A Gay Man Considers Joining the GOP

Is it possible that Republicans could prove to be a closer ally?

That’s a far cry from the 1992 Republican National Convention, when Pat Buchanan delivered a fire-breathing anti-gay keynote speech. “We’ll never see that again,” Moran predicts. “What you will see on gay issues in the Republican Party is a consistent, slow move toward an acceptance of things that are already socially prominent, such as DADT.”

Maybe. Maybe not. Despite all the pro-gay rhetoric, the GOP still carries some ugly baggage. Only five Republican House members voted for the recent bill to repeal DADT. If GOP politicians can’t back a no-brainer like this bill, can they ever support gay causes?

Britain’s Tories would appear, at first glance, to be advancing the dual role of fiscal conservatism combined with gay-rights activism. Their leader—now the new prime minister—has embraced gay marriage. But Dan Pinello, who teaches political science at John Jay College, finds no comparison to our GOP. Small minorities are more crucial in a multi-party parliamentary democracy. Over here, the LGBT vote, which constitutes only about 4 percent of the electorate, doesn’t wield clout in elections above the ward leader level, especially compared with evangelicals. Plus, any Republican who takes moderate positions can look forward to a conservative primary challenge. Case in point: Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector, who was one of the most gay-friendly Republicans until he was forced to switched parties.

As I listened to Pinello, it became clearer that joining the GOP may not provide a solution for fed-up Democrats like me because our entire system is broken. We may just have to wait until the bigots and hypocrites die out—in both parties—before we see real, permanent change.

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