Green Room

In Defense of Gay Conservatives

posted at 7:03 pm on February 23, 2010 by

Bryan Fischer, host of the American Family Association’s “Focal Point” radio talk show, is very upset about Hot Air’s nose dive into the thundercloud of gay politics, and angry that it could happen with our new “Christian ownership” at Salem Communications slumped lifelessly in the pilot’s seat:

Wow. Just as soon as the “Hot Air” blog was purchased by the Christian conglomerate Salem Communications from conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, it has suddenly become an advocate for all things gay. What in the world is up with that?

For background, GOPROUD is an organization dedicated to advancing special rights for homosexual behavior, and advocates the overthrow of the Defense of Marriage Act and the overthrow of the law banning homosexual service in the military.

Not only was GOPROUD welcomed at CPAC, an event which is supposed to be the annual showcase for conservative values, the organization was allowed to sponsor the event, giving visibility and recognition to its effort to legitimize sexual deviancy.

Fischer presses his face to the passenger windows of Hot Air, and sees Green Room contributor Repurblican crouched on the wing, tearing pieces of conservative purity from the starboard engine:

A Saturday post, from Repurblican, takes one of my new heroes, Ryan Sorba of California Young Americans for Freedom, to task for making the common sense statement at CPAC that homosexual sex cannot lead to reproduction. For this obviously correct observation, he was booed off the stage. And “Hot Air,” now under Christian management, has made Sorba out to be the bad guy.

Sorba showed the courage of his convictions by simply declaring the truth. Said Sorba, “Civil rights are grounded in natural rights, and natural rights are grounded in human nature…and the intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction…civil rights, when they conflict with natural rights, are contrary…” At this point, his remarks were drowned out by a chorus of vitriolic, angry boos. (View video of his remarks here.)

Consequently, Sorba said, “I’d like to condemn CPAC for bringing GOPRIDE (he meant “GOPROUD”) to this event.”

For speaking truth to power, “Hot Air” accused Sorba of “bombthrowing,” and said his remarks represented a “gratuitous and public…slam on homosexuals.”

The idea that Salem Communications has somehow enforced new pro-gay editorial standards on Hot Air is ridiculous. So is acting like a jerk in the name of ideological purity at CPAC. This kind of factional infighting is obviously unhelpful to overcoming the enormous challenges facing us in the next few elections. It would be tragic for the nation if we left it rolling towards the edge of the socialist cliff, while we spend our days tearing the mantle of “true conservatism” into a thousand pieces, and accusing each other of heresy. A certain degree of this conflict was inevitable, as different groups struggle for control of the resurgent Right, from David Frum squeaking that it’s not too late to reach an understanding with our progressive masters, to Bryan Fischer advising his readers to “kiss off” Hot Air because some of our contributors dared to speak up in defense of GOPROUD.

I think my own credentials as a defender of traditional marriage are in order. They can be reviewed in detail here and here. I do not hold these beliefs out of animosity toward gay people, or disrespect for committed homosexual relationships. I believe in the positive value of the marriage tradition, and I reserve the right to celebrate that value without denigrating those who don’t participate in it.

The gay-marriage movement is necessarily aggressive, because they seek a substantial change in society. I appreciate the strength of their conviction, and as long as they respect mine, we can have a civil discussion. The temptation to detonate conviction into anger is strong, and counter-productive. I’m no more impressed by Ryan Sorba’s act than I was by Perez Hilton’s.

It’s remarkable how much the focus has shifted away from social issues, in the year since I began writing for Hot Air. Carrie Prejean’s encounter with Perez Hilton was one of the hot topics back then. Now we stand in the shadow of a looming catastrophe which threatens the liberty and prosperity of our entire society. It’s not surprising to see our focus shift toward the common menace. I don’t feel traditional marriage is any less important than I did a year ago, but if GOPROUD wants to have that discussion later, after we wrestle down unsustainable government spending, and clear the danger of being thrown in jail for failure to purchase government-approved health insurance, that’s fine by me.

