January 3, 2012 at 10:16 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Young, gay caucus-goers talk politics, support for GOP

Several young gay Iowa caucus goers discuss which GOP candidates they will support today. (Washington Blade photo by Chris Johnson)

DES MOINES, Iowa — For some gay Iowa Republicans, the 2012 presidential election is about more than just LGBT issues.

Economic issues and a belief in limited government are trumping concerns that the GOP presidential contenders are hostile to LGBT rights.

The Washington Blade interviewed five young gay Des Moines residents who will be among the estimated 120,000 Iowa Republican caucus-goers about why they support the GOP this year.

C.J. Petersen, 21, a customer service representative for Nationwide Insurance, is backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney because of the candidate’s business background.

Petersen said he became interested in Romney as a high school senior in 2007 when he saw him speak during his last presidential run.

“I think, this year, he’s been a 100 percent better candidate,” Petersen said. “If you compare the YouTube videos from ’08 to now, he seems a lot less robotic and choppy and nervous. I think he seems a lot more relaxed, and almost presidential, ready to be a leader.”

Two other gay Iowa residents interviewed by the Blade said they’re backing Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) because of the candidate’s libertarian views.

Dereck Plagmann, 21, said he’s in the Paul camp because of the candidate’s adherence to the U.S. Constitution.

“I think it’s something that we’ve definitely drifted away from,” Plagmann said. “We need to get back to it basically. Other presidents, everybody’s trying to make changes to it. They’ve lost focus on what really made this country, and what made us who we are.”

Zach Coffin, 22, a collector for Wells Fargo bank, also plans to back Paul.

“I think that’s basically what this country needs right now is someone that will defend the core values and the core principles of the Constitution of the United States,” Coffin said. “That’s one thing that Ron Paul is focusing on well.”


Two other gay caucus participants interviewed by the Blade had yet to make a decision on a candidate, but intend to support a Republican.

Bryan Pulda, 21, a processor for Wells Fargo Bank, said he still needs to research each of the GOP candidates.

“I come from a farming family, so it’s conservative or Catholic,” Pulda said. “Our personal views are more reflected in the Republican candidates.”

Although he hasn’t made a final choice, Pulda said he’s leaning toward backing Paul because he believes the candidate’s politics “are consistent” and he “hasn’t been in the news with anything controversial.”

Ryan Schrader, 22, who works at a local Casey’s gas station, was also undecided but said he’s leaning toward Paul.

“I come from a very conservative background myself,” Schrader said. “My family is very conservative Baptists. So his views are more towards letting the people, which would be all of us, make the decisions to shape our country.”

The candidates chosen by the five caucus-goers — Romney and Paul — have adopted some anti-gay positions, though they have not been as extreme in their views as other Republican contenders.

Paul supported the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and twice voted against a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Romney backs such an amendment, but expressed doubts that there is enough momentum or interest to pass it. He’s also said he would leave open service in the military as it is.


Still, neither candidate has the track record or commitment that President Obama has demonstrated in advancing LGBT rights. But the gay Iowa caucus-goers say they’re backing a Republican candidate to address more mainstream issues affecting the country.

Coffin said social issues can motivate people because they’re easy to understand, but if voters take the time to learn about economic issues, they “usually wind up changing their mind and thinking about the big picture what’s really going on here.”

“I don’t know if it’s because I’ve always lived in Iowa, and Iowa is one of the states where you can be married,” Coffin said. “With the amount of rights that gay people have right now, I feel totally comfortable with what we have.”

While Iowa has achieved marriage equality, if a Republican administration succeeds in passing a Federal Marriage Amendment as many of the candidates have promised, the measure would abrogate the 2009 court ruling allowing gay couples to marry in the state.

Pulda similarly said issues like same-sex marriage are on the back burner in comparison to improving economic conditions in the country.

“I would find it almost selfish for me to go out and say, ‘I vote for this person simply because they want same-sex marriage,'” Pulda said. “There are so many more problems in this country affecting more people than just me.”

But there’s a limit to how much these caucus-goers are willing to look the other way. Candidates like former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry or Rep. Michele Bachmann, who make anti-gay rhetoric a foundation of their campaigns, are turn-offs as potential candidates.

Petersen said he wouldn’t support a candidate who would make social issues a “central tenet of their campaign.

“I’m a Republican, but I’m not stupid,” Petersen said. “If they want to use those issues as a wedge to get voters to support them, I’m not really attracted to that.”

