What Should We Really Expect In Working With Gay And Gay-Friendly Republicans?

Bryan Safi may love GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger (starring in the video above), but we’re still not entirely sure how to reconcile this whole “gay Republican” thing. Yes, we need pro-gay Republicans to help us get marriage equality and other queer-rights legislation passed (like in New York), but most of the Republican presidential candidates are anti-LGBT. The Log Cabin Republicans have done a good job pressuring the president with their Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell lawsuit, but GOProud sucks up to anti-gay organizations that don’t even want them around.

We need to reach a middle ground with conservative swing voters and build bridges for Republican support so we don’t stay in perpetual political gridlock. But the idea that the GOPs or Americans would actually elect a gay president at this time is absurd. So how can we intelligently partner with the elephants without losing our pride? Or should we simply club them with the same anti-gay stick they’ve been clubbing us with for decades? Hmm, carrots or sticks? Decisions, decisions…

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #politics #fredkarger #gop stories and more


  • Bigg

    I’d say we need to attack three myths: 1. Being smart with money automatically equals being fiscally conservative; 2. Republicans hold the moral high ground and are the defenders of public morals; and 3. We must all completely agree instead of just reaching a majority consensus if we wish to present a united front.
    If a gay/gay friendly politician of ANY party refuted those three myths, I’d vote for them. Period.

  • Jon

    This article assumes that political positions cannot be changed over time. Wasn’t there a time when no party would dare align themselves with us? Didn’t a democrat sign the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? To assume that all republicans are inherently evil is folly, some of my closest most outspoken gay rights proponents happen to be republicans. They are not anti-gay because of this affiliation, they are aligned with the political party they most agree with. If we shun people like this than we risk ostracizing what may be our most powerful allies, those who can eventually change their party from within. Set aside the unfounded bitterness and accept the fact that things in life takes more time to change than the click of a refresh button. The young will eventually take the seats of their elders, and by screaming bloody murder and questioning every good thing that comes from the other side does nothing to seed things up.

  • Thomas

    Speaking of changing over time, wasn’t the Democratic Party once the party of state’s rights and/or slavery?

    Things can and do change. If the GOP wishes to keep being elected over the next decade or so, they will have to change.

    Sadly, there will still be anti-LGBT asshats around YEARS from now
    as it is not illegal to be an idiot.

  • Jim Hlavac

    Since being gay is not a political position — it is quite easy to like lower taxes and less debt & deficit — the supposed concerns of the Republican Party — and still be gay. Then it becomes a matter of convincing the anti-gay Republicans that their worries are unfounded. And if we don’t talk to them, well then, we won’t be able to convince them. On the other hand, when some so-called Republican is very anti-gay — then it is our right and our duty to harass them mercilessly on the hustings. Yes, politely, firmly, with logic and reason — simply isolate and destroy the NO GAYS! freaks in that party.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats — gay and hetero — need to work on their African-American segment, which 95% vote Democrat — and are 85% vociferously anti-gay. I’d say both parties need to come to their sense on gay folks — for if there is one group of citizens that is just not really important in the great political debates then it is us gays and our smooching — we truly make no difference one way or the other. Meanwhile, let them all debate till the cows come home, we’ll still be gay.

    But this election, 2012, is simply going to have gayness front and center — through the speeches, the debates, the TV shows, the campaigning and everywhere else candidates show up — “what’s your take on gays?” is going to be asked over and over again. Good, get this out in the open. Debate the dickens out of it, already, so we can be done with it. It’s going to be one hell of a national conversation that’s for sure — and we’ll come out OK.

  • Libertarian Larry

    I know that as long as we keep up the “I hate you more than you hate me” game, nothing in the way of equality will ever, ever be accomplished. Hatred is not a tool, it’s a defense mechanism, and those who keep it in their arsenal are doomed to failure. You’re never going to gain all opinions in your favor, that’s a fact of life, so the object is to try, bit by bit, to cajole others into understanding, and not that we’re a hate group out to take down the Republican party. As long as that’s the unofficial position of Gay Inc, we come across as nothing more than anti-social radicals.

  • Cam

    Worry about their comfort level and tolerance after we get these laws taken care of. I’m not for sitting here and waiting until a bunch of old bigots either die off or decide that perhaps it’s ok that I’m alive.

    The members og the GOP who are pro-gay are a nice thing, but they have zero power. One of the most pro-gay politicians ever, William Weld, a republican from MA. who supported gay marraige years ago was drummed out of politicial life by Jessie Helms and the GOP even though he could have knocked most Dems from MA out of their seats. He was only kicked out because of his views on gays. So while I appriciate the gay supportive GOP members, I’m not going to sit back and say “Lets wait 20 years while they try to help us.” If anything, the last decade of doing just that resulted in an even MORE anti-gay GOP.

