Are Gays the New Blacks for the GOP?

September 11, 2007 at 2:01 pm 15 comments

The Boston Globe has a smart op ed pointing out the similarities between the Republican Party is using LGBT issues now and the way that they used racial doublespeak to solidify its support amongst white evangelicals and appeal to social conservatives.

Opposition to gay marriage, along with other forms of gay rights that emphasize the equality of gay and straight relationships, is a key point of connection between Republicans and voters who might otherwise oppose the GOP agenda.

In recent years, gay issues have functioned to help build a Republican coalition in a way similar to the role once played by race issues. In the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, the national GOP came out strongly against programs to create special opportunities for racial minorities, thereby gaining substantial support among white social conservatives.

Democrats often charged that the Republicans’ opposition to busing for school desegregation and affirmative action hiring plans was a code for much deeper resistance to minority advancement. Democrats saw it as a way for Republicans to signal to voters who opposed voting rights and desegregation that Republicans wouldn’t pursue those goals very aggressively.

The Republican game of dividing the electorate to win elections continues unabated. Their so-called “Big Tent” is less about inclusion that it is about building a fence to keep out all the Americans that they have contempt for including people of color, LGBT people and working Americans.

Considering the increasing diversification of the population and the more progressive views of younger generations, this does not seem like an effective strategy for a governing majority. The GOP of the future will reap the political costs for what the current Republican Party has sown through its commitment to divisive electoral strategies.

Read the full op ed here.

Much love: HRC Backstory


Entry filed under: Advocacy, Conservatives, LGBT, Media, Politics, Race, Republicans.

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15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Happy Endings: The Day Tom Ford Smelled Like Vagina / Queerty  |  September 11, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    […] More on the gays as the GOP’s “new […]

  • 2. fitnessfortheoccasion  |  September 11, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Yes yes and yes. The call for respecting “state’s rights” and “leaving this up to the states” is the same now as it was then. And you can see current candidates like Ron Paul making this argument, and of course Cheney has also taken this position.

  • 3. Bloggernista  |  September 11, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    You would think that they would come up with some new language rather than simply slapping a pink label on it and thinking they could fool voters yet again. The “state’s rights” argument was used to politically beat down African-Americans and we cannot allow them to get away with this again.

  • 4. Jason  |  September 11, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    So we know that the GOP is against marriage equality. Will someone please explain to me why the Democratic front runners, our supposed champions, are against marriage equality? If they are giving the same explanations as the GOP, why are they better? Because they oppose the war? Because they want to reduce global warming? Why should we tolerate the blatant discrimination within the Democratic party because of these unrelated stances? Attacking the GOP for its stance on marriage equality is too easy and basically preaching to the choir. I hope someone, hopefully the mainstream media, will have the courage to really take the DEMOCRATS to task for their own discriminatory stances…. Let’s not forget that it was a Democratic president who allowed both DADT and DOMA to become the law of the land. With the Democrats in control of Congress, why haven’t those two laws been repealed. Sure, Bush would probably veto such attempts, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take a stand. Attempts haven’t been made because they don’t want to jeopardize their chances in 2008.

    The Democrats really take us for granted. “We’re better than the alternative” is the theory on which they base their pitch to us. Is that really enough to get us to vote for them? We don’t get anything in return. By buying into that theory, we allow them to take discriminatory stances against us so they can court “independents” and “family values voters”. If we as a community had some guts, we’d threaten to pocket our wallets and stay home on election day and force them to choose. Why don’t we? Perhaps deep down we fear they won’t choose us.

  • 5. chriseckel  |  September 11, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    I just recently discovered this blog, but I have quite enjoyed it – you pick up on some great articles. Nice link list too, anyone who reads the Kos is OK in my book. Keep on blogging, and if you want to read something a little more scattered, check out my blog at – apparently we have the same taste in templates too. Stay well.

  • 6. Bloggernista  |  September 11, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Jason, its interesting that in our comment you spend far more time attacking the Democrats who for the most part are supportive of LGBT civil rights than you do on the Republicans overwhelming hostility to LGBT equality.

    I don’t excuse the Democratic presidential candidates failure to support marriage equality. But, they are far and away better than the Republicans on LGBT issues.

    As for your suggestion that we threaten to stay home on election day, no way. There are too many crucial issues that need to be dealt with after 7 years under the worst president in history. We don’t have the luxury of sitting out an election. We do, however, need to aggressively push all of the candidates to be better on gay issues.

  • 7. fitnessfortheoccasion  |  September 11, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    You’d think. Maybe because it worked so well the first time?
    Yes. They are better for the reasons you cite, but we absolutely, at the same time, should attack them for their stance on Marriage. We can do both.
    Honorable Chris Eckel,
    If I may be so bold as to welcome you to another person’s blog…. Welcome good sir.
    Pffft. Forget equal time. He’s just making a very incisive and problematic point. We do need to tackle the problems with Democratic candidates. However we can do that while still supporting the Demos. You are completely right. Staying home on election day would be a disaster.

  • 8. Bloggernista  |  September 11, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Chris, welcome. I checked out your blog. Its cool. Great taste in templates.

  • 9. urnso77  |  September 12, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    still not as bad as the pandering the dems do to the ILLEGAL immigrants in this country.

  • 10. Not Gay  |  September 12, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    “Gay Rights” is a load of crap. You have all the same rights that I do. Stop bitching and be a man.

  • 11. To not Gay  |  September 12, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Gays can’t get married with the ones they love or adopt children. You can. You can’t, however, be fired just because of being straight. They can.

    So shut the fuck up.

  • 12. stuthewise  |  September 12, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    I’m a Republican who supports gay rights. I admit that I’m not into politics (get to close to it, and it just makes me sick and depressed). But I see thing s a bit differently.

    Jim Kolbe – openly gay Republican congressman, spoke at RNC.
    Colin Powell – Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, all under Republican presidents.
    Abraham Lincoln – Republican president that abolished slavery.
    Condoleezza Rice – Secretary of State under Republican president.
    Steve Gunderson – openly gay Republican congressman.
    Joseph Raimey – Republican and the first African-American to serve in the House of Rep.
    Hiram Revels – Republican and the first African-American senator.
    Clarence Thomas – nominated to Supreme court by Republican president.

    Anyway, you get the idea. I just don’t see this fence building to keep out gays and blacks you’re talking about. Yes, Republicans in general are what have prevented gay-marriage laws and equal-rights policies from going through, but despite the bad apples I don’t think the party in general despises or hates gays and minorities… unless you’re focusing on the ultra-conservative fundamentalist Christian right. Frankly, they are crazy and don’t represent the majority of Republicans in America in any way. They just talk loudly.

  • […] September 12th, 2007 in “Grassroots” Conservatives by robnesvacil Via Bloggernista: The Boston Globe has a smart op ed pointing out the similarities between the Republican Party is […]

  • 14. Bloggernista  |  September 13, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Stu, I get that you are a Republican and all, but you have got to be kidding when you refer to a few “bad apples” in the Republican Party who have used racist and homophobic language and legislative action to build political power.

    Former congressman Kolbe spoke at the RNC in 2004 even as the party leadership was aggressively pushing anti-gay constitutional amendments in states across the country. He did not speak on LGBT issues and quite a few delegates turned their backs on him when he started to speak.

    Former congressman Steve Gunderson has spoken out about the anti-gay efforts of key figures in the GOP and he was not elected as an openly gay man. He was the only Republican to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act.

    For you, it may not seem like such a big deal that the majority of Republicans in America are voting anti-gay politicians into office, but what I see are elected officials who got into office promising to legislate to keep people like me as second class citizens.

    Its great that you are personally supportive of gay rights, but until more people like you, particularly Republicans, stop supporting candidates who campaign with anti-gay and racist rhetoric, nothing will change.

  • 15. stuthewise  |  September 13, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Mmm… I guess I just haven’t seen it as much because it’s not as close to me as it is you. Aside from having had a few friends that are gay, the issue has had little affect on me personally. Well, that and I watch more movies than news 😉

    Thanks for setting me straight. I guess I was definitely a bit off kilter there in my view of Republicans and gay issues.

    Keep up the fight! As for me, I’ll keep a closer eye on the Republicans where I live, and maybe even fire off a few letters of chastisement to those claiming to be champions of “our” (including me AND my fellow gay citizens) rights.


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