About a million gay votes went to George W. Bush in
2000. Frankly, I don’t think that it’s absurd
of me to ask: What the hell is wrong with these people?
Did they think that they were voting for someone more
moderate on gay issues? Like Pat Buchanan?
Bush refused to meet with them, or even take their
donations, then reversed course, then flip-flopped again.
He’s finally convinced the Log Cabin — a
group of gay Republicans apparently named after the
closet they locked Mary Todd Lincoln in — that
he’s not going for the title of “tolerance
They’ve been meeting in Palm Springs (where else?)
to decide whether to endorse the president for re-election.
It seems doubtful that they will. They might actually
be catching on.
That’s quite a shock. How exactly does one weigh
the pros and cons of becoming a gay Republican? “Well,
I’m opposed to the institutionalized marginalization
of myself, but I’m in favor of drilling Alaska.”
Or, “I dislike laws that make it illegal for me
to have sex, but that upper-income tax break looks pretty
tempting.” And then there’s my favorite:
“Sure, I’d like to get married, but I think
I’d rather be able to buy a gun without a background
It’s all too tempting to classify gay Republicans,
the most extreme example of the political masochist,
as self-loathing or simply irrational, given the prominent
examples we have. But is it fair? I’m beginning
to think so.
Michael Huffington, for instance, insists that he’s
“homosexual, but not gay.” Sure, he likes
to have sex with men, but he’s not happy about
it or anything.
And then there’s Matt Drudge. Drudge, who outed
Jeffrey Koffman and has made a mission of exposing the
lurid details of other people’s sex lives, is
widely reported to be gay (and — watch out boys
— an incredibly uptight lay). He seemed to confirm
both rumors at once by saying that a biographer “never
said there was sex [with men]; she said there was dating."
Always a writer first, (and apparently to make up for
the chill in the bedroom) Drudge allegedly left a trail
of love letters to old suitors. Even more shocking is
that none are said to have contained false allegations
that they had an affair with an intern. Then again,
the book could be wrong. David Cohen, who claims to
be Drudge’s former beau, said that an attention-starved
Drudge, “Loved to do wild, provocative things
to draw attention to himself.” Now, that doesn’t
sound like the Matt Drudge we know …
When pressed about the issue, Drudge treats it like
an attempt to distract from his true political beliefs.
And, normally, I’d say that it is. But coming
from him, it’s a little (pardon the expression)
hard to swallow. This is, after all, the man who brought
Monica Lewinsky into the public discourse.
“I am a conservative,” Drudge explained,
very similar to the way I mockingly did just paragraphs
ago, to the Miami New Times. “I'm very much pro-life.
If you go down the list of what makes up a conservative,
I'm there almost all the way. So just because I like
Junior Vasquez doesn't mean I can't believe this country
was built on life, not on a death culture."
By the way, if you’re trying to argue that you’re
not gay, Junior Vasquez is as helpful a reference to
drop as, say, anal douching or some “really great
leather bar on Castro.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to have the
Drudge Report. He’s covered many stories (both
true and fabricated) that otherwise wouldn’t have
seen public attention. I have also defended him many
a time to people who would have had him censored. But
he’s also clearly biased, and right wing.
Gay or not, Drudge is a fine example of a nut-job.
He’s obsessed with being known — starting
non-gay rumors about himself, pestering big papers to
get coverage — but wants absolutely nothing “out”
about his personal life. Certainly not the kind of details
he’d splash across his page, anyway. Unless it’s
a rumor he tried to start about himself and Laura Ingraham.
He even reportedly asked the New Times that no full
body photos accompany that interview. That is either
one of the gayest things I’ve ever heard or one
of the craziest.
So, Drudge will forgive anti-gay tendencies in candidates
if they’re pro-life? Is that the logic? I could
almost see things from this point of view: If you’re
pro-life, you believe that life begins at conception,
and that abortion is therefore murder. Bush hasn’t
asked for legalized termination of homosexuals. Yet.
The campaign is just kicking off, you know.
And then there’s the openly gay former editor
of the New Republic, Andrew Sullivan. He recently asked
on his “Daily Dish” Web site (could he have
picked a gayer name?), “When will these people
begin to understand that being gay is not a ‘choice’;
it’s a fact of human nature?” Oh, I don’t
know, Andrew. Maybe sometime after gay people stop voting
for them? Although he claims to agree with Kerry more
on social, environmental, and economic issues, Sullivan
plans to vote for Bush again in 2004. Unless Kerry can
prove before election time that he can single-handedly
solve all of our problems in the Middle East. Well,
the “Hillbilly Atilla” is certainly a hard
act to follow in that category …
Sullivan’s on to something here, though. He just
needs to continue the line of reasoning: The difference
between people who are anti-gay and people who are accepting
of it as part of human nature is that the anti-gay camp
believes that it’s something that can be fixed.
They don’t believe it’s natural. In spite
of common sense, and all of the evidence of a physiological
cause, they think that people somehow decide to be gay.
They think, apparently, that people get it from their
high school guidance counselor, or wake up one morning
and go, “Hey, I know something I haven’t
tried yet!” Or, some even believe (and more shockingly,
admit publicly that they believe) that people are gay
to undermine the nuclear family. Apparently, 10 percent
of Earth’s population, throughout world history,
has lived for the sole purpose of screwing with post-World
War II Republicans. Anyone who would buy any of those
scenarios just isn’t dealing with a full deck.
A thought to share with Andrew Sullivan: If these Republicans
lack the reason or compassion necessary to figure out
that homosexuality isn’t amoral, they lack the
same reason or compassion that is necessary to make
other rational decisions, too. That extends to issues
upon which you tend to agree.
Of course, as an Independent who just happens to vote
for Republicans (including king of all republicans,
George W. Bush) Sullivan doesn’t quite fit into
the category I’m examining: insane gay Republicans.
Sure. Huffington denies he’s gay; Sullivan denies
he’s a Republican.
All taken into consideration, the most shocking thing
about gay Republicans is that they must buy into the
rest of the party’s ideology so strongly that
they can ignore the other obvious disadvantages that
a vote for a Republican candidate gives them. They believe
that Republicans are deficit hawks (and, to be fair,
about three of them actually are). They believe that
affirmative action is discrimination. They believe in
a tax system that benefits the wealthy. They believe
that the death penalty is just (not Sullivan, he just
votes for people who do). They believe that The Pet
Shop Boys will come back in America. They believe, they
believe, they believe.
On the flip side, it also makes you wonder about gay
liberals out there. Are they liberals because they’ve
been exposed to the reality of an imperfect America,
and are therefore capable of being more compassionate
and realistic? Or are they just another group of self-serving
jerks that would vote Republican were it not for the
After mulling over Sullivan’s question, I’ve
decided that the problem isn’t gay Republicans;
it’s Republicans in general. If you’ll buy
into supply-side economics and income (not payroll)
tax breaks to create jobs … well, maybe you’d
think that people choose to be gay, or that it’s
OK to vote for someone who demonizes you.
Gay people share an undeniably deep bond with conservatives,
though: bitterness. Gays are bitter because the world
treats them unfairly. Conservatives are bitter because
the world is changing without them.
Well, I think I have a way to ease some of that unhappiness.
It will help make everyone a little more comfortable
with who they are, and as a result more able to relate
to the problems of others. I know some very nice, successful,
single gay men. And I’m willing to set the gay
Republicans up. Conservatives believe that the love
of a good woman can cure gay people; I can believe that
the love of a good man can cure gay Republicans. Matt,
Andrew, Michael, these are great guys, here! I’m
willing to play matchmaker, and they’re willing
to do their part to build a happier, more compassionate
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