A recent anti-gay ad by Rick Perry that has been widely circulated on the Internet was a bridge too far for these caucus-goers. In the ad, Perry accuses Obama of engaging in a war on religion and says, “There’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

Pulda said the ad made him think twice about Perry, but still isn’t ruling him out as a potential candidate to back during the caucuses.

“I liked Rick Perry, but the latest ad he put out — I think he used the wrong language,” Pulda said. “That wasn’t the ad to go out.”

Petersen took a dig at Obama, saying he’s been paying lip service to the LGBT community and that one of his major accomplishments — repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — “just kind of came to him.”

“It was basically Senators [Susan Collins] and Joe Lieberman who said they were getting this done at the end of the year,” Petersen said. “What ended up happening is a great victory for us in the sense that LGBT Americans can now serve their country in uniform. That’s a great thing, but I don’t really credit that to President Obama.”

The administration was seen by some as playing a passive role in the legislative effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the Pentagon issued its report on implementing repeal. But after the Pentagon report came out, observers said the White House was active in engaging with senators to push through the legislation.

R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, said support for the Republican Party among young voters will grow if the GOP steers clear of social issues.

“Younger conservative voters under 30 continue to increasingly poll disinterest over social issues and do not support perceived or real demonization of LGBT Americans,” Cooper said. “If social issues, however, remain a myopic priority for certain candidates, they will find as former [Republican National Committee] Chairman Haley Barbour stated in 2011, ‘Purity is the enemy of victory.'”

Peter Levine, director of Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, said involvement of young gays in the Iowa caucuses is reflective of the political energy among youth throughout the country.

“I think it’s sort of characteristic of this generation,” Levine said. “Even though the turnout in the end may not be that high, for various reasons, I think there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

It’s not the first time that Petersen and Plagmann have participated in the Iowa caucuses. Petersen backed Romney in 2008, while Plagmann participated in the Democratic caucus and backed Obama’s candidacy.

Plagmann said he might vote for Obama during the general election if the Republican nominee isn’t to his liking, although he’s changing his party affiliation during the Iowa caucuses because he’s disappointed in the administration.

“Back then it was my first election,” Plagmann said. “I was 18. I didn’t really look a whole lot into it. I guess I could relate to him more. But surely now, I don’t think he’s been as effective as what America had hoped.”

Whatever the election results, at least one of the caucus-goers says he’ll keep gay rights in mind as he continues advocating for a Republican agenda.

“I personally would like to see same-sex marriage legalized in all the states, but I don’t think we have to leave the Republican Party in order to stand for most of our principles,” Petersen said. “I’m not going to base my entire vote on one part of my life. I have a financial future as well as a romantic future.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • “Gay Republican” is an oxymoron. I just don’t get how that’s possible. Maybe “Self-hating gay Republican” works better…at least it makes sense.

  • Why anyone would vote for a candidate that has promised to make them a second class citizens and prevent them from sharing the commitment and dignity of marriage is beyond me. I think these guys need to think a little about their futures before voting for someone who wants to make those futures more difficult as they get old and want to get married and start a family.

  • It always astounds me that my gay brothers can turn out for a Republican candidate. Whatever. Not one of these candidates will ever grant them equal rights.

  • Gay republicans are sad, self-loathing people who want to belong to a group that hates their very existence. It is as absiurd as balcks joining the KKK. “With the amount of rights that gay people have right now, I feel totally comfortable with what we have.” Until there is equality in 50 states, it isn’t enough. These people are disgusting.

    • We don’t loathe ourselves; we loathe liberals. I’ve had far more gay liberal friends and acquaintances distance themselves from me for being conservative than I have straight conservative ones for being gay–in fact, I’ve had none of the latter.

  • I was sort of surprised that the author of this article didn’t point out the irony of gay-marriage-accessible Iowans supporting a man, Paul, who believes those marriages should have absolutely no value in the eyes of other states or the federal government.

    Then I saw the article was by Chris Johnson.

  • The last sentence says it succinctly, personal wealth trumps civil rights for these guys. Why were no women interviewed?

  • common, gay and republican, gay and conservative religion, they do not go together. how can you back republicans or conservative religous groups who hate what you are. i can not imagine calling yourself conservative catholic or babtist and gay, do you attend a church with these groups, these people do not like you. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND

  • Jews for Hitler. Blacks for George Wallace. [EXPLETIVE DELETED] for Repuglicans. Gay Catholics (like Andrew Sullivan). I’ll never, ever understand any of it. I do not have any gay Republican friends….never have, never will. Let them choose hypocrisy. I have more taste and class.

  • good grief….these guys are just so WRONG. If they were on fire, not one of these phonies running for the GOP nod could be bothered enough to piss on them to put the fire out. Vote GOP at your own peril, fellas.

    • Alan, you should drop the Alinsky tactics and embrace the very thing you claim Conservatives lack; namely an open mind. I have read the comments to this article and the hatred blows my mind. How disappointing that the “intelligent”, “open minded”, “educated” and “compassionate” liberals can be so ignorant, narrow minded, moronic and hateful. Just like how “hateful” conservatives donate more $$$’s to charity than Liberals year after year after year. I am a Conservative. I do not hate these men at all. I warmly welcome their participation in the process and am glad they bring their world view to the GOP. I know that does not fit your narrow world view but hey, if the reality doesn’t support your astounding hatred, just change the narrative right?

      Oh, and in before the myriad of hate, bile and ignorance spews forth from knuckle dragging “progressives” that would make the KKK blush.

  • Zach Coffin said: “I don’t know if it’s because I’ve always lived in Iowa, and Iowa is one of the states where you can be married. With the amount of rights that gay people have right now, I feel totally comfortable with what we have.” I wonder if Mr. Coffin is aware of the conservative/Republican effort underway to outlaw same sex marriage in Iowa through an amendment to the state constitution (it’s been a constant threat since the state’s supreme court ruling), or if he knows that married same sex couples there are still denied basic legal and economic rights by the federal government because of DOMA. I’m certain he’s not so dense that he doesn’t realize same sex marriage, despite its legalization in Iowa, is still denied to the vast majority of the country’s population; however, this must mean he’s incredibly selfish if only the well-being of Iowans concern him.

    C.J. Peterson is delusional to imply that we owe the repeal of DADT to Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman: Something like three-quarters of House and Senate Republicans voted against the measure, and we’re supposed to thank the few for whom sanity prevailed? If anything, that episode demonstrated the strength of the Democratic Party (for sticking with its principles) and the moral bankruptcy of Republicans (most of whom ignored the two-thirds of Americans that supported repeal of DADT out of fear of a vocal minority of Evangelicals and Tea Partiers). His claim that the Obama administration had no hand in this civil rights victory simply isn’t born out by the facts (as the article itself notes) and betrays his ignorance of the closed-door meetings that frequently occur between the White House and Congress when high stakes legislation is concerned.

    As far as Bryan Pulda’s “selfish” comment is concerned: I would like to know his thoughts on women’s suffrage or the Civil Right’s Movement. Was Martin Luther King “selfish” for demanding equal treatment of blacks when there were “so many more problems affecting so many more people]”?

    All in all, some unfortunate (but hardly surprising) stances taken by these young, gay Republicans. The worst part about it is I imagine they’ll never have to reap the consequences of their support for a party that has by and large done everything it can to reverse or at least stop the forward march of progress; by the time most of them are ready to settle down and start a family, gay marriage will probably have been settled in Congress or the courts, and it will be thanks not to any of them.

  • we have enough rights, can not happen here. if republicans have their way it will, here are some things to think about when you vote, drug tests, patriot act, Nigeria ring a bell

  • it’s ok though, like many catholics and babtists who yell and scream immoral, sexual deviant, devil to describe gays while they eat shellfish, smoke and drink, have childerin out of wedlock, these young men are no better human beings, it’ ok

  • Well, nice to see that it isn’t just the straight folks from Iowa who are vapid and vacuous. “I’m for Paul because I’m from a farm!,” “Romney is a BUSINESSman!” “Perry just used the wrong LANGUAGE when he said he would execute gays…”Ah, Iowa, the fertile crescent of crystal, otherwise knows as “Methopotamia”

  • one more note before i leave, romney business, he bought sold and liquidated companies, sent jobs overseas when he was in the private sector, he did not create any jobs he eliminated them, is this the line of work you are in, killing the american dream, your going to make a great republican

  • How pathetic.
    Gay Republicans.

    Good Lord.

  • How much self loathing do you have to possess to be gay or lesbian and vote republican?

  • Like so many of their generation, these young men suffer from not knowing what they don’t know. What they (and to be fair, many voters their senior) absolutely fail to grasp is that the 2012 election is not about the size of government, the deficit, the economy or even jobs. These are just noise to distract from the true prize. This election is about which party’s ideology will shape the rulings of the United States Supreme Court for the next 25-30 years.