  • o

    Both carrots and sticks look suspiciously like penises, so I don’t think the GOP will go for either one.

  • cccole

    I would like to challenge Jim Hlavac on his assertion that 85% of African Americans are “vociferously anti-gay.” Where on earth is his data to support that claim? My guess is this is rooted in stereotypes, media shortcomings and lack of exposure to a diverse array of black people (including black queers). Yes, there is a homophobia problem in a lot of black spaces, but to make an outrageous claim like that is racist and does nothing to make any heterosexual black community friendlier to LGBTs of any race.

    In any case, I don’t see the Republican party as a whole coming around on gay issues because it doesn’t benefit them right now. The party is getting more extreme by the minute, and they have to please social conservatives to get ahead politically. When the right-wing of this country becomes more pro-gay (and the younger, conservative evangelicals are much more pro-gay than those running the establishment) then the Republican party will change. Any attempt to reach across the aisle now obviously won’t do any good.

  • inoits2

    @cccole: I have yet to meet a black person that doesn’t think gays are revolting. Must be cultural. Personal experience having been raised in a very black county tells me all I need to know.

  • robert in nyc

    No. 8, I totally concur. With the Tea Party scumbaggers calling the shots, it won’t happen. Moderate republicans, if there are any, are running scared of them. I’ve yet to see one republican in the House sponsor or author a bill favoring LGBT people, and how many republican governors are supportive compared to democrats? Just look at the number of GOPers who voted against repeal of DADT. Virtually none of them support passage of of ENDA and the majority of them support DOMA.

  • robert in nyc

    No. 9, and I have yet to meet the majority of republicans who are pro-gay.

    All that phoney concern about spending and the debt ceiling. The Log Cabiners, GOProunders and Civil Libertarians were mighty silent when Bush ran up the debt to an all time high. Nobody among them complained when he took the country into two wars (no expense spared) that were NOT included in the debt. Enter the democrats in 2008 and now they blame them for the mess that they didn’t create to begin with. This obstructionism by the GOP is nothing more than a blatant attempt to bring down this administration, but it’s failed. They wanted to crash the economy to please the Tea Party scumbags then blame it on the democrats, but it’s fired back on them. Once the current debt ceiling expires after November 2012, the GOP will be boxed into a corner from which they’ll never be able to get out when they’ll be forced to cut their sacred cow…”unlimited defense spending” by 50% to increase revenue to the treasury.

  • tjr101

    Most Republicans and gay republicans in particular tend to be very racist in their views hence the often brought up and unfounded “85% of African Americans are vociferously anti-gay.” Gay conservatives use this fallacy as a defense for their support for the vociferously anti-gay GOP. One of the biggest fears of gay conservatives is a coalition among the gay community and black/hispanic communities which is about to happen with the younger generation, demographics. With this comes a shut out of Republicans and right-wing fiscal policies.

  • Andy

    Being open-minded and accepting of different viewpoints, I support Fred Karger and the plight of Independent Republicans. Not only do these Ind. R’s have to battle a majority of their own party, but they also have to battle the LGBT community that continues to vilify them based on pointless accusation. I would encourage the whole community to re-think their dedication to Democrats, step up to the plate, and maybe (just maybe) accept a different point-of-view.

    Social Liberal/Fiscal Conservative.

  • gregger

    @inoits2: Honestly then, how many African-Americans have you met, two or three? The majority that I know do not hate the LGBT community. One of the most pro-LGBT people I’ve ever met was Mrs King.

  • mbachmann4pres

    Like we dont know why you sodomites want to elect a fellow sodomite as President…

    It would be like the Fourth Reich: Sodom & Gomorrah edition.

    You all disgust me.

  • Lackadaicycle

    The number Jim Hlavac might be too high (who knows? We still don’t know his source), but I don’t think that putting a high percentage to a specific group’s homophobia is necessarily going to alienate the pro-gay people within that group (they would probably consider themselves among the percentage that affirm gay people if a poll existed). Regardless, the point to be made is that both the democrats and republicans need to handle the religious fundamentalists within their parties that attack homosexuality. For me, the republicans have a much longer way to go to eradicate the anti-gay sentiment within their party (because I’m sure the republicans attract more religious fundamentalists), but the goal is a noble one for both political groups to aspire to.

