admit it to others—or perhaps even to themselves. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Aaron Schock.)

These days, hypocrisy no longer reveals flawed logic or a personal weakness. You can be for smaller government and yet empower that same government to peer into bedrooms, dictate a woman’s birth control decisions and decide who gets to marry. And you can be gay and vote against equal rights for gays. (Yes, I’m talking about you, North Dakota State Rep. Boehning.)

More recently, Bruce Jenner announced he’s transgender. And a conservative. Last I checked, the Republican party didn’t recognize the rights of transgender persons to even exist. This is a party that won’t seat gay members at its conventions. And transgender persons don’t even receive a mention.

This lack of integrity is alarming to see in any fellow American but particularly so in gay and now transgender Americans.

To be honest, though, I suppose this lack of integrity has been present since the founding of our country. After all, some of the most strident voices raised against an imperial Britain were slaveholders. This hypocrisy wasn’t lost on some who marveled that southern plantation owners could rage against an England that relegated them to near chattel status while they were actual slave owners.

So is it okay to continue our tradition of hypocrisy? Perhaps the answer lies in the thoughts of some of the Founding Fathers who struggled with slavery. Their primary goal was to create a union based on self-government and to do that, they had to compromise on slavery. Slavery, they determined, was an issue that would have to be resolved by later generations.

And so it goes. As our country evolves, one by one the groups that have not had equal rights are eventually afforded them. The idea that the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights cover all Americans, has been the trend.

And yet, plenty of gays and now a celebrity transgender American proudly call themselves conservative. Is it self-loathing? Or misfiring synapses? Can someone please explain it to me?

 

 

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