    The next POTUS will name 2 or possibly three new justices to the court. This year, Clinton appointee Ruth Bader-Ginsburg will turn 79 years old and Reagan appointees Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy will turn 76 years old. It is unlikely that all three will serve through 2016. So if you’re gay and you aren’t prone to self-loathing like the leadership over at GoProud or LCR, then you really should ask yourself: who do you want to entrust this monumental task to?

    The powers that be down RNC are well aware of what’s at stake. LGBT voters should be as well.

  • I am a believer in equal rights for all. I can’t understand the thinking of these gay Repubs!! If the GOP has its way they will repeal the repeal of DADT. The candidates are very up front about their intentions. Take them at their word on this. Obama2012.

  • It is exactly people like these, leaving these comments and attacking others, who are ruining this country. What are these molds? Republican, Democrat, what happened to having a mind for yourself? Just because someone doesn’t agree with EVERY SINGLE issue a candidate backs doesn’t mean that that candidate has to be completely overlooked. It’s about what is best for the country at this moment. These men should not be criticized for worrying about issues more related to the future of this country. The economic crises is an immediate danger. When our country is financially stable, we can have time to worry about social issues.

    • My gosh. We’re supposed to wait until the “time is right”? When will that be? And what good is it going to do me if the economy recovers, my stock portfolio regains it’s value, I’m killed in an accident and my partner has to sell half of everything to pay inheritance taxes? Taxes for which he would not be liable if we were able to be married?

      These are the same arguments that people used to try to circumvent the 1964 Civil Rights Legislation. “Just wait your turn”. “Now is not the time”, etc. I used to feel some compunction to “agree to disagree” with these types of people. No longer. I call them out. I don’t want anyone in my life who would seek to marginalize me. I’m considered a first class citizen when it comes to paying taxes, but in the pursuit of happiness….not so much. I don’t want you to cross the street to embrace me, I just want you to leave me alone.

  • It’s ridiculous to assume that we’re just stupid and don’t understand the way the world works. My right to vote and participate in society means just as much as yours. I happen to support a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party. I don’t believe economic conservatism and our personal sexual orientation have to be mutually exclusive. I know we go against conventional wisdom, but to suggest it’s the same as an African-American joining the KKK or Jews for Hitler is absurd and deplorable.

    I neither endorse nor support anti-gay rhetoric, and discourage it within my own party. It takes more courage to stand up to your friends than to your enemies. Indeed, it’s more comfortable being a gay among Republicans than to be a Republican among gays. You kind souls have done nothing to advance the dialogue in this country by belittling us and insulting our intelligence. If you must know, I received a 34 on the ACT and obtained a 4.0 GPA in high school. I read news daily from a variety of sources, including the Blade and other LGBT publications. I’m not unsympathetic to our fight for equality. I don’t believe we’ll gain full equality BECAUSE of anti-gay bigotry, but IN SPITE of it–this is who we are as a people. I still have faith. I’m not disillusioned by the mistakes of those who came before me. I believe that we can unite behind our humanity and create positive change for all people.

    I sympathize with your right to feel however you like regarding the issues that face our country; I’m glad there is discourse and dissent, for it makes us a better nation and society.

    • You are entitled to your opinion but not your own FACTS.The FACT is the republican party uses hatred of gays to get out the bigot vote to win elections.Hatred of gays is part of their platform.So you may think their are bigger issues to deal with in these troubling times {and there are} but not if your gay.Ron Paul for example would allow states to return to times where sodomy laws are enforced and discimination against gays is legal.

      So what do you call people who willingly vote for their own destruction?

  • Well as an older generation voter, I am a bit uncertain about what overall inference to make from these young gay … conservative or Republican-leaning? … voters in Iowa. On the one hand I feel pulled to applaud them for being able to step aside from their own personal human interests in equality and thriving, in order to focus magnanimously on so-called big picture issues like limiting government, strictly applying the constitution to limit modernity (notice, limits again), and/or intervening positively to get our globalized economy up and running again. It is still difficult, however, to square the altruistic sounding tones of their big picture views with the stubborn local fact that in most states they will find they can be fired at work, just for being gay, along with finding that most states will offer little or no legal protection for their life partners and children, come the day some time soon in the future. The basic deal on political offer also seems dodgy to me. How is it, again, that we advance big picture wholesomeness by trading off individual basics like being able to work, commit decently and in order to a life partner, and – gasp – raise one’s children in a fair-minded and generous public square? I think I am missing something here that is supposed to connect these dots, and so far I just do not really get it.