    As for dealing with religious bigots, we can court the ones that openly and actively support gay people and continue to condemn the ones that don’t. Though we should still use reason and truth to make our case to the general public, people won’t change their minds when they see a number or a figure that exonerates homosexuals (otherwise this problem would be solved). Pointing to the dastardly rhetoric of religious bigots (and its effects) as well as the normalcy of homosexuality will help the new, mindful generations accept us while marginalizing the unchangeable opinions out there.

  • Bigg

    One of the things, sadly, that we should expect is a lot of what #15 has to say. I have noticed though that even though some people are more than willing to troll for their cause on the Internet, voting that way (or at all) is just too much of an effort.

  • Thomas

    @inoits2: ” I have yet to meet a black person that doesn’t think gays are revolting.”

    There are PROBABLY black LGBT people who would disagree with you.

  • inoits2

    @mbachmann4pres: STFU asshole troll.

  • inoits2

    @Bigg: Oh I would ignore it because they no doubt get it up the ass every night and feel guilty in turn causing them to haunt gay blogs.

  • inoits2

    @Thomas: Well they also despise gay blacks as well. So I don’t count the gay ones.

  • robert in nyc

    I just learned that Bachmann, Santorum and Romney have just signed NOM’s own pledge to ban same-sex marriage in every state. I’m sure GOProud will be happy about that.

  • mbachmann4pres

    I see the homosexual mafia are out in full force today preaching their “love and tolerance” mantra and then violently attacking anyone who disagrees with their radical embrace sodomy agenda.

    Even attacking innocent an old Christian woman who devoted her life to helping others

  • ousslander

    nice to know I’m a racist scumbag and self loathing. Thank you for pointing it out to me.

  • inoits2

    @mbachmann4pres: I would love to sodomize you…you would imagine it was Michelle with a strap on. Problem is your hole would be way to lose from the pounding you get already by the stranger you pick up at truck stops.

  • inoits2

    @mbachmann4pres: That “Christian” hag should not have been protesting the gays. Poor old bat.

  • Bigg

    @Inoits2 I appreciate #21, but it remains that discounting all of black America as homophobic – or even substantially homophobic – is making the same mistake that conservatives make when they characterize all gay people in a single stereotype. There are supporters and detractors of our people everywhere, even in our own numbers.

  • inoits2

    @Bigg: You are right, I am sure that all black people don’t feel that way. I just wish it would be reflected more in their culture. Seem the reggae, hip hop culture and black churches are all about homophobia. I want to see more support from black people to demonstrate they aren’t overall gay haters. I don’t like it when they poo poo our struggle by saying our rights fight is somehow not valid. It’s like they win because they were more oppressed. A black friend of mine said once that black people are the first to discriminate when given the opportunity.

  • Tony

    I don’t want anything to do with Republicans, period. I won’t allow them in my life.

  • gregger

    @inoits2: Wow, deflect away. How about we turn the tables as I’ve seen more support from African-Americans (not black) than I have from Republicans. I’ve seen more virulent hatred toward LGBT’s from Republicans than I have from any other group in the nation except for X-tian Bible Bangers.

  • Bigg

    @Inoits2 Try looking at it from the other side. There is TONS of racism afoot in the gay community. If you’ve ever checked a gay personals site like Manhunt, a ton of the caucasian profiles say “no blacks or asians” or “I don’t date outside my race.” Gay black men are less welcome even in our own establishments. Perhaps if we cleaned our own house before criticizing the housekeeping of others we’d win more friends in the wider community.
    Please understand too that I’m not trying to call anybody out. I’m only saying that if we want a united front then we’d damn well better start uniting.

  • inoits2

    @Bigg: Well I wouldn’t call a race preference for hookups or bfs racism. We have our preferences and no amount of trying to disregard one’s preferences will change that. It is the “no blacks or asians” comment that is a problem. However people don’t want to waste time on what they aren’t attracted to.

    I think white gay people’s distaste for the black non-gay community has more to do with the fact that black males are nearly always hostile to us. I am very threatened by non gay black males and they made it that way. I want to see more polite well spoken straight black men before I change my mind.

  • gregger

    @inoits2: Sounds like a personal issue of yours, kind of like a prejudice against a group of people for a perceived (real or imagined) threat. Now do you understand why so many people in the LGBT community have a prejudice against the Republican Party?

  • inoits2

    @gregger: I understand and have always understood. My point has never been that the Republicans are wonderful. My point is that hating them is pointless and that they aren’t all like that. Not all christians are anti gay, not are all republicans and we risk alienating them through hateful rhetoric.

    I see your point though because I have my own issues with my perception of non gay black men.

  • gregger

    @inoits2: thank you.

  • Brian Miller

    Right now, Karger is the first openly gay presidential candidate polling in a statistically significant way, and his candidacy isn’t being embraced as the progress it is and represents?


  • GayGOP

    A) I suggest we ignore mbachmann4pres. Don’t give that person a platform by responding to him/her.

    B) I am a gay social conservative. Right now, the vast majority of SoCons are not our friends. That number is slowly changing, even among the SoCons. The rapid increase in support for marriage equality is due to moderates changing. SoCons are not that far behind. The younger types, especially, are starting to not only understand the difference between civil and religious marriage, and they also are starting to understand that marriage equality is good for the country, because it encourages a much needed settling down of many in the gay community, and building up of the family unit.

  • Luke

    Shun gay Republicans.

    Seriously, we shouldn’t give them a place at the table.

    Supporting gay rights while seeking to dismantle social security, medicare and medicaid, close the borders, deregulate polluters, end Pell grants, wage war on public education, oppose worker unionization, oppose affirmative action, end unemployment insurance, et al is only “pro-gay” from the eyes of the most narrowly constructed, white, upper class, male construction of the “gay community.”

    We should give absolutely no participation to people who claim to be allies to LGBT people while stripping and defunding social programs that help LGBT people deal with discrimination–programs like unemployment insurance for all those gays who can still be fired unfairly, medicaid and education grants for the disproportionate number of homeless youth who are LGBT, and social security & medicare for gay seniors who aren’t collecting partner benefits and have less money in retirement savings because they have endured additional legal and medical costs their entire lives.

    Seriously. Fuck gay Republicans. There is no ethical basis for empowering and enabling those corporate crony bigots, as opposed to being a fiscally conservative Democrat!

    There’s also no practical reason if you consider how effective fiscally conservative Democrats have been at influencing the Dems to embrace market mechanisms and deficit reduction and compare it to the “pro-gay Republicans'” abject failure to move their party into anything resembling a sane direction.

    It pretty obvious, “pro-gay Republicans” are narrow minded white washers who may value equal treatment (for white, upper class people) when it doesn’t endanger the interests of their own tax-cuts…but they’ll never stick their necks out for the cause. It’s a marketing ploy, not a defensible politic!

    Screw ’em.

  • cccole

    @Luke: Preach!

  • xander

    The Republican party has been sideswiped by the TeaPartyists, who campaigned on fiscal matters but who seem to be especially conservative on social issues like LGBT equality.

    We saw in NY state that some Repubs will take a more moderate position on LGB stuff when they get sufficient support. That may mean that GayInc. has missed their mark by not engaging enough with the more socially liberal Republicans. There may be no hope in getting the fundy ones to switch positions, but we collectively can’t forget to work on Congress critters on BOTH sides of the aisle — at state and national levels.

    @robert in NYC (11) : That’s a very thoughtful analysis. Well done.

    @inoits2 (35) : Good point. We all have biases which we need to recognise and work through. (I have a prejudice toward Texans, although I’ve met some recently who are softening my bias…slowly!)

  • inoits2

    @Luke: Gimme, gimme, gimme. Who the hell is going to pay for all of that in the long run. Our days of thinking the government is here to save our asses is over. I hate affirmative action, the most racist big government bullshit ever invented. Get a grip and take care of yourself. I personally don’t want to be told who I have to hire and the one thing that prevents ENDA from happening is the cross dressers. I personally wouldn’t want them scaring my customers away.

  • inoits2

    @xander: OMG! I actually have a good point.

  • Luke


    People who aren’t racist, transphobic douche bags have a moral obligation to refuse to stick their dicks in you! There’s plenty to go around if we raise taxes on rich people back to Clinton era levels, eliminate off-shore tax breaks, end oil subsidies, and lower defense spending to pre-Reagan levels in real dollars.

  • inoits2

    @Luke: That won’t do it…nope…even if we raise taxes it will not save us. Social Security and Medicare which I agree with are going to eat very dime until 2040. All the old folks will suck it up. Raising taxes on corps will just hasten their exodus. Defense spending puts money into the economy.

  • LukeJoe

    Bush era tax cuts are 70% of our deficit problem you dumb-ass.

    And as for putting jobs into the economy….

    Food stamps employ farmers, food manufacturers, & grocers. Medicare and medicaid make nursing and health care jobs. Social security pays rents, living expenses, etc. Those are stimulative. When you give those homeless teenagers education grants they create jobs at universities and publishers. Plus they enter the work force more productive and at higher value. Unemployment insurance stops millions of people from becoming useless drags on the economy and keeps them consuming (which is good because it keeps them alive). Infrastructure investments put tons of people in construction and servicing to work.

