Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Republican exclusion: no gays need apply

Frank Bruni in the New York Times  on the absence of gays or gay issues from the Republican Convention last week, and the limits of the Big Tent.

It was striking because the Republicans went so emphatically far, in terms of stagecraft and storytelling, to profess inclusiveness, and because we gays have been in the news rather a lot over the last year or so, as the march toward marriage equality picked up considerable velocity. We’re a part of the conversation. And our exile from it in Tampa contradicted the high-minded “we’re one America” sentiments that pretty much every speaker spouted.
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Romney exemplifies the party’s cowardice on this front, its continued deference to the religious extremists who get king-size beds and down-stuffed duvets in the tent....He favors a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman. He opposes even civil unions.
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Several gay Republicans with whom I spoke in Tampa said that the near-complete absence of any talk onstage about gays and lesbians was in fact a hopeful sign that the party’s extremists on gay issues had lost the war to moderates. At least gays and lesbians weren’t being cast in a negative light, as a way of riling the worst of the base.
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But that’s not progress enough. Silence does nothing for gay and lesbian teenagers racked with self-doubt and anxiety about what the world has in store. Or for committed same-sex couples who lack the legal protections that their straight counterparts have. Silence is a stalling tactic, and silence is a cop-out. 
On the convention stage in Tampa, where estrogen was platinum and melanin was gold, Republicans spoke eloquently about a country that valued every person’s worth and was poised to reward each person’s dreams. Those words would have carried much more weight if coupled with even a glancing recognition of gay and lesbian Americans. Instead speakers tacitly let the party’s platform do the talking. It calls for the kind of constitutional amendment that Romney now supports.
Someone I know via Twitter  asked me if there is any way I would ever vote for a Republican.  I told him, not these Republicans.  Even if they regained some fiscal sense, I could never vote for a party that delegitimizes and even criminalizes my fundamental self.

2 comments:

James said...

He favors a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

Hang on - he's a Mormon, and their theology says polygamy is OK...

Fred Schwartz said...

What? Vote Republican? Not now, not ever!