Cheap Lay

The Myth of the Gay-Friendly GOP

As the president flirts, we may be distracted from what is happening in states controlled by the GOP. Consider Texas, where the legislature has fallen into Republican hands. The first thing the new majority plans to do is reintroduce an anti-gay marriage law that's been bottled up by the Democrats. Then there's the Republican Congress. Over the past 10 years, the number of Democrats given a 100 percent rating by HRC (hardly the gay left) rose from 27 to 72 percent. But the number of Republicans with a zero rating rose from 46 to 61 percent. And those figures were compiled before the election, when most Republican incumbents who lost were moderates.

It's possible that the White House will rein in anti-gay congressional initiatives, and maybe even pass a gay-inclusive hate crimes act. But most queers know that the best they can expect from Republicans is the consolidation of gains made possible by Democrats. When a lesbian Republican got elected district attorney of San Diego, it was a national story: Dyke Bites Dog. But the people of Providence, Rhode Island, went even further by electing a gay man mayor. David Cicilline is a Democrat, natch.

This is not to say there's no such thing as a gay-friendly Republican. But the party's core beliefs are clearly stated in its homophobic platform. The carefully staged dialogue between gays and the GOP is largely a conversation between elites. The Republican brass is mainly interested in attracting gay dollars. The well-heeled gay right is mainly interested in covering its assets. These homocons feel no need for laws against discrimination, which is why they are willing to see a smile from on high as reciprocation. But what about the rest of us? We haven't come this far to give our hearts away for a cheap date.

When someone buys you a beer, don't mistake it for champagne. Take what a trick has to offer, but don't call it love.

Richard Goldstein will be appearing on BBC's "Nightwaves" program on 11/27.

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