Via Mediaite, no one’s surprised, right? I actually predicted yesterday that that NYT story would hurt the businessmen more than it would hurt Cruz because I remembered what a gay conservative once told me. Conservative are more likely to accept me as gay, he claimed, than gays are to accept me as conservative.
Here’s my favorite post from the boycott page, which now has more than 3,000 “likes.” It used to be that many straights viewed gays as so far beneath contempt that they wouldn’t want to shake their hands or invite them into their living rooms. Fifty years of the gay-rights movement has changed that, not universally but enough that the GOP’s leading “true conservative” candidate for president would be willing to attend a campaign reception in a gay businessman’s home. An ironic monument to “progress”:
So predictable was that reaction that I’m wondering why the host decided to hold the reception at all. Maybe his hospitality business is doing well enough that he thought he could withstand a boycott. And/or maybe he’s so devout a hawk, especially when it comes to Israel’s security, that he feels morally bound to promote fellow hawks from across the political spectrum, whatever that may mean for his business. At the rate things are going between Obama and Netanyahu, how much longer until being pro-Israel is itself good cause among progressives for boycotting random businesses?
Cruz’s statement about the reception last night was strong:
“It speaks volumes that the New York Times considers it newsworthy that a Republican who believes marriage is between a man and a woman would meet with people who hold a different view. The purpose of the meeting and the primary topics of conversation were national security, foreign policy, and America’s commitment to standing with Israel. On the subject of marriage, when asked, I stated directly and unambiguously what everyone in the room already knew, that I oppose gay marriage and I support traditional marriage…
“A conservative Republican who is willing to meet with individuals who do not agree on marriage and who loves his daughters unconditionally may not reflect the caricature of conservatives promoted by the left, but it’s hardly newsworthy.
“I know it’s been a long time since we’ve seen it, but this is what it means to truly be a ‘big tent Republican’ instead of a panderer. I’m happy to go anywhere to anyone to champion conservative values. We’re not always going to agree on everything, and I’m not going to change my fundamental values. But at the same time, I’m hoping to offer enough bold leadership on a broad slate of issues that many voters will decide we agree on far more than we disagree.”
He says the NYT was trying to suggest that he was somehow compromised in his conservatism for socializing with pro-SSM gay constituents, but I don’t know. Maybe the Times’s angle was really that Weiderpass and Reisner were compromised in their gayness for socializing with Cruz. The media understands very well by now what happens to business owners who stray from gay-marriage orthodoxy. If you’re interested in enforcing that orthodoxy, as most of the press is, you’ll achieve more by making life hard for Weiderpass and Reisner than you will trying to make it hard for Cruz.
Speaking of which, new data from CNN on the conflict between gay rights and religious liberty. “If a business provides wedding services, such as catering or flowers,” asked CNN, “should that business be allowed to refuse those services to same-sex couples for religious reasons or be required to provide those services to same-sex couples as it would to all other customers?” That’s a relatively solid way to phrase a question about this subject since it specifies that this is about gay weddings, not about refusing service to gay customers categorically. The result:
The racial and gender splits are noteworthy, but none of the key demographics here support letting religious liberty trump service, even in the context of wedding services. The partisan data:
Independents side overwhelmingly with the left on this. Similarly, when you ask the same question of people who support the tea party, oppose the tea party, and are neutral about it, the “neutrals” split 40/57 in favor of providing service and against religious freedom. If that’s representative of swing voters nationally then the only hope righties will have for religious exemptions from antidiscrimination laws in refusing service to gay weddings will be the First Amendment and the courts.
Update: It begins.
It is with regret that we have decided to cancel this year’s edition of the Broadway Bares Solo Strips fundraiser, which was scheduled for May 10 at the NYC club 42West. We cannot in good conscience hold an event at a venue whose owners have alienated our community, as reflected in an April 23 New York Times story and an April 24 follow-up post.
We do business with and accept fundraising support from a variety of people across a wide spectrum of political and religious affiliations. The rich diversity of our community makes what we do together so special. It is a rare instance where the actions of a donor negatively impacts us as an organization and potentially jeopardizes our relationship with others whose support is integral to our success. But when it does occur, in a way that’s blatantly against all we stand and work for, we can’t pretend it doesn’t come with consequences. Silence is not a neutral position. It is complicit.
That’s from Broadway Cares, an AIDS charity that’s decided it can’t in good conscience raise money for sick people at a club owned by a guy who’d have Ted Cruz over to his house. Exit quotation from Michael Dougherty: