Gay Republicans Replace Crazy H8ers at the Conservative Caucus Table

Remember that week last month when it looked like the gay Republicans were making more progress on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell than Obama or Harry Reid combined? Obvs the battle in the Senate turned out fine in the end and we didn’t need the Log Cabin Republicans’ court case. But we shouldn’t diminish these guys. They’re still trucking along, fighting for equality from the other side of the aisle.

Their latest victory comes in the form of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). A bunch of extreme right wing groups have backed out of the conference because CPAC decided to give GOProud a seat at the table. The Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and Liberty University all have decided not to attend CPAC so long as the gay Republicans are there. All of those organizations were also recently listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

This might seem stupid or sad or infuriating at first glance. Biggotry is still alive and well, after all (what’s new…). But really this means the crazy haters at the fringe are taking themselves out of the conversation. They are slowly being replaced by queer conservatives and their allies. Which, frankly, is awesome.

At this point in the struggle for equality, it seems like the right time to stop seeing “us vs. them” as Democrats and Republicans. We need to see this as the tolerant vs. the intolerant. And those people can be of any political leaning. On a bunch of gay rights issues, the country is approaching and surpassing a 50/50 split. Seventy percent of America was on our side for the repeal of DADT. More than half of Americans think queer people shouldn’t be fired for their identity. And we’re about at the tipping point on gay marriage.

My point is, we’re starting to sway more than just the liberal half of the country. Not to say that every Democrat is firmly pro-gay. But we’re starting to see a much more significant number of pro-gay conservatives than we ever have before. GOProud is the proof of that, and they’re doing their own work for progress as well. So here’s to them and here’s to beating the h8ers at their own game!

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 130 articles for us.

18 Comments

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    Interesting. Maybe – just maybe we can have 3 parties. The dems who for the most part care about the common man and the oppressed, and also have a large number of wealthy people who are philanthorpists in many ways.

    The republicans who are on social issues beginning to move away from the bible belt rednecks and their hatred.

    And the nut cases like you listed eg the Fam. Research Council, which makes so many decent christians look to so many people like our own taliban.

    And maybe we can get back to a compromise government where all are respected.

    Except of course our own talibangelicals, and the evil done to gays the by the church which has totally lost its way unde3r RATZInger

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    I’m a bit jaded about it.
    Knowing that key conservative groups are backing out of the conference doesn’t fully scream, “PROGRESS, FUCK YEAH!” to me, yet.
    I mean, great, it’s cool and all GOPround got a seat and I’m sure giving them such was probably something the organizers knew might alienate some of their core members.

    On the other hand, the fact that these organizations made a point to back out based on GOProud’s inclusion alone a) isn’t very nice and b)might mean they feel like they don’t need the conference near as much as they think it needs them.
    I don’t think they’re just giving and taking their ball home with them. They feel like they’ve got viable alternatives.

    As for CPAC’s decision to include the gays, it could be similar to the GOP’s bid to out-black the Democrats by making Michael Steele the party chairman after Obama was elected. Our pres has gotten a huge in-your-face victory with a hail mary at the buzzer with the repeal of DADT, so this could be their meager way of trying to save some face.

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    This is great! Great for queers of all political persuasions, great for all non-RWCHM* that the crazies are getting marginalized like they should be, and great for Democrats – that hopefully this division in the party between the sane and the insane will give us 2012. (Hey, it’s already worked for Harry Reid and Chris Coons!)

    *rich, White, Christian, heterosexual men

  7. Pingback: Wehner: Social Cons Should Attend CPAC – FrumForum | Conservatives for America

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    I am so glad that queer voices are getting louder within the Republican party! I am a queer woman, VERY concerned about full equality. I am also a fiscal conservative who favors government restraint. My voting choice of late has been a strict divide between my deeply-held convictions for equal treatment of all people and my value for unobtrusive government. Either way I voted, I felt like I was betraying the other side of my ideals. I celebrate even these small steps toward a reconciliation of the two, and look forward to a time when I can cast a single ballot that represents both parts of me, and betrays neither. Go queer visibility of all political persuasions!

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    Thanks for the post, Sarah. I think that it’s a great thing that GOProud will be a part of CPAC. For all of you commenters, here’s a bit of extra info that might help with context:

    *CPAC is Conservative first–it hosts cons of all stripes, not just Republicans (libertarians have a big presence too)

    *GOProud also was a chief sponsor of CPAC this past year, and many of the more socially conservative organizations were PISSED about it, but GOProud’s presence was otherwise pretty well received. Social cons threatened to boycott last year, but only one or two actually did. (probably because of my last point–2010 was an election year) If you haven’t already seen it, check out one of the social cons getting booed off the main stage for complaining about GOProud and then making some homophobic remarks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzjUThztmjQ&feature=related (the 1st guy was happy GOProud was there–the 2nd guy is the one booed off the stage)

    *CPAC is THE place for candidates to campaign, announce their candidacy, etc during an election year. 2011 will be no problem for the boycotters to not come–they won’t be missing out on too much. I bet they return in 2012, GOProud or no, because they want to be seen as relevant.

    I hope that as libertarian ideals grow within the conservative movement, we’ll see less worry about individuals’ social morals and more emphasis on a ‘live and let live’ attitude. From my vantage point as a conservative, the tide is changing and that’s awesome.

    Wow, that was really long. Sorry :)

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    I know this is kind of an older post, but I had to comment anyway.

    Seeing the difference between the comment response here and at The Advocate makes me feel a little better. Articles about GoProud are mocked and gay conservatives are belittled and insulted over there. It’s depressing and it hurts.

    Seeing the response here makes that pain ease a little bit. It’s also nice to know I’m not the only fiscally conservative and small government loving lesbian here. ^_^

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