Among the numerous commotions at last week’s CPAC in Washington was the official inclusion and recognition of Gay Republicans.
For some people this is a screaming huge oxymoron. How can someone who is gay, and more to the point, someone who supports being gay, be any part of the conservative (or Republican) establishment?
My question: Why can’t they be?
If I understand the purpose of CPAC it is to fight for political issues, not religious issues. If I’m correct, and I admit, I may not be, then our primary goals are:
National Security – We want (and need) our government to coordinate our national defenses. To help us protect ourselves from those countries, ideologies, and individuals who might want to harm us and take away our liberties.
Domestic Security – We need government to coordinate the laws and law enforcement necessary for peaceful and orderly daily life. We need laws and law enforcement to protect us from criminals who would do us harm such as murderers, rapists, thieves, and drunk drivers and we need laws for coordinating common and fair behavior such as rules of the road and financial accounting.
Functional Infrastructure – We need government to help coordinate the building and maintaining of roadways, flight control, telecommunications, and similar infrastructure for the public good.
Restraint – We want a more fiscally responsible, smaller, and less intrusive government. We don’t want government meddling in or taking over private enterprise or private lives. We don’t want socialist redistribution. We don’t want heavy regulations telling us what we can and cannot do if it doesn’t impact other people.
So far, I’d guess many gays fit in extremely well. I know a number of gays who support all of the above 100%.
So where’s the problem?
At the core is that, for many Christians, myself included, homosexuality is a sin. Well, if we kick out everyone in the conservative movement who sins, or even just the ones who sin regularly, we’ll have a pretty small group. The bigger issue though is that this isn’t a church. Do the Baptists want to kick out everyone who’s not Baptist? The Catholics kick out all the non-Catholics? What about the Episcopalians, Atheists, Presbyterians, Agnostics, and Jews? What religious groups ideology and theology do we plan to use as a litmus test for who to include and who not to?
This is a political group, not a church. Its purpose is to promote and organize a government that makes the U.S. a safe and equitable place for each and all of us to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Someone being gay does not intrude on my life, liberty or happiness.
How about gay marriage? Well, I’m not for it. In fact, in light of recent events with Catholic Charities being forced out of their adoption business, I’m pretty strongly opposed to it. But then, a number of gays I know aren’t for it either. Gay marriage also isn’t one of the core fundamentals above. And if we’re planning to use support of gay marriage as a litmus test then we have a lot of non-gays to deal with first, starting with our newest Republican, Sen. Scott Brown. We can welcome someone who supports the core concepts of liberty and fiscal responsibility and agree to disagree on gay marriage while we continue to discuss it, its implications, and options, in a rational way.
Gays in the military? No problem (though I don’t support Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as it effectively commands someone to lie, not a good precedent). The valid concern is one of housing and this can be solved similarly to how it was with women.
The gay agenda? First we have to define what ‘the gay agenda’ is, and that would take much longer than the time we have here. There are elements of it that I strongly oppose. Interestingly, I know gays who oppose these elements as well.
What about the estimated 17% of Republicans who visited prostitutes during the GOP convention in Minneapolis? Do we give them all the boot? Many politically active conservative Christians believe that drinking alcohol is a sin, are they working to kick everyone out of the conservative movement who drinks? We can welcome those who drink alcohol and at the same time support tougher drunk driving penalties. We can welcome gays and at the same time support separate housing for gays in the military.