Democratic Party | Ken Mehlman | Log Cabin Republicans | Republican Party

Do Gay Republicans Get More Flak From Democrats Than The GOP?


The answer is pretty simple.

In a follow-up to Republican Ken Mehlman's coming out last month, The Miami Herald has published a piece focused on reaction to the news by gays in both the democratic and republican parties.  The piece showcases the feelings by many gay republicans on how they're perceived by liberals in the LGBT community.

From the Herald aricle:

After Kenneth Mehlman, George W. Bush's 2004 campaign manager, came out as gay last month, he seemed to get way more grief from Democrats -- who said a gay man would have to be a hypocrite to work to get a conservative Republican elected president -- than moderate members of his own party, who basically shrugged and said: ``Whatever.'' `In gay organizations and gay circles, most people don't understand how somebody can be gay and Republican,'' said Holland & Knight litigator Robert Watson, past president of the gay Log Cabin Republicans club of Miami. ``It's been more difficult [for me] to come out as Republican in gay circles than as gay in Republican circles.''

The end of the article pretty much sums up, in a clear and obvious way, why gays and lesbians flock to the Democratic Party.

Miami Beach-based finance writer Andrew Tobias, a gay man who since 1999 has been treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, becomes furious when some gays say it doesn't matter which party is in power. `Even gay Republicans agree the Democratic Party is night-and-day better on gay issues. Dems in the House and Senate vote almost unanimously for our stuff; Republicans, almost unanimously against,'' Tobias said. ``I'm sure most Republican congressfolk don't hate gays -- they just don't want hate crimes protection extended to cover us or employment discrimination laws extended to cover us or Social Security benefits to our partners and children -- or to allow us to serve in the military or to marry.

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  1. Gays, blacks, Jews, women... all get trashed by the left for not being in the Democrat big tent where they belong. Didn't you know? Hate speech is ok when it's at a Republican - hypocrite or not.

    Posted by: Max | Sep 5, 2010 2:34:15 PM

  2. Theres nothing wrong with being gay and having conservative economic and foreign policy views; it's just asinine to vote for someone who publicly says they are against your civil rights and will vote against them. It's the fact that 98% of republicans must pander to Christian conservatives.

    People always wonder why blacks vote overwhelming for's because in the 60s the democrats (not from the south) were in favor of civil rights and equality for blacks. The north-eastern repubs were largely for it too but they now have all become democrats. The conservative dems in the south from the 60s-70s are all republicans now. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson brought Martin Luther King to the table.

    Democrats don't pander to birthers, tea partiers, glenn beck, sarah palin, rush limbaugh, etc.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Sep 5, 2010 2:42:11 PM

  3. It's all about power. Ken had influence and power. Lost a lot of it as people found out he was gay and more by coming out, but still has some. As long as he's useful to the GOP they'll tolerate his 'quirks'.

    The GOP is no more gay friendly than ever. They will grudgingly endure it until they find a replacement for Ken... or a better scapegoat than Islam to demonize.

    Any self-respecting homosexual is deluding themselves if they think the "Moral Majority" and "Exploitation First" party is 'coming around' and seriously thinking about supporting equal rights.

    Posted by: jexer | Sep 5, 2010 2:45:22 PM

  4. It's very simple to understand, actually. Gays pose zero threat to Republicans (or marriage, or kids or str8s at all). But Republicans pose huge threats to gays. They threaten (it's written in their pary platform(s)) to deny us marriage rights, keep us from being teachers, take away our children. Our very lives and livelihooods are at risk in the GOP/Teabaggers' ideal world. So if a friend "came out" as Republican I would quickly protect my husband and family from this real threat. There are good people that can be your friends---don't waste time on evil.

    Posted by: Greg | Sep 5, 2010 2:46:39 PM

  5. Tobias nailed it. I don't think it can be said any better.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Sep 5, 2010 2:51:28 PM

  6. Maybe Robert Watson doesn't understand that being gay isn't a choice, being a Republican is. That's why choosing to join a group of people, the majority of which want to deny you any civil rights seems really self-loathing and dangerous to those of us who really would like those equal rights and liberties that the Republicans pay so much lip service to but continue to deny gay men and women, many in the state GOP platforms.

    None of this is rocket science. Gays can come out (or more like trickle out, kicking and screaming) in the Republican party but that doesn't make the rest of us blind to what the Republican party has turned into. It ain't the party of Lincoln anymore.

    Posted by: Bart | Sep 5, 2010 3:04:33 PM

  7. @Greg, totally right. All anyone has to do is look at the republican party platform that they released last fall and see that Gays have no place in that party.

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 5, 2010 3:05:00 PM

  8. Yes, we've got to continue to march lockstep with the Democrats and send them all of our resources. When we have a Democrat president and huge, veto-proof majorities in Congress, the Democrats will deliver on ENDA, DoMA, DADT, etc.