  • The “outrage” of many of the commenters is hilarious, and revealing. What is so hard to understand? Approx. one-third of gay/lesbian voters now vote Republican according to respected national polls. This was certainly true in the numbers reported from the 2010 Congressional elections. These younger voters represent a strong and growing trend among their generation to disassociate from the dogma of both political parties and independently choose based on a broad range of issues. Why wouldn’t they be as concerned about their economic futures and the larger issues confronting the country as they are with particular LGBT issues, especially when it is those overall issues which will more affect their quality of life in a society increasingly disinterested in their sexual orientation?

  • If you vote for the Republicans you can’t moan when they take your limited rights away.

  • CJ, it’s not about your raw intelligence or your ability to ace a test. It’s about understanding the totality of the situation. That comes with experience not books. Your perspective isn’t wrong, it’s narrow.

    For example, attributing the repeal of DADT to Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman is simplistic and totally misses the indisputable fact that the battle was waged and won in a courtroom not the Capitol. Congress was late to the party and acted in a last gasp effort to prevent its authority over the military from being usurped by the judicial branch. Why do you think LCR who honored Senator Collins for her admirable support, refused to drop the case even after Congress voted to repeal?

    This from an LCR Press Release dated September 1, 2011 just 20 days before implementation:

    “It is particularly important that this case, and the principle established by this case, remains intact because there is a real threat that it could disappear. Several leading Republican presidential candidates have gone on record promising to ‘repeal the repeal.’ The military could also bypass Congress and enact new regulations, and a new Congress could re-enact DADT.”

    That doesn’t sound like don’t worry, Susan’s got our back, now does it?

  • Too often the Gay Republicans I have known only care about themselves. There is no sense of solidarity with the minority groups who are marginalized and oppressed by the biggots within the GOP.
    We are lost when we care more about the pocket book than love of our neighbor. Republicans relieve their conscience through charity. Again and again, when it comes to an issue of justice, very few Republicans have the courage to speak the truth.

  • This entire comments section is pathetic. What a bunch of conformist sheep.

  • Whats fascinating here is the level of cognitive dissonance required to say “Well we can worry about whether or not we can visit our loved ones on their death bed after everyone else has jobs”. Basic equality when the economy is better? When the economy is (or more likely is not dealt with) the fine young mavericks these guys are pitching are going to have the time to execute their social policy issues.

    I like to think that a government as large and multifasceted as this can multi-task a bit more than commenters like the above would suggest. Its possible to work on both social and fiscal policy in tandem. If the US Government cannot handle fixing the economy & anything else at the same time I shudder for the future of the so called free world. And let’s not be fooled here, the minute guys like Romney and Paul “fix” the economy, they’ll aim their sights on social policy. What makes these guys think that’s going to be more benevolent than the poorly veiled anti-gay rhetoric they’ve used in the past? Compassionate conservationism worked so well in the past, after all.

  • I’m sick of Republicans talking about “small government” when the Republicans can’t seem to envision a world without the government regulating our bedrooms and marriages. Any clear thinking individual votes for equality over all else. Republican gays = stupid gays.

  • I applaud each and every one of them. Guys, we’ve come from the same mold. I’m 54 and a Republican all my life. Never voted Democrat because I can’t align myself with their core social, economic, and foreign policy principles. Gays at large would be shocked to know the number of gays who wholly support and vote Republican. My sexuality plays no role in who I politically support. Onward and upward…

  • You’re all Morons ! AGREED – “Oxymoron” – You are fallowing what your family and others believe, it seems you can’t stand on your own, and you’re ok voting for those who don’t give a DAMN about you.

  • Yeah, it sounds ageist, but….what a bunch of kids. They were infants when Reagonomics set the course for a steadily increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the super-rich, when St. Ronnie presided over the beginning of the AIDS crisis with a “let ’em die” attitude. They were going through puberty when Clinton – who was far from perfect on LGBT rights, but compared to the GOP was a member of Queer Nation – left this country with a deficit that the Bush administration demolished. They were in junior high when Paul spoke in favor of DOMA. They’re all white males, so are presumably untroubled by Paul’s publications spewing racist rants, or the opposition of all the candidates to women’s choice to abortion. They’re adults, so won’t have to fret if President Gingrich overturns child labor laws. And they don’t remember a time when GLBT people had no legal protections. But they’re young, and so will probably have a while before facing medical costs that could bankrupt them.

    I really doubt any of them has done a lick of meaningful LGBT political work in their lives. I question whether they know (or care about) the history of the gay movement. So they probably think it’s just some unfortunate aberration that, not only in the US but around the world, the biggest threats to LGBT rights come from rightwingers and religious nuts, the very folks in the driver’s seat of the GOP.

    Hey, here’s a suggestion: instead of seeking to change the homophobia of people who think the rich deserve to run the country, why not switch sides and try to change the economic views of folks who don’t, in Santorum’s immortal words, view your orientation as no better than “man on dog.”

  • Its isn’t the conservative philosophy which the commenters are challenging here, but the specific group representing it as republican canidates. To ignore the bigoted rethoric coming from this gang and actually support them requires the suspension of common sense

  • The hysteria of all the over-the-top criticisms of these young gay voters belies the acknowledgment (and, apparently, fear) that gays and lesbians have begun voting for non-Democratic candidates in historically unprecedented numbers and will continue to do so — especially in this year’s presidential and Congressional elections. Just as we did in 2010 and 2008. We would all do better to simply accept this reality and realize that today’s LGBT voters are informed by a wide range of issues and considerations, instead of mocking these guys.

  • @Tom “We would all do better to simply accept this reality and realize that today’s LGBT voters are informed by a wide range of issues and considerations, instead of mocking these guys.”

    Problem is that those of us who’ve been around a lot longer realize that the ONLY reason these guys have the freedoms they do is because of the hard work of the LGBT movement, a movement that has its roots in the left and has made its strides over the insult-laden resistance of the right wing. In Iowa, they didn’t have the option of voting for the most pro-gay Republican, but to supporting the least anti-gay. What’s more, a couple of them ickily express eagerness to buy the Baptist/Catholic line. (Except, presumably, the vicious homophobia. And other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?)

    I’m not “hysterical,” just dispirited. Buying into a party that’s enmeshed in ugly homophobia because you want to be assured of lower taxes when you’ve made your first million is creepy, but then, the virtue of selfishness is the motivating factor right wing economics. Homophobia is hardly some weird glitch in today’s GOP; the last prominent right-winger who was vocally pro-gay was Barry Goldwater. It’s not that I’m a single-issue guy. The gays-will-cause-the-downfall-of-society theme of the GOTP these analysis-free boys have bought into is genuine hysteria, hysteria that still has the very real potential to harm us all.

    No, boys, the gay movement didn’t begin with Glee. And I’m sorry to say that if push came to homophobic shove, I don’t think you’d be in my corner.

  • If the Democrats care so much for the LGBT community, why hasn’t the quest for equality been fulfilled by now? ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was a Democrat and the present administration will only offer appeasement for votes. Wake up.

  • I have been voting Republican for 20 years and have been gay much longer. I will tell you, I have found much more tolerance in the GOP than in the dem party. The democrat party is intolerant of anyone who does not engage in their groupthink. The GOP truly are the big tent party and the dems better wake up as I see more and more of the gay community moving over to the Right side.

    The comments here are indicative of the type of intolerance I see within the D party.

  • @RIChris “If the Democrats care so much for the LGBT community, why hasn’t the quest for equality been fulfilled by now? ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was a Democrat and the present administration will only offer appeasement for votes. Wake up.”

    Oh, wake up yourself. Sure, the Democrats have often disappointed, and Obama has waffled. But it’s a two party system, and we have the choice between our often-fair-weather friends and our slavering enemies. The GOP, since its takeover by Christian loonies, has been THE party of homophobia. The choice is between half a loaf and a few crumbs laden with old and crawling with worms, and good luck with that.

    By the bye, at the time, DADT was viewed as many liberals a reasonable alternative to military antigay witch hunts. No, it didn’t turn out that way, but if the GOP had its way, it would still be in place. So grow up.

  • Again, the difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals think that if you disagree with them you’re evil and conservatives think that if you disagree with them, you’re simply wrong.

    I can’t believe that intellectual liberals don’t see how they are projecting their own intolerance onto to every Republican, conservative, Libertarian and Independent. Who’s the odd man out Democrats?

  • @pjean “Again, the difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals think that if you disagree with them you’re evil and conservatives think that if you disagree with them, you’re simply wrong.”

    Really? REALLY? So when Michele Bachmann says that gays are “part of Satan,” she’s merely having an intellectual disagreement? That the Christian Reconstructionist Right doesn’t believe it’s locked in some cosmic holy war against the Forces of Darkness? That fanatical right-to-lifers think those of us who don’t believe Jay-sus sticks a soul into every fetus at conception are mistaken, not murderers? That when Santorum says gay sex “undermines the basic tenets of our society,” that’s supposed to be a value-neutral statement?

    Wow! Talk about your alternative realities!

