Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

Are there any "out and proud" gay Conservatives?

Holding Federal Office? All I ever hear about is some guy caught with a male hooker or a Page, but never just an out gay person.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Congressman Steve Gunderson (R-WI); State Representative Chuck Carpenter (R-OR); Kevin Smith, Chief of Staff for Massachusetts Governor William Weld; Massachusetts Revenue Commissioner Mitchell Adams; and Michael Duffy, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), whose 1990 campaign for state representative from Boston's South End is said to have brought together many gay Republicans despite the fact that Duffy lost the election to the progressive candidate Byron Rushing, a long-time friend to Boston's gay community.

    While the number of people of color in gay conservative ranks is small, African American gay conservatives include: Cornelius Baker, deputy executive director for policy at the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA); Abner Mason, vice chair of LCR; Carolyn Handy, a longtime Republican who was a member of Reagan's transition team after his first presidential election; and Toni Young, executive director of the National Women and HIV/AIDS Project in Washington DC, who voted for both Reagan and Bush in the 1980, 1984 and 1988 elections.5

    The presence of lesbians in gay conservative ranks is minimal at best. It is unclear whether this is because most lesbians reject conservative ideas or because they object to the sexism that exists within gay conservative circles. All 19 board members of LCR are men. Staff members at LCR's Washington, DC headquarters are all (white) men, though last summer LCR hired Susan Jester as a development consultant to organize events in Texas, Georgia and Michigan. In fact, Tafel describes the LCR membership to be "generally white men in their 30s and 40s who live in cities."

    More women are involved in the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL), a gay anti-abortion group. Out of ten chapter contacts for PLAGAL, five are women. PLAGAL president Phillip Arcidi says women make up one third of PLAGAL's members.

    Perhaps the most well-known gay conservative is LCR executive director Rich Tafel. Tafel has been quoted or featured in almost every major US newspaper as well as on television programs including Nightline, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and the McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Newsweek magazine named him one of the 30 most influential gay leaders in the country.

    Tafel is an ordained Baptist minister and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Tafel centers his argument for gay rights on shared values with the American people. "There's a values crisis in America, no one can argue with that," says Tafel who in debating the anti-gay sector of his party, focuses on the fact that "we're working, paying taxes, fixing up neighborhoods." Tafel believes most gays want to be welcomed into the system and want to find common ground with their fellow Americans. He is a strong believer in capitalism, which he says is built on self-interest, and most people, he says, are self-interested. His argument is based in a classic free market view of the gay community, which leaves out poor gay people and more important, fails to see any limitations to gay liberation associated with capitalism.

    Like anti-feminist conservative women, Tafel doesn't think people should view themselves as oppressed. "I think it's very demoralizing to constantly talk about how victimized you are. I think it's patronizing to think of Black people as victims. I find that racist, frankly. Because as soon as you look at the groups that you're picking out, it's always Blacks, Latinos, and women. I can't imagine a more unhappy coalition than people who sit around and talk about how oppressed they are."

    The fact that gay conservatives have done valuable work on issues of importance to the gay and lesbian community should not go without recognition, yet poses a dilemma at the same time. For example, gay conservatives in Governor William Weld's administration were instrumental in coordinating the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program for gay and lesbian youth, the first program of its kind in the country. And one of the top priorities of LCR is the Ryan White Care Act, something they have in common with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), which defines itself as a progressive organization. LCR was the first gay organization to testify before the 104th Congress for funding for the Ryan White Care Act when it looked as if the Republican-controlled Congress might slash AIDS funding. LCR was also invited to work in coalition with a number of groups including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a mainstream gay rights lobbying organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, the American Psychological Association and NGLTF on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

    Gay conservatives are also scattered on the boards of many mainstream gay and lesbian organizations. Urvashi Vaid writes, "The boards of gay and lesbian non-profits are filled with people who hold this elite-centered view of political leadership. They tend to stress access to power, money, and media visibility over qualities like moral principle, accountability, and personal integrity."6 For example, both the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which gives money to openly gay candidates running for office, and HRC have given money to Republican candidates. HRC also gave $5,000 to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee in hopes of "encouraging moderate Republicans." But openly-gay Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass) notes that all but two or three of the Republicans who benefited from this donation voted consistently to abolish Medicaid as a federally guaranteed program. Vaid notes that "the gay and lesbian movement is led by middle- to upper-middle class people who act on their economic interests as frequently as they act on their sexual politics."

    Part of the danger of gay conservatives is that they're not easily identifiable, particularly within the gay community which often denies the existence of gay conservatives or perceives them to be a fringe group. Because gay rights are important to virtually all gay people, gay conservatives often work hand in hand with gay progressives on both the national and local levels without ever being identified as conservative, yet effectively setting an agenda limited to gay rights as a single isolated issue. Within the gay community there is a tendency to assume that most gays are liberal when in fact, gay conservatives are scattered throughout local communities as well as national organizations. Tafel believes there are large numbers of gay conservatives who have been hesitant about coming out as such because of the lack of support they anticipate getting from the gay community. But, says Tafel, with increasing numbers of gay conservatives coming out and organizing, more people are feeling comfortable about coming out as gay and conservative than ever before

  • bwlobo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Most conservatives have enough sense not to mix politics with their sex life. Talking about being gay is talking about a sexual preference.

    I enjoy my sexual preference, but I don't insist that my government give me special preferences because of my choice of lifestyle. This is an issue between humans and their Creator. Even though B. Hussein Obama thinks he's the Messiah, doesn't mean it's true.

    Get a room...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Charlton Heston?

  • 4 years ago

    history lesson : in the time of the Civil Rights circulate gay human beings marched in conjunction with the Black human beings because of the fact gay human beings understood that the only way which you may guard themselves from being discriminated against became to guard others who have been being discriminated against. certainty: The Civil Rights circulate became useful because of the fact Jews, gays , Liberals and an excellent form of stable first rate white human beings , offered money, logistical help and criminal expertise in direction of the reason For right this moment's African -American to disclaim that they incurred a ethical debt of gratitude to those that risked plenty to help the reason being borderline offender

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  • 1 decade ago

    Where is Mark Foley anyway? Did the "party" ship him off to the Antilles Islands or something?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The log cabin group is a long standing strong Republican gay organization. A lot of people that are gay are Rupublican.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Pat Robinson.

  • 1 decade ago

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Gunderson

    He no longer holds office, though, and I don't know if there are any "out and proud" gay conservatives who currently hold office.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    george w bush, his boyfriend gay male prostitute jeff gannon and the guy that lurks around YA posting as "ex wife".

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Looking for a date are we?

  • 1 decade ago

    Why should you be proud about anything? How abut just happy about what you are.

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