    They will. Really. Honest. I promise.

    Well, maybe there will be a nice party at the White House or something . . . .

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Sep 5, 2010 3:33:05 PM

  9. wah, wah, waaaaaah! Why don't gay republicans just call themselves republicans? It doesn't make any sense to call themselves "gay" republicans, as that has no relevance at all to the party, or their reasons for affiliation.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 5, 2010 3:43:43 PM

  10. I'm all for anyone coming out--Democrat, Republican, apolitical. Because the more people who are out, the more difficult it is for people to pretend they don't know or love anyone gay.

    BUT, no one should expect that gay people will line up to pat on the back and applaud cowards who chose to stay in their privileged closets for years while actively working against our interests by pushing anti-gay policies. That most of those anti-gay policies came from the Republican side of the aisle isn't judgment or hate speech (talk about hyperbole), it's simply fact.

    When gay conservatives actually start coming out while they're in power instead of out of it, and when they get their fellow Republicans, who are actually in or running for office, to start supporting gay issues when it matters, then they may get more respect from liberals who will always disagree on other issues.

    Posted by: Ernie | Sep 5, 2010 3:47:21 PM

  11. Democrats had the Presidency, a large majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and Tobias' little list is a good list of things they did NOT act on (except for hate crimes, which was low-hanging fruit indeed). So maybe it would be more accurate to say that neither Dems nor Republicans want those things.

    Posted by: Matt | Sep 5, 2010 3:54:43 PM

  12. Mehlman and his Republican supporters are still really good at spin, and they're still doing it. They manage to make this into a story about whether liberals or conservatives are more likely to be forgiving toward closeted gays, because it serves their purposes--and their incredibly cynical manipulation of a few traditional Christian ideas--to do so. They thus get gays arguing with each other about an entirely specious question.
    Mehlman continues to lie deliberately, strategically, cynically, and the most disgustingly self-pitying manner, when he claims that he hadn't really discovered himself all those years he worked for people who despised him. There is no victim of societal prejudice to sympathize with here. Mehlman was traveling in gay social circles, going to gay parties, counting on the power-mad sycophants and lackeys in DC to keep up his cover. Everyone in political life in Washington has heard stories about the Republicans who refused to work with him, the frat-house homophobia directed against him by even his closest colleagues, the way George and Laura Bush stuck up for him and insisted that there were going to be no sexual-orientation tests under their leadership. Much of this is a matter of public record.
    This is just Mehlman and his cronies once again getting away with spinning the situation--now that Republicans are realizing there may be more to gain in pretending to favor same-sex marriage than pretending to deplore it--because media outlets will distribute anything handed to them without questioning it or doing any research.

    Posted by: coolbearinmd | Sep 5, 2010 3:56:03 PM

  13. "Democrats don't pander to birthers, tea partiers, glenn beck, sarah palin, rush limbaugh, etc."

    No, Brian, but they pander to Islamo-fascists, Black Panthers, Communists, Soviet Thugs, the UN, and La Raza.

    Choose your poison. At least the circus on the right is American.

    As for Mehlman, he's getting flack for being a hypocrite, not for being gay. He's gonna have to move mountains to kiss and make up.

    Posted by: Max | Sep 5, 2010 4:40:32 PM

  14. Wooah Max, have you ever left America? You do know the Labour parties in Europe were communists right? And many still believe that? I'm in English and live in Europe so people like you Max scare me? And the UN? What are you on? I have a lot of friends who irk for the UN and man
    ,do you even know how selfless work they do to save lives?

    Max you're a scary man and a typical American-thick and uncultured.

    Posted by: Rowan | Sep 5, 2010 4:47:29 PM

  15. "Democrats had the Presidency, a large majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and Tobias' little list is a good list of things they did NOT act on (except for hate crimes, which was low-hanging fruit indeed). So maybe it would be more accurate to say that neither Dems nor Republicans want those things."

    It boggles the mind that there are actually people like you who believe that.

    And if the GOP returns to power, you should be held accountable for everything they do to thwart equality.

    As for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, it required that the independents caucus with the Democrats.

    And even then, Ted Kennedy's death in August led to the election of Scott Brown and his swearing in during January 2010.

    The Democrats had less than 11 months with a tenuous 60-seat majority.

    If you think that they could have pushed through all of the President's agenda in less than a year, you're smoking dope.

    The progressive meme that there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

    Its proponents will ultimately have blood on their hands if they have worked towards defeating the Democrats.

    The good news is that a lot of gay Democrats are waking up to the impact of the blogosphere and starting to work actively against it.

    And I've already started hearing from the progressives who want the Democrats out. Now they say that there are so many disgruntled Dems that their actions had no real impact.

    Uh-huh. On the one hand, they tout their power to destroy. On the other, they talk of how their efforts just reflected those of progressive groups around the country.