  • First, perhaps I’ll cede the point that I’m young and stupid, and that my educated guesses are likely wrong, just because you scathingly treat me with disdain and dismiss me as unintelligent and guilty of selfishness. I must admit you’re doing a great job encouraging open dialogue–certainly others who disagree within the movement will feel as inclined to speak up as my friends and I have been (sarcasm).

    Simply repeating tired, old talking points and foisting the Democratic Party upon us, as though we are gay first and nothing else second, is both unintelligent and disrespectful. I resent your disdainful sneering, and take pride in being a conservative. Indeed, it is conservative economic policy that will turn this country around and help us recover from the disastrous Obama Presidency.

    You tend to play to extremes while whining about the Republican Party, as though, again, we’re too stupid to know that extremists like Bachmann and Santorum should not be standard-bearers for our party. Give me a break. Grow up.

    Face it; gay liberals can’t handle honest debate. A “community” that celebrates diversity and inclusion can’t handle disagreement on economic matters, as it treats party identification as a pass-fail metric. D for pass, R for fail. I needn’t point out the flawed logic in this assessment–we’ll settle this at the ballot box, when 1/3 of this so-called “community” votes for the Republican nominee for President.

    A “community” would reject demagoguery and groupthink. To reject gay conservatives who no doubt support gay equality is to reject their shared commitment to issues upon which we agree. Yet, we can’t pretend that gay liberals on this comment feed truly care about bringing people together. They’re too angry and hateful for that. (Hint: before you criticize Republican “hatred”, please look in the mirror).

  • Michelle Bachmann’s actual quote “Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle—we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/07/bachmannsatan.html#ixzz1ijj7MtQq

    So, she is actually saying that calling the homosexual lifestyle “gay” is part of satan because it is a sad lifestyle and not actually “gay” (for those of you who remember that gay also means happy.

    I don’t agree with her actual statement but her actual statement is very different from the one attributed to her and, to the extent that deliberately twisting and misrepresenting what someone says in order to incite hatred against him or her is wrong, evil and deceptive, then, yes, if you are accustomed to speaking that way ( I am not) it is part of satan.

    What is worse is that all of you are not changing anyone’s mind nor furthering any possibility of dialogue with people who disagree with you when you do such things (selectively excerpt, twist and distort) what you are doing is proving that you are part of the problem of a gay cabal that attacks and attempts to personally destroy anyone who disagrees with you. And you do it, not for yourselves but for the Democratic party which seems to have assumed the status of God in your lives. The people interviewed in this article understand what has been historically true. If they can have personal and economic freedom ( which means they can start their own businesses and live their own lives without interference from the state) they don’t need anyone to compel anyone else to like them. When the principles of private property, individual freedom, constitutional rights are observed, religious, ethnic and sexual minorities have been able to create their own sub societies and to thrive. Take for example, Mormons. There have never been laws that barred gays from owning property or voting. There have been laws that banned them from public service but they have been overturned and were never very effective anyway. There are many rational people who ask to be judged only on their competence and nothing more and who want to be able to keep what they earn and pursue their own interests What is so really terrible about that? And they tend to vote REpublican these days.

  • The funniest part about all of these comments…is that we don’t really give a crap what we’re thought of! Many of these comments have had me giggling for minutes on end. How about….you all take your vote to the ballot and stop shoving your views on everyone else?! That’s why votes are cast unanimously…take your vote to the ballot like everyone else and get over yourselves.

    You dare to say we are self hating? Sadly mistaken! And don’t you dare start talking about my opinions and how they are wrong when the fact IS that there are so many more problems in the country, and people worse off than ALL of us…I think its rather selfish to vote one way solely for me when I believe someone else will help alot more people.

    Please stop posting such hatred on here. It is uneducated, improper, and disgusting.

  • Okay, I misquoted poor Michele Bachmann. I repeated an out-of-context quote I found online to refute the proposition that rightwingers don’t think of their opponents in terms of “evil.” My bad. So let’s parse Ms. Bachmanns statement. She, apparently, doesn’t think of us as evil, simply as sad, pitiable beings. Apparently, using the word “gay” for “homosexual” is Satanic, though. It’s sometimes impossible to figure out what Bachmann says, but I doubt she’s doing a semantic/theocratic mash-up. Seems like simply implying we’re gay, i.e., happy is not “simply wrong,” but “part of Satan.” Evil, evil, evil. Can we at least agree on that?

