Gay Conservatism: A Cold, Lonely Log Cabin
Have times really changed for the GOP?
The phrase itself seems like an oxymoron. And yet, this identity is not just relegated to infamous, one-off unicorns like “I’m not gay, I’m just attracted to men” Christian Walker or Congressman Kitara Ravache. A 2019 poll found that about 15% of the LGBTQ+ community identify as Republicans.
To those 15%: are you all not tired yet?
Listen, I can understand not wanting to be beholden to a single political party. And I’m not about to go telling you “you ain’t gay!” if you support the GOP. We’re all our own individual person and don’t “owe” a vote to anyone. But have you been paying attention lately? Like, really paying attention?
Rep. Rick Allen (R) said this about Rep. Tom Emmer (R) after he won the GOP House speakership nomination October 24th. This was because Emmer voted in favor of gay marriage protections. This speakership bid soon tanked and Emmer was replaced with Rep Mike Johnson (R).
“[It] place[s] our entire democratic system in jeopardy by eroding its foundation.”
That’s from Mike Johnson, our now-current Speaker of the House. And no, he’s not talking about January 6th (Mike has other thoughts on that).
It’s what he had to say about gay marriage in a 2004 column supporting a ban of same-sex marriage. And his stance likely hasn’t changed since then either. His wife quietly deactivated a company website she owned (Onward Christian Counseling Services) that compared LGBTQ+ relations to bestiality after he decided to run for Speaker.
Ok, but maybe those are just one-off stories. And hey - the Respect for Marriage Act passed! Gay marriage is now law of the land regardless of the Supreme Court! It took the GOP’s support to get it through. This shows that times are still a-changing, right? Woohoo!
That’s true - it did take GOP support. But let me tell you, they were giving the absolute bare minimum. In the House, a whopping 100% of Democrats present voted for the bill compared to the GOP’s 18.7%. The Senate offered a bit better stats for the GOP. Again, 100% of Democrats voted for the bill, but this time the bill garnered 33.3% support of voting Republicans.
Ok, but how about public opinion? We’ve seen a clear change in the overall public attitude towards same-sex marriage - this includes Republicans!
Well, interesting enough, support nationwide of same-sex relationships has dropped. According to a May 2023 Gallup poll, 64% of Americans find gay or lesbian relationships morally acceptable. This is the lowest level of support since 2019 and a large drop from the 71% reported by Gallup in May 2022.
And a good chunk of this shift is being driven by members of the Republican Party who swung 15 points against the issue in just one year.
If you look deep into the right-wing bubble, this makes complete sense. There’s just an exhausting level of hysteria lobbied towards the LGBTQ+ community.
The groomer hysteria has completely taken over. Far-right social media accounts like Libs of TikTok get tens of thousands of likes on social media accusing specific schools of “indoctrinating children,” leading to constant bomb threats. A 2022 poll even found that 45% of Republicans think that teachers talking about sexual orientation and gender identity are groomers.
(Note: I’m not the biggest fan of Data for Progress, but they’re the only group so far to poll on this.)
All of this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the incredible vitriol the transgender community faces.
This all begs an important question - has the GOP really changed? Do more “conservative-minded” gay voters really have room now to put aside the past and actually trust the party?
(Okay that’s two questions but you get the point.)
To me, this is all just the same shit we saw pre-Obergefell.
With GOP leadership against you, most GOP politicians still against you, the general GOP-voting public still against you, and a powerful wing of the GOP constantly conjuring hysterics over your existence, I don’t know how gay conservatives do it. Seriously, I don’t.
It must be awfully cold in that Log Cabin.
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