    Posted by: Rob G. | Sep 5, 2010 4:52:37 PM

  16. I don't think gay Republicans are as cynical as some are suggesting. Time and time again I see a real personal conflict going on. Ted Haggard (though not a politician, was right wing) was one of the more extreme examples. I felt terrible for him, as he was obviously traumatized and not getting any love from anywhere. The right excommunicated him, and the left just mocked him or dehumanized him.

    It's hard coming out of the closet. We all know this. Imagine if you were a powerful political figure? It must be much harder. Your whole professional career is at stake. And other people are depending on you. So I try to have some sympathy. I don't like it when other gay men are cruel and dismissive about them. They're gay men too, and are experiencing the same problems we all are, but even more magnified. It may have been the moral thing to come out of the closet 20 years ago, before becoming a powerful political operative, but it's easier said than done.

    I disagree with the notion that the Republican Party is as bad as it was several years ago. I've noticed a softening on the anti-gay line. Even Democrats were very anti-gay several years ago (to compete with Republicans), and that's more or less gone now. I know many straight conservatives and I've never had any problems with being out about my sexuality. They have always been very respectful. But they are also young and in their twenties. So maybe it's generational. But I know some older conservatives in their thirties and forties and they go to gay bars, have many gay friends and so on. Saying all conservatives are homophobic is a slur. It is false. It doesn't follow my experience at all.

    But there's still a lot of homophobia in the Republican Party. I think this is because the party has to appeal to the Christian right. This is very bad. The GOP needs to learn instead that there's nothing inherently anti-gay about conservatism. In fact, conservatism has a lot to offer gays, and gays have a lot to offer to conservatism. There's a lot of common interests: simplifying the tax code, protecting gay dollars through opposing income redistribution, fighting terrorism and jihadism, repealing DADT -- expanding marriage, a conservative institution, to include gays. I don't think gays should vote for Republican candidates unless the candidate explicitly repudiates homophobia, but that doesn't mean gays should not pressure Republicans (through organizations like Log Cabin, for instance) into changing.

    Posted by: Xtabentun | Sep 5, 2010 4:58:19 PM

  17. Rowan, I've been to England dozens of times over the past two decades. Your country is rapidly descending into little more than a Muslim colony. Hardly a day goes by without some Islamic hissyfit in London screaming like Nazis about how much they hate Jews. They'll come after gays next, guaranteed. That's 13 years of the Labor party in power for you right there.

    The UN is an unelected tax-leech which provides cover for Palestinian terrorists and sends UN "peacekeepers" into Africa to rape the very people they are sent to protect.

    Posted by: Max | Sep 5, 2010 5:00:14 PM

  18. shut up, rowan. America is the greatest! And you and its enemies can't handle it. Historical jealousies that you've inherited.

    Max is a right wanger, and fringe teapartier, at that. His views have no mainstream appeal or support, and he doesn't speak for americans.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 5, 2010 5:11:23 PM

  19. Democrats tend to hold people accountable for their actions. Republicans not so much.

    Posted by: bkmn | Sep 5, 2010 5:11:54 PM

  20. Gay Republicans are like Jews working for Nazis.

    Posted by: Gene | Sep 5, 2010 6:36:44 PM

  21. "Andrew Tobias, a gay man who since 1999 has been treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, becomes furious when some gays say it doesn't matter which party is in power"

    Well, Andy can stomp his feet and hold his breath until he turns blue. If you don't support full and equal civil rights for gays and lesbians (and last time I checked, the president doesn't), you don't deserve to be in power, and you'll never get MY vote.

    Posted by: gaylib | Sep 5, 2010 6:49:39 PM

  22. ...and by Andy, I mean Tobias, not Towle.

    Posted by: gaylib | Sep 5, 2010 6:50:54 PM

  23. The Republicans are great at Orwellian double talk and this is right up their alley. OF COURSE the left is harder on gays in cahoots with the right -- they are the ones, by and large, to ACTIVELY repress gays through laws, rather than SOME on the left who are guilty of inactivity. One or two exceptions like Cheney who get it right AFTER they are in office don't make a difference in reality.

    Posted by: princely54 | Sep 5, 2010 6:53:42 PM

  24. @ GAYLIB...Still waiting for Hillary?....
    @ Max...Girl you haven't been no where but in Staten fucking Island queen. You're one of those faggots never to trust!

    Posted by: Progressivia | Sep 5, 2010 7:16:17 PM

  25. I hear this over and over from gay conservatives and it makes me wonder what Republicans they socialize with. Certainly not the ones from my home town in Texas. The country club set never cared much for the religious right but need their votes in order to get their tax cuts. Note that every gay Republican publicly bitching about this lives in San Fran, West Hollywood or Chelsea. Maybe they should try being openly gay in a very Republican part of the country (say rural Mississippi or Utah) and see how welcome they feel as gay people among other Republicans.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Sep 5, 2010 7:39:39 PM

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