    As for my larger point: if someone had been a gay Repubican 20 years ago, it would be one thing. Since then, the party has been taken over by religious extremists. I commend to your attention the book “Republican Gomorrah” by Max Blumenthal, which tells the whole sorry story. There is not one major GOP candidate who is pro-gay. The best is Romney, who is currently kinda anti-anti-agy, having done a 180 on some LGBT issues in response to pressures from “the base.” Ron Paul? Well, yeah, he’s just anti-federal-government-everything. So if he had his way, gay sex would still be illegal in many states in the Union (see his criticism of Lawrence v. Texas). (And he’s also made some very pecuiar friends, like former adviser Gary North, who advocates stoning evildoers to death, and whoever wrote the rat poison official Ron Paul newsletters with their anti-gay and ugly racist spew, while Dr. Ron was otherwise engaged.) If Santorum has his way, gay sex will be illegal everywhere.

    I might question why kids from working- and middle-class backgrounds would favor economic policies that would exacerbate even further the redistribution of wealth upward. Are they dreaming of slipping into the 99%? Or waiting for the trickle-down that seems not to have come, as corporations have record profits, are paying less in taxes, and haven’t used those profits to increase hiring. “Keep what they earn?” The US already has one of the very lowest rates of taxation in the developed world. Major corporations (which are, according to Romney, just plain folks) are paying no federal taxes at all. I’d be happy if you folks kept everything you earned, as long as you didn’t drive on public roads, use public libraries, go to public universities or emergency rooms, and just took everything you earned from the banking and the insurance industries (which, if memory serves, were permitted by deregulation, to rape this country).

    But let me ask about the “living their own lives and starting businesses without government interference.” Can we have specifics? In what ways is the government currently “interfering” with these guys’ personal lives? Or even potentially? Certainly we’re not talking about the law preventing them from being legally wed, are we? Clearly, a woman who wants an abortion,not believing it to be a deadly sin, would face government interference under in a GOP world. We’ve already gone into the “sodomy” thing, and though one might argue that mostly takes place in private, Paul believes we don’t have privacy rights in such cases. And “interference” in business? We’re talking about, what? The child labor laws Newt disdains? The civil rights laws that prevent businesses from firing people because they’re, oh, gay? Requiring that workers be paid a living wage? Not be subjected to a toxic environment? Just what?

    Believe me, the Dems don’t play the part of God in my life. But the GOTP clearly thinks that they ARE the party of God. Folks, Perry’s antigay ad is not some unfortunate misstep. It’s part and parcel of where the GOTP has got to. And if you think that joining hands with them and singing “Kumbaya” is going to change the party’s well-nourished homophobia…you might just as well hold your breath and wait for the Second Coming. Have fun watching the convention. I’m sure that “the Gay Agenda” won’t be demonized at all.

    I do like the “gay cabal” thing, though…it’s so, wow, silly. But I’m certainly not going to show YOU the secret handshake. See, I don’t care if one single Republican is “compelled to like me.” I just want freedom from verbal and physical bullying, and equal rights.

  • Oh, I know I’m being a boor. But one more thing. Funny that you brought up the Mormons. See, at BYU, just advocating gay rights is a violation of the honor code (not to mention the horror of chaste same-sex dating). The LDS was the motive force for overturning an existing civil right with Prop 8. Thanks to Mormon pressure, gay kids are kept out of the Boy Scouts. And, of course, up until a convenient “revelation” that got Utah into the Union, the polygamy that Santorum so despises was a central tenet of their faith. Not same-sex marriage, though. I guess the slippery slope only goes one way.

  • Pathetic. Aren’t they still young enough to realize the social changes that have come about?

  • I don’t find these people to be self-loathing, but they are obviously confused or very ill-informed. I myself used to fancy myself a gay conservative, but eventually came to the realization that the Republican party only pays lip service to the ‘American Dream’ that so many fiscal conservatives pine for. They believe in consolidating wealth and power in the hands of a very few, and the rest can just “eat cake”. I would challenge them that there are more issues than simply how big their bank account is. All one needs to do is look to Wisconsin to see what the Republican fiscal blueprint for our nation is. Sure, they say that they are simply restoring fiscal sanity, but you don’t have to look far beyond the talking points to see what they are really doing is concentrating wealth and power into the hands of a few.
    Economic issues are driven by social policy. Social justice = economic security. Not just for you, your family, or your neighbors, but for EVERYONE. It’s disingenuous to scold others for their lack of charity and then vote based on who will let you “keep more of what you make”. True charity is being more concerned with everyone getting a fair share of the proverbial pie than with your own accumulation of wealth.

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