The rise of the political unicorns

What strange bedfellows politics makes; take the curious case of gay conservatives.  Both the gay left and the professional anti-gay industry in this country would have you believe that the gay community is homogenous.  Both the gay left and the anti-gay-for-pay right want Americans to believe that the gay community is uniformly liberal, slavishly loyal to the Democratic Party, and unquestioning in their allegiance to the “progressive” agenda.  Both treat the idea of gay conservatives as a novelty, political unicorns.  The reality, of course, is nothing near what this political odd couple would have you believe — indeed 27% of self-identified gay and lesbian voters chose John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008.  That’s a figure that translates to roughly 1.7 million gay votes for McCain/Palin.  If gay conservatives are unicorns, our herd is huge.

Not only is our herd a large one, it is also one that finally has a voice in Washington.  GOProud, the organization of which I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Board, was founded in April of last year as the only national organization representing gay conservatives and their allies.  Despite our name, GOProud is not a partisan organization; we do not hold ourselves out as an auxiliary of the Republican Party.  We are not an organization seeking to “change” the Republican Party into the party of Dede Scozzafava or Chris Shays.  We are conservatives, committed to the conservative movement.  We believe strongly that what matters are principles not partisanship.

Our agenda is unlike the agenda of any other gay organization.  Instead of fighting to expand the federal government through hate crimes laws or federal employment non-discrimination legislation, legislation that only impacts a sliver of gay people, we instead focus on issues like taxes, healthcare, retirement security, and the economy — we offer gay Americans pragmatic, common-sense conservative approaches to these issues that will improve their lives, as well as the lives of all Americans.

We believe strongly that the federal government doesn’t have all the answers to the challenges facing gay and lesbian families.  Indeed, we believe that often the federal government is the problem — not the solution.

I am incredibly proud of the work GOProud has done over the last 18 months.  Not only have we staked out a truly conservative legislative agenda for gay Americans and our straight allies, we have also shown that we will refuse to take our marching orders from the self-appointed leadership of Gay, Inc.  In the same way that the Tea Party movement has bucked the failed Republican Party establishment, GOProud has bucked the failed approach of the gay political establishment.

Despite decades in Washington, and tens of millions of dollars, the gay political establishment on the left and the right has accomplished little more than learning how to throw “fabulous” black tie dinners.  National gay groups, infatuated with the idea of being players in Washington, have become more and more disconnected from the priorities of average gay people.

GOProud has refused to abide by the “gentleman’s agreement” among many of the national gay groups to refrain from criticizing each other or questioning the wisdom of the gay left’s leadership.  This policy, a byproduct of the influence of a handful of large, left-wing donors like Tim Gill who pull the strings of Gay, Inc., protects the gay leadership at the expense of average gay and lesbian Americans.  For far too long, the leadership of the national gay organizations has enjoyed immunity from criticism and we have been expected to treat their missives on the priorities of the gay community as though they had been brought down the mountain by Moses himself.

Next Page: How GOProud Plans to Win the Hearts and Minds of Straight Conservatives

  • huffno

    And, “GOProud” CAN’T “win the hearts and minds of Conservatives” for the simple fact that they’re selling *issues* that are contrary to the values and beliefs held and believed in by Conservatives, that define them/us as Conservatives.

    Let’s see…GOProud’s board includes Tammy Bruce, who is pro-abortion (that means, she’s not Conservative), Grover Norquist has just become a member of their board (Islam-financial ties, Hamas sympathizer) (that means he’s not a Conservative and I don’t care how many taxes he protests), Barron here who is a very rude, nasty man (which I don’t find Conservative in the least).

    The group has one purpose and one purpose only: to organize by way of homosexual behaviors. They define themselves by their very organizational terms as not Conservative.

    • rebekahhuang

      oh gosh, where to begin with this one…
      dear huffno,
      you sound kinda huffy and full of NO!one but me can define Conservative ideology and sadly huffy, you’re wrong.
      i’m a fiscal conservative and have no desire to tell other how to attend to their private lives or what to believe or not believe and i come from a long line of social conservative who would tell you hate the sin, love the sinner and it isn’t your place to judge lest you be judged.
      so i guess you should learn to speak for yourself bcos:
      i don’t believe in abortion. i think it’s murder but, if a prochoice proven fiscal conservative is on a tkt against a prolife spender i’m voting for the fiscal conservative and he will have to answer to God not me.
      if a gay man or woman want to serve their country in the military i think we should be able to work it out. if we can have men and women serve together then we can work out the difficulties with gay service and should be happy they want to defend us.
      marriage to me is for procreation and it is a traditional situation that i think should remain so. it’s semanics and if one has already done the hard work of identifying as homosexual why go back to traditonal relationship definitions…that said, civil unions should have all the governmental and social respect of any other.
      and if all you can come up with is “he’s rude!” well sir he must be living right.
      SO. GOProud! Good for you. Thanks for your support, we need it our country is going under.

  • huffno

    Christopher Barron is not only not a Conservative, he’s also not a reasonably mannered individual. In fact, he’s quite a creep and that’s the best thing I can express about the person, other than his article here is rubbish.

    He’s a homosexual activist, not a “Republican”. Certainly not a Conservative — his very profession, if it can be called that (homosexual activism) proves that he’s not a Conservative.

    His entire sales pitch — this article — to the contrary (that he’s Conservative) is rubbish, utter lies. Or else he’s deranged and unable to reflect on reality.

    • rebekahhuang

      Get Help…

  • akw1

    Christopher, I liked your column very much, and I like what GOProud stands for. I’m both fiscal and social conservative, and I’m a Christian who believes that there is very definitely a place in the conservative movement for gays. Not that you need my help, but I’ll do my part to make sure you have that place.