I hope to reach something more than a temporary truce between the factions of the Right. The assertion that we are all captives of some agenda, which we must accept in full or reject utterly, is the language of identity politics, and of totalitarianism. The Fischer criticism of Hot Air demonstrates the foolishness of assuming that every member of an identity group is party to some kind of agenda. If there’s a “Christian agenda,” then either Salem Communications or Bryan Fischer was not invited to the meetings.

We can be united in our appreciation for liberty… and this requires respect for the individual, just as the embrace of collectivism ultimately brings contempt. You can’t believe what I do about the transcendent rights of the individual, and the limitless potential of free men and women, while simultaneously assuming you can judge their innermost thoughts by their sexual preference, or the color of their skin. Rejecting gay conservatives because they disagree with me about marriage would be crawling back into the walled compound of my little tribe, and expecting them to do likewise. Each tribe would then resume shoving the wrecking ball of the State at the others, until someone gets flattened. That’s not the game conservatives, or Americans, should be playing.

It’s not going to be easy to hold the components of the Right together, especially as our ranks swell, and the dependents of State rally to its tattered banner of rage and despair. The constituencies of the Left have been fairly easy to buy off. Sometimes it was only necessary to buy their leadership off, and leave the common folk to suffer beneath failed programs they were told they have a moral duty to accept without question. No such arrangement will suffice for a conservative movement united by its rejection of the bloated and dying central government we inherited from the twentieth century… but still working to reconcile discordant visions of what should come next.

We can show each other a little grace and courtesy without abandoning our strongly-held beliefs… or at least refrain from trying to excommunicate each other. Leave the identity politics to the nitwits who look at Marco Rubio and see a coconut.

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

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I’m a conservative who happens to be the mother of a gay daughter. She, too (for now) is a conservative. We’ve had this discussion – which is a very difficult one to have, believe me! – and have reached a happy medium. Mostly what she and her friends want to be assured of are many of the things that we heterosexual couples take for granted – the ability to share a life together and have a few of the legal “rights” that heterosexual couples have, like making medical decisions for a partner; being able to put a non-working partner on their insurance in the event that one of them decides to be a homemaker; being able to leave an inheritance to a surviving partner, etc.

My husband (her dad) and I are not comfortable with the idea of calling this “marriage”, and apparently neither are voters in most states. However, I think that most people – conservatives included – don’t have a problem with allowing them these rights, just calling it something different.

I’ve always thought that conservatives were actually much more tolerant than most liberals – even though that flies in the face of what most peoples’ perceptions of the two ideologies might be. I think that is true in this case as well….

TeresainFortWorth on February 23, 2010 at 7:49 PM

While I generally agree that a ‘big tent’ is good, a problem with the gay movement is that it is viewed as anti-family, and it comes with a lot of baggage. It is basically an unhealthy lifestyle that is profoundly contrary to traditional American Judo-Christian beliefs. It does not help that many of its adherents have used in-your-face type antics, creating fear (and some loathing) on the part of many Americans. I have no problem with gay conservatives working in the movement, any more than I do with the Buddhists, atheists, comics, actors, bloggers, people who believe there are aliens, or any other group, but please, do they have to proclaim their gayness all the time?

Kirk on February 23, 2010 at 7:49 PM

about Hot Air’s nose dive into the thundercloud of gay politics, and angry that it could happen with our new “Christian ownership” at Salem Communications

well of course…Salem Communications has long wanted to address the issue of openly gay activism but did not want to risk their own site (TownHall.com). Of course they would purchase a throw away blog site like HotAir and open the debate there. /snort

but if you want a real conspiracy theory try this;

the liberal/progressive democrats, knowing full well how disruptive openly gay activists would be in a conservative organization, and that the issue would divide the organization, has started a campaign with under cover political operatives to infiltrate CPAC and other conservative movements to fragment the organization.

Thank GOD we have a president who can bring us together, organize us to common purpose, and restore peace to the republic. / laugh…out….loud

Skandia Recluse on February 23, 2010 at 7:53 PM

I thought Ryan Sorba was a joke but for this moron to characterize the social conservative vomit what the little boy spewed on stage at CPAC as a “common sense statement” is even more jokey I think. What’s this loser’s name? Bryan Fischer.

I’ll never remember that.

happyfeet on February 23, 2010 at 7:57 PM

It’s not going to be easy to hold the components of the Right together, especially as our ranks swell, and the dependents of State rally to its tattered banner of rage and despair.

And it will be impossible to hold them together with gay marriage as the platform.

First off, on libertarian, libertarians should be against gay marriage, because marriage should not even be part of the code of the federal government. It is a religious establishment that should remain in the religious communities hands. Why exactly should the government be the one deciding what rights, privileges and so forth you get based on your marital status? Thus, instead of promoting gay marriage, you should be promoting the stripping of all federal government law with respect to marriage.

On the Conservative angle, you have the social conservatives, and they vehemently oppose gay marriage because, rightly, acts of gay men are depraved and immoral in every single sense of the words to a social conservative.

Thus, the only binding principle left to allow gay activists into the fray is fiscal conservative. While it is a strong base now, and we will welcome fiscally conservative gays, it will alienate the rest of the coalition if a platform is made to support gay marriage. This will cause them to be subdued in support and in any race that is close, the Democrats will end up winning.

As I posted in the poll thread about DADT, if gays really want to be bonded with each other, form a group that performs ceremonies that are not named marriage, have that group support each other with legal help to get power of attorney, hospital visitation rights, legal break up clauses that determine wealth split upon break up and so forth. Get a large coalition of people with this ceremony and have them petition to have similar status as marriage.

The fact of the matter is that the gays have not shown that gay bonding between man and man or woman to woman are a big benefit to society. Marriage spent thousands of years proving its value to society, and for that, the government usurped control of it for the government’s advantage. I for one do not think marriage is better off due to this.

So now the gays have lots of choices; Force feed gay marriage onto an unwilling society, go it alone non governmental ceremonies to create lasting relationships that can prove valuable to society and someday be rewarded with the government taking control of the institution, use the current domestic partnerships offered by the states and the marriage allowed in one.

astonerii on February 23, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Very balanced approach. Thank you for posting this. There is a delicate middle…that’s where I’ve been hovering. :)

Diane on February 23, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Mostly what she and her friends want to be assured of are many of the things that we heterosexual couples take for granted – the ability to share a life together and have a few of the legal “rights” that heterosexual couples have, like making medical decisions for a partner; being able to put a non-working partner on their insurance in the event that one of them decides to be a homemaker; being able to leave an inheritance to a surviving partner, etc.

With the exception of insurance, which by the way is not directly decided by the government, every last one of these rights is already available for minimal fees, far less than the cost of a church wedding. Power of Attorney, Contracts similar to a prenuptial in event of break ups, and so forth are all legally binding and already available, and there are many gay groups that offer help in figuring out what individual couples would need.

Gays want all the rights and privileges of marriage, but do not want to prove, over time, that their relationships are of such value to society that society should reward them with the same functioning powers that married heterosexuals enjoy and sometimes do not enjoy.

astonerii on February 23, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Those Jack in the Box grilled sammiches look awesome.

happyfeet on February 23, 2010 at 8:37 PM

This post has been promoted to HotAir.com.

Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Allahpundit on February 23, 2010 at 8:52 PM

I read a few hours earlier (link on Drudge) that “Hispanics” in Texas are by majority now “reporting as Conservative”.

But if you pause past the hyperbole (headline and most of the article associated with the headline, after the jump), you discover that what these “Hispanics” call “conservative” and why are entirely different than what “Conservative” actually means (social, political issues and voting and upon what reasons).

These reported Hispanics deem themselves ‘conservative’ because, it’s hidden way down in the article, they advocate for a strong work ethic and family unity.

But VOTING is a different thing, because, never has a Leftwing cause or campaigner called who they don’t support (most do).

So they’re not Conservative in the sense that others regard that word and how it’s defined, but they ARE ‘conservative’ in their own dialogue and minds. They consider themselves ‘conservative’ but they aren’t representational of Conservativism in the political sense.

I think this well defines the same group who are currently indoctrinating the public about being ‘gay conservatives’.

Lourdes on February 24, 2010 at 11:40 PM

A Conservative Vision: The Purpose of Government

1) To leave us alone
2) To make sure other people leave us alone
3) To make sure other countries leave us alone

Corollary on Gay Rights – ‘us’ includes all American citizens.

ajackson on February 25, 2010 at 7:06 PM