    And seriously, if you talking about government spending as stimulative…then you’ve already lost this argument, shit head!

  • Cam

    @inoits2: Washington DC is a majority black city and has legalizsed gay marraige voted on by a majority black council and signed by a black mayor. The protests that an out of state church group tried to organize never got more that about 70 people to show up in a majority black city of over 600,000.

  • Queer Supremacist

    @GayGOP: A “social conservative” is just a statist Christian. They are a hindrance to the cause of social progress in this country. They have attacked gay families, women (life does NOT begin at conception, that’s a Christian concept unsupported by scientific evidence), and have perpetuated the racist, illegal, and immoral war on drugs. And they have cost the taxpayers money in doing so. How conservative is that? How conservative is it to make gay couples pay more taxes than heteros who have the option to get married, granting them breaks from taxes that shouldn’t even be levied to begin with?

    @Brian Miller: Of course it isn’t because it messes with the simplistic, black hats/white hats narrative that has been pushed down our throats for forty years.

    Bottom line: the only people gays can trust are other gays, and if you think a “straight” Democrat will help us more than a gay Republican get your head out of your ass. We are fairweather friends to them. That’s why I’m supporting Fred Karger. I’m voting for him in 2012 no matter what, even if I have to write him in.

    @Andy: Exactly. The constant stream of invective hurled at them is not much better than the homophobia they face from the heterosexuals. 90% of these comments come from people who have never read anything by a conservative, libertarian, or even a moderate Democrat who opposes tax increases. They have never examined their own beliefs, and they have never read anything but grotesque caricature of opposite points of view. However, gay Republicans must do their part in challenging the homophobes in the GOP.

    The Democrats and “progressives” are not automatically entitled to our support. “Progressive” is code word for leftist authoritarianism and you know it. I oppose authoritarianism on the Right, why should I support it on the Left? When government involvement fails, it’s always because it’s not enough government or because “the wrong people” were in charge. The power of the state needs to be curtailed at every level. The federal government should have the power to forbid states from passing discriminatory laws, and it, too, should be forbidden from passing discriminatory laws. No government at any level should have “rights,” only powers, and that’s why the “states’ rights” argument is a lie. Even the Bill of Rights is a misnomer because the Constitution addresses government powers.

    No one has a “right” to anything they haven’t earned. The government has no “right” to any part of your income and nor does any individual, business, or organization to whom you do not voluntarily choose to give your money.

    @inoits2: I feel the same way you do about nongay black men, but not because they’re black. Because they’re not gay. And I don’t consider it a problem, but an observation.

  • James


    Food stamps, unemployment benefits, social security, how can you say the money stimulates the economy when the only way it is obtained is by taking it out of the economy in the first place, from other taxpayers.

    Ever heard of the “broken window fallacy?”

    “One day Austrian Economics will simply be called ‘economics.’ Comparing the Austrian Economics to Keynsian Economics is like comparing astronomy to astrology.”
    -Peter Schiff

    Really, I wish people would stop simply supporting the democrats just because they’re not as anti gay as the republicans. Isn’t the lack of support from the dems more of a betrayal since they pretend to be lgbt friendly? At least the GOP is more open upfront.
    Conversely, the GOP deserves more criticism for reckless spending because they always claimed to be for fiscal restraint.

    I wish people would look beyond this conservative/liberal narrative and demand more choices and abilities for other parties to be heard. The libertarian party is the most supportive of gay rights (official platform supports full adoption last I checked) because they don’t believe the purpose of government is to order people around and force any vision or social policy on everyone else. It’s hard to believe the democrats are sincere in giving people freedom to marry when they want the government to decide so many other aspects of our lives. (such as where you send your kids to school, what kind of car you drive, higher taxes…)

    There shouldn’t be this idea that if you’re gay, you have to be a total democrat apologist. It’s as bad of a stereotype as the idea you have to be good with fashion, hate sports, speak in a high pitched voice… you get the idea.

    This idea that gay people all have the same monolithic political views is exactly what the republicans and democrats want. If you can get people to think that any statement in support of gay rights is a liberal viewpoint, then you can perpetuate partisan closed minds.

    Queer Supramacist, I very much agree with most of your post wholeheartedly. But how is unique DNA not scientific evidence that life begins at conception? Something that has been used to prove innocence in criminal court cases doesn’t seem to have any relevance to religion, much less Christianity.
    Or a separate heartbeat, different blood type?

Comments are closed.